I think your friends' advice holds some water here.
Don't go heading into a rescue mission relationship, especially when you've already decided against it once before.
Try to put any emotional response out of your decision-making process for a moment. Don't get caught up in fantasies of "what could be" with this woman you haven't had a functional, healthy relationship with and who has a child you don't know whether you would truly have a bond with. Being in your late 20s isn't that old. You have plenty of time to find the right person to settle down and start a family with. She may or may not be The One.
It sounds like she's clinging to you to get out of a bad situation; she may not realize it on a conscious level, but she is looking for help not love right now. If the woman can make her way back to the US and get established on her own, great; don't be her lifeline/rescuer.
Is either the biological father or the child a German citizen? If so, you may fight yourself in the middle of a nasty international custody fight.
I'd also be wary of someone who would leave one relationship (even a crappy one) for another.
There are lots of things about this situation that are sketchy (cue the robot from "Lost in Space" screaming, "Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!")
That should say, "If so, you may *find* yourself in the middle of a nasty international custody fight."
I was about to call you pedantic. But then I saw you were correcting yourself.
Yeah, I wouldn't be that much of a jerk to someone else.
Your willingness to be take responsibility for the child is commendable.It sounds to me like you've got your heart in the right place. But I'm not so sure about your lady friend. From what you've mentioned, her situation seems bad; no one deserves abuse. But I cannot see how giving up her daughter is warranted. I can't see how it would have even crossed her mind seriously enough for her to vocalize it, unless she is trying to escape her responsibility as well as her abusive husband. And if I'm right about her wanting to escape, you will likely be the next thing she tries to escape from.
Wes, there is a lot of stuff here. I hear you say you love this girl. I don't hear you say you are in love with her. She also has a lot of issues for which you can not be responsible, and for which you should not be responsible. This does not make you a bad guy, or selfish. It makes you wise. You must take care of yourself. You hint strongly that she is suicidal, that she suffers from depression . You can not think that you can change these problems. You can not swoop down when she is falling 20 stories, and save her.Those knights in shining armor wore that covering to protect themselves. You broke up with this girl for a reason. And frankly, you are not going to be saving her child. Life will not be easier for her daughter , by mom entering into a relationship because she can not care for herself. If you walk away, it may be difficult in the short term ,but it will be better for you in in the long term.Create a family when, and if, you are ready.