Why Should We Care?

United States
March 11, 2010 7:36am CST
Alright, I have a scenario, and I am really hoping that someone can shed some light on this for me as I am completely baffled by it. Here is the scenario: There is a guy that had a child out of wedlock. He has been a part of this child's life since the beginning, although he and the mother parted ways. The family of the guy has not only denied the child's existence since the beginning but also refused to allow the guy to talk about the child with them until recently. Now all of a sudden after almost thirty years, the child is welcomed into the family with open arms by the same people that refused to even acknowledge the existence of the child for all those years, and the younger generation that never even knew that the child existed is supposed to pretend that everything is perfectly normal and be overjoyed at having a "long-lost" family member. First, I would really like to know why the family would choose to accept the child now, since they have been denying the child since it was conceived almost thirty years ago. They have gone to a good deal of trouble to keep this "secret" all those years, so why do such a drastic about-face now? Second, why would the child even want to associate with these people? If someone had denied my existence for that long and then all of a sudden wanted to "kiss and make-up" and pretend that nothing had happened, I would be telling them exactly where they could place their lips! I just do not understand why the child would seem thrilled to finally be accepted into a family that had pretended that they were not even born. Can someone please explain this to me?
6 people like this
13 responses
@zed_k4 (17619)
• Singapore
11 Mar 10
I think maybe those people whom have started to acknowledge this child whom have grown up has started to realize their mistakes or have come to accept this fact and wants to get to know this child whom have grown up, after 30 years. But it's weird too, why after all these years.. big question mark there for me too.
• United States
12 Mar 10
I don't think that they have realized their mistake unless they have ulterior motives for now establishing contact with this person. I really do not understand why they would all of a sudden change their minds after all this time unless they are getting some benefit from it. I know that sounds awful, but I really can't think of any other explanation for it. They knew all along that the child existed but chose to deny the child, even though the father had contact with the child since the beginning, so they could have changed their mind any time in the last thirty years. The fact that all of a sudden they are changing it and want everybody else to jump on board without asking any questions really does not feel right to me.
1 person likes this
@zed_k4 (17619)
• Singapore
16 Mar 10
What ulterior motives could there be.. I hope there are no victims for sure in this story. But you might be right, purple.. sometimes we don't know the real right deal as to humans intentions. They can be good and can be bad too...
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Mar 10
Zed, I really do not know what the ulterior motives could be, and maybe I am just being too suspicious and there really are none. I do try to be accepting of people and situations, but there are times when things just don't feel right, and at these times I have to trust my gut instincts, because they are usually right. That is why I started this discussion - to see whether or not anyone else could think of reasons that I have not been able to come up with to explain this behavior. It might not hurt to contact this person and find out more about them. On the other hand, it might start a bunch of problems that I do not want any part of, and that is where I am at right now.
1 person likes this
@livewyre (2455)
11 Mar 10
I cannot understand the family's response - I think only they could answer that question, however for the 'child' (not a child any longer of course), it is more understandable. It is nigh on impossible to get into someone's mind, but for them, they are of course getting something that maybe they have longed for, even in adulthood. I can understand that knowing your family and being accepted by your family is an important jigsaw puzzle in someone's psyche regardless of the previous apparent rejection. You can't really criticise someone who chooses to overlook this in favour of reconciliation with the family they have longed to be part of.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Mar 10
The thing is that questioning the family is not an option, although you are right that it would be the best way to get an answer to the question. They are pretending like the last thirty years never even happened, and it is rather like a baby just showed up out of the blue only the "baby" is now a thirty year old. I guess that in a way I can understand the "child" wanting to know the rest of the family, but it really does not make a lot of sense to me. Maybe I am just weird, but if people had been denying that I existed for my entire life, even though my father had been a part of my life, then I definitely would not care to know them now. Not only that, but I would be suspicious of why they would all of a sudden want to accept me after all this time.
1 person likes this
@livewyre (2455)
11 Mar 10
Well, I think we agree that the family have behaved oddly, and who knows what their motives were? As for the 'child' I think unless one is in a similar position, we cannot fully understand what impact this would have had. Again it is a personal response to a very personal situation - I have every sympathy with someone in this position and would be happy for them if they can see the positive over the negative - only time will tell if this situation will continue - but better to be happy about it than resentful
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Mar 10
I guess you are right that we can't understand how the "child" is feeling if we were never in that situation. I did try to put myself in this person's place, though, and it made me very angry. I do not think that I would be so forgiving, especially without an apology and proper explanation. I guess that this person just has a better and more positive outlook than I have, because I am sure that I would be bitter about the situation if the tables were turned. I guess that they are just a better and more forgiving person than I am.
1 person likes this
@ifa225 (11092)
• Indonesia
12 Mar 10
I guess time had make them realized that there is no worth to refused, instead to refused, they change their mind to welcome him. or maybe he has a good behavior that make the family loved him. whatever it takes, no matter what the guy is still part of the family, whether he is wrong or right, hatred in a family (or in anywhere) would slowly disappear if we don't hate back someone who hate us.
2 people like this
• United States
14 Mar 10
I think that your statement "hatred in a family (or in anywhere) would slowly disappear if we don't hate back someone who hate us" is a great way to try to live, but I do not think that it necessarily works when a person tries to apply it to his or her daily life. If more people tried to live this way, though, then maybe it really would work. Maybe you are right that it does not really matter why the family denied this child in the first place or why they are now choosing to accept the child. I am just having a hard time understanding, especially when people are trying to force contact with this person without any type of explanation. I do not like to be forced into things in general, and I really do not like it when people try to force me to do things without any seemingly valid reason.
@ifa225 (11092)
• Indonesia
15 Mar 10
well if you won't, then don't push your self. just make a way that would make you comfort. everybody have a different solution to get their problems out. one problems might different way to solve, it all depends on oneself.
• United States
22 Mar 10
I think you have some good advice here, Ifa. If I am not comfortable with the situation before I try to contact this person, then I might seem mean or distrusting or whatever and make them feel unwelcome, which really is not what I want to do at all. Until I can contact this person from a good and accepting place, then I think you are right that I should not do it, because I might accidentally create more of an unwelcome feeling for this person. This child has already been ignored and denied by the family, which I am sure hurt quite a bit. The last thing that I would want to do is add to this person's hurt and insecurity.
@sunnycool (12735)
• India
11 Mar 10
They must have found that the girl is had a big treasure on her name so all they can do is to make her feel at heaven---shower all the love on this earth and then get hold of her property---the girl is still young and hot(sorry---this is my serious response right) so its pretty easy to manipulate a young girl with sweet words.may be the girl isn't aware of all the consequences which happened then there by accepted them taking them granted for good.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Mar 10
I was actually wondering whether or not the child was rich and/or successful and that is why the family now wants to have contact and claim the child as their own. I would not count that out as the family's reason for now acknowledging the child's existence. The child always knew the father, and he was a part of the child's life all along. The child was also aware that the father's family completely denied their existence, which is why I am questioning this person now accepting the family without any anger or negative feelings. I can understand why the child would accept the younger generation, since they did not even know that the child existed. However, the older generation did know and kept it to themselves, which I do not think is a forgivable thing after thirty years, especially when there was not an apology or reason given and nobody is allowed to ask questions or talk about it.
• United States
16 Mar 10
Alice, the family has money, so I do not think that they are trying to rob the child. If the child has come into money or become successful, however, then they would be more likely to accept the child and welcome the child into the family rather like a trophy or a status symbol - kind of like saying "see this person shares my DNA and is rich and successful, so that proves that we are from good stock".
@surfette (674)
• United States
11 Mar 10
Look how the world has changed in the last 30 years. What was considered totally scandalous and hush-hush back then has now become acceptable in today's society. Many people now have children first, then buy a house, get engaged and then married. In the 70's, my husband was stationed in California. I was from the Midwest where an "out of wedlock" child was considered shameful by the parents, friends, family and neighborhood. If it happened, it was a deep, dark secret and no one would even speak of it or pretend it never happened. While we were in California, our neighbors got married when their child turned five and all the neighbors celebrated and we had a big party. I thought to myself that this would have never happened back in my hometown. Time heals and society has changed to be more accepting of the now young adult. The child has always been the victim in these situations and puritanical beliefs override compassion and love. Maybe the family had a change of heart or society allowed them to feel less shamed. Who knows? I've seen shows where adopted children go to great lengths to find their birth parents, even when they have been told that they willingly gave them up. I believe that it's because a missing piece of the puzzle, knowing their roots becomes all important, no matter what the cost to the heart it may be. When it comes to love and family, it can sometimes be mysterious. I just hope that all is well for their family and that time has healed all the wounds. I can only imagine how complex it is for everyone. However, every singe person is different. What I may think or do might be exactly opposite of another person's decision.
• United States
14 Mar 10
You have made a very good point that times have changed since way back then, and having a child out of wedlock was considered as a great scandal in those days. I might actually believe that this was the reason for the family denying the child if the sister of this man did not also have children out of wedlock who were accepted as part of the family and never once denied. I guess that since she was very obviously pregnant and the mother, though, it would be a lot harder to deny her children than it would be to deny the child of the brother. Still, I think that it was not as big a scandal for the fathers as it was for the mothers, so I do not think this is the reason. I could be wrong, though. I guess that I can more understand the child wanting to know the family that denied them than I can understand why the family all of a sudden is basically trying to force everybody to just accept this person and be a big, happy family. It just feels wrong to me. As you said, though, everybody is different and perhaps I am the one that has the wrong perspective on this issue.
@silindaxu (208)
11 Mar 10
It's really tough problem. Maybe the family think the child is well-behaved and hope him be back their bosom. My aunt has 2 daughters, but she always wanted a son. So she adopted new baby boy. But she did it unbeknown to most of people.we saw the baby, my 2 cousins couldn't help bursting into tears. Because they were afraid their mom didn't love them again. I'm angry, too. I didn't understand why my aunt wanted to raise a irrelevant baby. With the time passing, we found the baby was very cute. Everyone began to accept him including my cousins. I liked him, too. Now the baby has grown up to be a man who is 18 years old this year. All of us treat him as a member of the big family now. I think the family you referred may be have the same experience with us. I hope my story can help you find the answer. Good luck!
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Mar 10
Thank you for sharing your story. I actually can understand not only your aunt wanting to adopt but also your cousin's fear that they would be replaced by the new baby. I am very glad that your situation had a happy ending, and the child is now fully accepted and loved as part of the family. Unfortunately, I think that this story is quite different, since the family knew all along that the child existed and was part of the family, but they chose to pretend that the child did not exist. I think you might be right about part of it, though. They might have realized that the child, who is now an adult and probably has a career and children of their own, has become a success and therefore has proven themselves "worthy" to be part of the family. I am not sure whether or not this is true, since I am not sure the exact circumstances of the child at this time as I have not yet tried to contact this person. If I do try to contact this person, I want it to be from a positive place not one of suspicion and distrust.
@Hatley (164081)
• Garden Grove, California
12 Mar 10
hi purple you say she is successful with a career. they may want to use her then in some way,I am really suspicious of this f amily, I think there is an ulterior motive one they may not want anyone to know.
1 person likes this
13 Mar 10
I think you needn't task your mind about the thing. If the child want to come back to the family. She can choose to accept it. If she can't want, she can pretend they don't exist. If she is afraid that they want to use her for their own profit, she can choose not to help them. Good luck.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84257)
• Shingle Springs, California
11 Mar 10
Maybe they are all dying and want to go wherever with a clean conscience. Or somebody talked sense into them. But the child? Well, not exactly a child any more. Some people really have a strong desire to be loved and accepted no matter what. Maybe that's it.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84257)
• Shingle Springs, California
12 Mar 10
Well I certainly hope the explanation isn't that they have a sinister plan for the person!
• United States
16 Mar 10
I hope so, too. I also hope that they are not inviting someone into the family that is more trouble than they are worth, either, although I admit that I am more suspicious of the family than of the child. Still, I like to have as many facts as possible when going into a situation, especially one that has been hidden for so long without any type of explanation.
1 person likes this
@hexeduser22 (6691)
• Philippines
24 Mar 10
I'm an illegitimate child, I was just lucky to have been given a name and loved by my step father. I don't understand the sudden change, maybe because of the child was successful or whatever. As for my case, I have survived without the guidance and love of my biological father so I think I can live without them too. I would appreciate if they accept me but I will tell them to not expect something from me. My biological father has his own family now in Florida and no matter what I wont destroy their family by suddenly appearing in their doorstep one day. Imagine the embarrassment they would have to face and of course I don't want that to happen because it will not fix anything. Anyway let's go back to the topic, In the situation where a child would be thrilled to be finally accepted into the family is when the family is filthy rich. Why did the family had a sudden change of heart? One of the many reason would be they have found out that no one had lived to continue their bloodline and so that child is the only key to solve the problem...Actually I don't know this is such a delicate issue to handle
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Mar 10
You had the love and support of a father when you were growing up, and in my mind anyway, he is the one that is your real father. It sounds like you feel the same way. It is definitely your biological father's loss that he never took the time to get to know you, because he is the one that missed out on knowing such a beautiful person. I think that you have given a good reason for the child being thrilled to be accepted by the family, and you might be right about that one. There are quite a few members of the family that are rich, so perhaps the "child" is hoping to share some of that wealth. I do not know the financial circumstances of the this person, though, so that might not be the case at all. I think that you have also come up with a fabulous reason as to why the family would finally want to accept this person. It is wrong, but I think it is a great explanation nonetheless. The only reason that I say it is wrong, is because the father of this child has many brothers and sisters that have a bunch of children, so there are all kinds of heirs in the family. Therefore, this person is just one of a bunch of cousins. For all we know, the father might even have other children that we have not yet found out about, too. There is another scenario that makes sense to me about why the family would now choose to accept this person, but it would then make your theory about why the child would want to accept the family invalid - that the child has become rich and successful and therefore proven itself to be worthy of being a part of the family.
@gabs8513 (48703)
• United Kingdom
21 Mar 10
Is it possible there was a leader to the denial of the Child? That this leader has now passed and People have seen their error Is it the same age Generation that is now accepting him Is he doing well for himself It could be for any reason at all really, I guess if it is the Generation of his age then they must have realised how stupid it is to keep him a secret As for the Child/Man, he could be doing it for his Dad to cause no Problems for his Dad He could be curious to finally meet the Family or he could be wanting answers to why he was ignored all this time
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Mar 10
Yes, I suspect that there was one particular person that was behind the whole "keeping it a secret" thing as this person continuously tries to control the entire family. The family indulges this person to a point, but they will not support particular things that this person does that cross certain lines. The fact that the father of the child refused to deny the child would make me wonder why his siblings and parents continued to keep the child a secret, though. The older generation (the father's siblings and parents) are the ones that denied the child before and are now trying to force the younger generation to accept the child with open arms and no questions asked. The younger generation never even knew that this child existed, so they can't really be blamed for anything. The older cousins are around the same age as this "child", and a few of them were also born out of wedlock, so I still do not get the secrecy surrounding this child, except that the other cousins were born to the sister rather than a brother. Perhaps it was easier to deny the illegitimate child of a son rather than a daughter? However, since the father never denied the child, I doubt that is the reason, especially since the other children were always accepted as part of the family. Also, that would still not explain why all of a sudden after all these years they are so anxious to welcome this child into the family. I do think that you might be right about the child, though. The "child" might want to get to know the people that had been denying them all this time and perhaps get answers to some questions that I am sure are bothering this person. I wonder whether or not the questions of this "child" have been answered, when we are not allowed to get any answers to our questions. We are not even "allowed" to bring up certain topics with this person, although I know that they really can't stop us from asking.
• United States
20 Mar 10
something really weird about that. i suppose they could have a change of heart,but out of the blue after 30 years.. if i was the child tho,i think i'd tell them to collectively take a hike.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Mar 10
See, that is my thinking, too. I think that after an entire generation has denied my existence for my entire life, I would very graphically tell them what they could do with their attempts to contact me. I guess that I might not feel the same way towards the younger generation, since their parents did not even tell them anything about me, but definitely I would not have anything to do with the older generation and probably would not want anything to do with the younger generation, either, since I had not known them my entire life - they would just be a bunch of strangers to me. I guess that the father might have told the child all about the other members of the family, though, so the child might actually know more about the family than the family knows about the child. The whole change of heart out of the blue after thirty years by the family, though, definitely does not sit well with me. Still no explanation regarding the circumstances or the change of attitude, but we did receive another phone call wanting to know whether or not we had contacted the child (when they obviously knew that we didn't or they would not have called).
@MsTickle (25214)
• Australia
14 Mar 10
I think you would need to know a LOT more about the circumstances before you could start guessing as to the why's and wherefores. If I were writing a script for a soap opera I could probably make up a hundred or so scenarios and maybe with each one hit on a little of a truth.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Mar 10
I agree that we need to know a lot more about the circumstances before doing anything, especially something that is basically being forced down our throats at this point. However, the facts are being withheld, and that is why I am seeking some kind of insight from places other than where the insight should be originating. You are right that there may be a little bit of truth in more than one explanation or there might be more than one reason behind the actions of both the family and the child. Right now I am just looking for even one reason that might seem valid enough for me to accept what has happened and trust that this is something that is for the good of all concerned rather than there being a hidden agenda on one or both sides.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164081)
• Garden Grove, California
12 Mar 10
hi purplealabaster since these same people turned their backs on the child and pretended she did not exist and now make a complete turn'around I have to think theres something rotten in their' denmark as people do not usually change that much all of a sudden.' they did not say they were sorry, did not explain why they had not'accepted that child now they turn on the the welcome wagon. I do' not think so, somethings really fishy here. I think they have some reason other than remorse for this, and probably has to do with money or some such thing.But the child now is surely an adult and as such maybe they have some legal thing in which they need her to be family again,I would if I were the adult child want to know why this sudden switch. I would not trust them at all.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Mar 10
See, that was exactly my thinking, Hatley. People do not just do such a complete about-face in such a short time, especially when the situation was going on for so long. There was no apology and no explanation, but now people that did not even know that this person existed are being pressured into having a relationship with the person. It just does not seem right, and if I were the child I would not trust the situation, either. By the way, Hatley, I really like your new avatar. It is beautiful.
• India
12 Mar 10
i accept this every body trast himself.
• United States
14 Mar 10
I am sorry, but I do not understand what you are saying here. Are you just saying that I should trust that everything is fine and pretend that none of this every happened, and welcome the child as if they have been a part of the family since they were born instead of being hidden away and denied? Are you saying that I should trust myself and go with my gut instinct that there is something really wrong with this situation, and try to stay as far away from it as possible until some questions get answered and I have a better feeling about the situation? Are you saying something completely different that I have not thought of yet? Please explain so that I can better understand and maybe see this from a different perspective.
1 person likes this