My sons mother lied to me 4 years ago and told me he wasn’t mine. 8 months into her pregnancy she told me she did the DNA test with another man and that he was not mine. Being young and incapable of comprehending that somebody would be capable of lying about something so serious at the time, I believed her. I left Ireland a year after to go to Poland to look after my parents ( I am a Polish national who grew up in Ireland from the age of 7- 20 plus years in Ireland). I neded up getting stuck over there because of Covid and the whole time my sons mother kept tabs on my movements via social media. She worked as immigration security in Dublin airport for a few years. When I finally got the chance to return home to Ireland she actually saw me coming through Dublin Airport in April 2021 and decided to continue stalking my movements until November 2021 when she texted me on Facebook and said “we need to talk”. As you can imagine my heart sank and I screenshotted her message from a few years back telling me I was not the father and asked “was this a lie”. She came clean and said she was afraid of telling me for the last 3 years because she was in a controlling relationship with her ex fiance. I made my next biggest mistake shortly after. Thinking that the best way to get as much access to my son for as long as possible, I began seeing this woman romantically again for a few monthsand in this time we did the DNA test confirming i was the father. However, it was short lived as she began to show little remorse for what she did and never really fully explained or apologized for her actions and shortly after my sons 3rd birthday we had split up and a few days after that she was back with the ex fiance. A stranger to me who got to spend the first 2 and a half years of my sons life. Taken from me and given to him instead. I voiced my concern as she had previously stated it was his fault that she didn’t tell me the truth sooner about my son. It fell on deaf ears and I was told by her that she doesn’t have to do anything or even let me see my son and to go through the courts. So I filed for court and got myself a solicitor via free legal aid. I began paying maintenence of 50 euro per week and was only allowed 1 hour a week with my son. After 6 or so months we finally saw the inside of a courtroom and a judge deemed that both myself,her and my son are to be assessed by a child psychologist due to my son being autistic (lower end of the spectrum) and extended my visitation time to an hour and a half twice a week and in a location that is not her house as i said i felt uncomfortable there. I am still continueing supervised visitations with my son over a year into this farce in a play zone down the road from her house. I have changed jobs twice by upskilling in that time and due to my work schedule can only see my son for one day a week. She puts my son to bed at 5 pm and uses his autism as an excuse for that and every other decision she makes to justify it. In this time she has also done numerous private assessments for my son without discussing it with me first and simply sending me the bills after asking for half of the money which I have refused on the simple grounds that I can not afford to pay that amount of money. My son and I have bonded in the last year and he is fully aware I am his father now. I still feel like nothing more than a sperm doner, piggy bank, and play date. I get PTSD and anxiety every single time I have to face this woman and I have to go to counselling and take anti depressants because of how this situation has affected me. Our next court date has been delayed due to an error by the courts to inform me about the appointment with the child psychologist and thus has been adjourned until June 2023. I am in a loving relationship with my current partner and we are expecting a baby girl in a few weeks. However, I am severly struggling to cope with the situation with my son and also preparing to be father for the second time. I love my son so much but feel like this whole situation has damaged me so much mentally and emotionally even physically. The supervised visits make me feel like a criminal. I struggle to eat and have lost 4 stone in the last year. I feel like the courts have failed me thus far. I feel worthless and helpless and more of a prisoner than an actual father. I worry about the courts digestion in June every day because to my knowledge and speaking with other men with similar experiences, the courts have failed them also on numerous ocassions. How can we live in a society where a human being can be stripped away from his child and limited despite being manipulated and lied to in such a manner? This system does not work. The laws do not work.