And now a question

momof3_stepof1May 30, 2011

My son is 11 years old. His biological father decided to disappear when he was 19 months old. He has 4 other children that range in age of 5-10 (the 10 year old is only 3 1/2 months younger then my son..... the reason for the breakup)

I met my husband when my son was 11 months old. I allowed bio dad to see him whenever he wanted... but NO overnights. It's stated in the guidelines that no overnights are given until child is 3. I went strictly by the guidelines because bio dad wasn't really around much. He would tell me to bring him down to him and leave him but I never did. I simply stated that I didn't have to bring him to him and that he didn't get overnight visits. If he wanted to see him I would meet him. He never wanted that. I just couldn't leave my baby with someone that didn't know him and that I didn't trust. I didn't call him when my son was born because he had threatened my life. I called him when my son was 5 months old because I felt guilty. I then did take him to see him a few times and he came to my home to see him a few times after child support court hearings. He asked for a DNA test, court gave him 3 chances to show.... he skipped them all. Court "defaulted" him as father. I promise you, he's his father. I am not the one who cheated. Plus he looks EXACTLY like him. Anyway..... bio dad is now in jail for non support.

My ss is 7 months younger then my son.... so when my dh and I got together they were 4 and 11 months. I called my husband by his name to my son. When my ss started saying dada my son also started. This was about the same time bio dad went missing. I called his family all the time and no one knew where he was.... well, I know they did but that's what they said.

So.... I didn't stop my son from calling my dh dada. Bio dad reappeared. I told him what was going on and he didn't care. He wanted to give my son up for adoption. (By the way.... he still to this day wants the rest of his kids... by three other moms) We have since proceeded with the adoption process. My son goes by our last name. He totally believes my dh is his father. I just don't know how to tell him the truth. I don't know how or when. I really believe the when is past time. So, I think I should do it now. I feel so bad for him. My dh is a WONDERFUL father and loves him so much. My son is just a VERY emotional kid. He also has a little temper on him. I'm so scared of what his reaction will be.

How do you think I should go about this? Please please please don't be cruel and judgemental. I've been dealing with guilt for years. My guilt isn't because of him having a GREAT father.... it's the guilt of not telling him sooner. I just never knew when to do it. Plus I don't want him saying "well, he's not my dad" when my dh disciplines him. Cause he is the only dad he's ever known. I'm also scared of him wanting to know that pos. Bio dad doesn't give two sh*ts about my son. He's texted that recently. I don't want to tell him that though. Please give me some advice without being cruel about this. I'm already aching here.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You did what you felt was best for your son. Your son's father threatened your life so I don't think you are wrong for doing what you did.

At some point in time your son should know the truth about his father. How old he should be when you explain things to him I'm not sure. I would get the help of a professional to guide you through the process of telling your son, and then getting counseling for your son to deal with this revelation.

I'm sorry you are feeling so terrible about this, but don't be so hard on yourself. Life doesn't give us easy choices to make, but it sounds like you made the right one for you and your son's safety. Now you just need to figure out the right way to let your son know the truth.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 8:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I do hope you will get some good advice here.

I think your first step would be to contact a therapist. For you and your guilt. That therapist would be able to help you through the process of telling your son the truth. There are so many reasons why the truth now is important. I will not tell you "you should have told him already". I think you know that. The point of your question is HOW right?

I have two cousins that are in this similiar situation so I'll give you both stories and you can decide whether to take the advice or wait.

My uncle met a lady 23 yrs ago that was 5 months pregnant. They never married but they were together for a while after baby was born. My uncle went through the legal adoption process right away and then when they did break up, he was always her father. She never knew he wasn't. When you adopt, your name is on the birth certificate so there was no way of finding out. They never told her for whatever reason but when she became an adult and some things just were not adding up for her, she flat out asked. So they told her. She went on this "hunt" for her biodad and she found him. He is a pos and treated her ugly and made her feel even worse. She's still so mad she wont talk to my uncle. He was there for her for her entire life but she says her life was a lie... And she is angry. I believe she is in therapy but she just feels like everyone lied to her for her entire life.

Second story-- another cousin of mine had a baby with a jerk who walked away and sounds like your jerk of an ex. When the baby was 8 months old, she met a man who was so wonderful and loved this little boy. Life just kind of went on for the next few years -- he calls him daddy, does not legally go by the mans last name but at daycare they used the mans last name and he calls him daddy. That's his only daddy!! Kindergarten comes and they can't use the mans last name because it's not on his birth certificate. The boy had always known his name to be "smith" but now at 6 he has to learn his real name is 'jones'. They decide to hire an attorney and get the adoption started to change the boys name legally and to make everything legal. There are no snags. Biodad allows his rights to be terminated and everything is going as planned. But they have to explain the situation to a 6 yr old. They said, mommy and daddy love you. God gave you to mommy but daddy chose you and wants to be your daddy. He wants you to have his name and for you to be his son forever. You are so lucky because you have so many people that love you. You are special because your daddy picked you. The boy gets it, he's happy. He gets to use "smith" as his legal last name and he feels so special.
and they are planning a huge party for the day of the final adoption. To celebrate.

I would strongly encourage you to read some adoption forums to find out how others do it. I would not encourage you to wait until he is older. Like my cousin, her entire life was a lie to her. Everyone lied to her.
I think your son is old enough now. And you have to stop beating yourself up. You can't control that biodad is a jerk and walked away. You shouldnt tell him that he wasn't wanted. He will be too confused. And want to ask this man 'why didn't you want me".

And I have been told that a lot of people are telling their kids early on about their adoption so that the kids are not hit with a hammer 18 yrs later when they find out, I was adopted and my parents and everyone else knew but me.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 9:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For years, my younger two kids thought my exBF was their 'dad'. I never told them he was but we lived together and they didn't have a father in their lives so I think they just assumed it. They were 1 & 2 when we got together. By the time they were in preschool/Kindergarten age, they had an idea he wasn't their bio dad but I didn't really talk to them about it until they were a little older... when they worked on school projects for a family tree or similar things. It was harder to explain where the bio dad was than it was to explain that BF loves them. Of course, in my situation things didn't work out so well. After exBF & I split up, he cut off contact with the kids... except my daughter would still visit his daughter & hang out, but he treated her like she was any other friend of his daughter... not like a daughter he had known, raised & been a part of her life since she was 1. But, I was always as honest as I could be with my kids... never telling them that they were abandoned or not wanted by their father but I did say he had problems in his own life that kept him away... like immaturity, etc. I wasn't defending him or making excuses for him because there is no excuse for leaving a child you brought into the world, but they had to know it had nothing to do with them and at the same time, I couldn't tell them he is a horrible person because they are part of him too. Children want to be loved. They trust their parents/caregivers and that makes them feel loved. To later find out they were lied to can make them feel they really aren't loved, there is no trust, etc. It can be devastating.

BTW, my exBF grew up without a father, thinking his last name was the same as his mom & older brother. (thinking they had the same father) I don't know how he was enrolled in school with her last name but he found out after high school, when he was entering the police academy... when they asked for his birth certificate, that his last name was different. So, he went to talk to his mom & find out why & she confessed that he had an affair with a married man when she became pregnant with him. He had an unusual last name and she was afraid that when the newspaper published the births, the wife would read it & find out so she changed the spelling just enough that it was a common name. Then when he entered school, she used her name on the registration because by then, the father had moved on & had nothing to do with her anymore. She wanted to avoid "problems" (ie. looking like a hussy because she wasn't married & both of her sons had different fathers) so she lied to her son until he was 19. I think it was a shock to him & I believe it affected how he felt about trusting women in general... that was always a problem with us & maybe a part of why things didn't work out.

I believe the longer you wait, the worse it will be. Kids may not like the truth, but they certainly deserve it.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 2:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't think there is a right way to tell him. The main thing is that you tell him and tell him soon.

Maybe you could say that you have something you want to talk to him about, and just tell him. The bigger of a deal you make it, the more he tense he will get about it. If you treat it like the biological aspect is not a big deal cause dad is dad even if he doesn't have the same dna, it might help.

Maybe you could treat it like something somewhat casual that you just wanted to make sure he knew so to make sure he wouldn't be upset later if he ever found out and thought it was hidden from him. Let him ask all the questions he wants, and make sure he knows that biological doesn't mean love.

You know your son better than anyone else could. Only you can really know the best way to tell him. Every child and every situation is going to be different. He might not even care. Or, for all you know he's already put 2 and 2 together and already knows, but is afraid to bring it up. Just be prepared for anything from no reaction to huge drama.

Just avoid making statements such as your "real dad" or your bio dad "didn't want you" and so forth. But, it really is important that you tell him as soon as possible. From everything i've heard and read about, time does not make it better it only makes them feel like you lied to them a little longer.

If it was me, i would probably go the route of assuming that they might know already. (this way it doesn't feel like you've been lieing to them if they didn't know) Then i would sit them down and just say "Honey i wanted to talk to you about something. I don't know if you already know but i wanted to make sure that we were totally honest and up front with you, to let you know that your dad is not your biological dad" then probably explain the situation that he was already born and a few months old when you guys met.

He probably will on occasion get angry and say that his adopted dad is not his real dad and all of those issues you are afraid of. But, it will hurt him a lot less to know now than if you wait.

And anyways, if it wasn't that he'd get mad and say something else because he's mad. maybe he'd say "i wish you weren't my dad!" (even if you never told him about his biological dad), or all those other hurtful things kids say to parents when they are angry

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 7:33PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Trying to figure out how to be a good adult stepdaughter...
My mother died eight years ago, and my dad remarried...
end of rope
I thought I could do this. I have some good memories...
step adult kids
Where and how do I start.. my wife has two adult kids....
Can't Accept My Stepson
I don't know what it is but I just can't stand having...
Half sister/cousin question
This is a little weird...but without a ton of details....
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™