Amy: Divorce complicates disclosure of birth father

  • Article by: AMY DICKINSON
  • Updated: July 5, 2013 - 2:49 PM

Dear Amy: After 20 years of marriage, my husband and I are getting a divorce. We have two kids — a 12-year-old son and an 18-year-old daughter. My husband adopted my daughter when she was 3. She believes my husband is her birth father.

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raukj1Jul. 6, 1311:47 AM

Dear Amy, I was raised (and psychologically brutalized) by "my dad" as a child, only to find out at the age of 22 that this guy wasn't my dad as my mother had been married before with my being the result of that union. This guy, whatever his initial intentions, got tired of carrying the load of raising another man's kid as the years went by not to mention the burden of having to maintain this huge lie from an inquisitive child. It became clear as I matured to look life my real father that there was no way that he could possibly be my biological father. I took relief in fantasizing he was not my dad, only to later find that this was no fantasy. My childhood and family was the fantasy. My point here is to point out the psychological damages inflicted upon an unknowing child who wonders why his dad hates him and coming to all manner of erroneous conclusions about his worthiness to be loved due to the wrong information he has to work with in his thought processes. Children are not puppies or kittens, they are human beings with rights. The resultant mistrust such deceit imparts upon such a child's mind once he learns he has been the butt of a gigantic conspiracy by the very people he loved the most, his relatives. It may become next to impossible for that child to ever be capable of the level of trust necessary in the formation of all future relationships with others as he'll always have severe trust issues. Just imagine your own mother stealing your father from your life, your never knowing him or your half siblings from his later marriages(s). When I met my father at 22 he turned out to be quite a guy, and his kids (my half siblings) were wonderful too, but I'd been cheated out of knowing them all me life and it was too late to really develop a deep kinship with them due to a lack of shared life experience with them. A child has every right to know who he or she is with full recourse in civil court to redress the matter. Who has the right to steal and hide one's parent when the child (I believe) has the right to know the truth about them self? How would you feel if your mother flipped, threw out your dad when you were 2, ran off to Vegas with another guy, then lied to you all your life about the most important truth you needed to know as you face the pressures of life while growing up? All your good memories that you have now of your father would have been stolen and erased from you by all the very relatives you'd held dearly... How would that feel?

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newsloverJul. 6, 13 1:39 PM

while it sounds like you had a tough time RAUJK, the case isn't always bad. I have an ex brother in law AND a friend who both have raised kids from the start both went through paying child support, and in their states could have pulled out said Im not dad and had it dissolved. Neither chose to do so, both now have custody of their kids and have never once said anything. VERY few people know the situations and there is no plan at this time to tell them. Why, when children have a father that loves them, takes care of them, etc would you start to make them wonder why their biological father isn't there. This lady needs to sit and speak with hubby and decide what he wants as well. If he doesn't want to recognize her as his own then its probably best to leave it and let him be dad. If this is going to be a problem and you think he may someday spurt off at the mouth then talk to the kid. My friends kids are not cheated in any was as one mom has no clue who baby daddy is and the other, baby daddy didnt care to get to know the child. Its really case by case

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newsloverJul. 6, 13 2:59 PM

Second letter...You have only been dating a few months. While some consider this a long time, some consider this too little to get too personal. There could be a reason for her behavior such as she doesn't feel as though you have been seeing each other long enough to fully let you into her world. Some people just need time.

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