DO I tell my son about his biological father?

United States
December 1, 2006 12:58am CST
I got married to a wonderful man last September. He is the greatest thing that has happened to me. I came into the relationship with a three-year-old boy named Jeremiah. Paper work is already in process for Christian to adopt Jeremiah. From the begininng of time I found out I was pregnant jeremiah's biological father wanted nothing to do with and even after Jeremiah was born still wanted nothing to do with him. Jeremiah is now four and the subject about telling him about Michael(Biological father) has come up numerous times. We both have different opinions on this. What do you think?
39 people like this
370 responses
@shadyone2 (129)
• Australia
1 Dec 06
that is a hard question. a friend of mine was adopted at a very early age and she grew up with the knowledge that she was adopted, but also with the knowledge that the ones who adopted her also loved her much more than being the biological parents as she was choosen by them not just given. so what ever you decide to do in the end it will be the right decision for you and your husband and that little boy who now will have a father that loves him.
8 people like this
@YoMomma1 (922)
• United States
1 Dec 06
i would tell him when hes a bit older and can better grasp the notion that he has a father NOW that loves him, and that his real father, just wasnt ready to be responsible. what will you do if a few years down the line, the real father wants to be a part of your sons life? and has he signed over all parental rights?
• Philippines
1 Dec 06
yes, i think that you should wait till you son was a better grasp of the situation. and it is important that he feels loved so that when the time comes that you do tell him about his biological father, it would not matter too much to him. but he may want to get to know his father someday. but that decision will be up to him. i think that it is his right to know the truth about his parentage.
• United States
1 Dec 06
I agree you have to tell him but only do it when he is old enough to handle it...
@staacys (121)
• United States
1 Dec 06
A father is someone who loves, nutures, supports and is there for the child regardless of genetics. If Christian loves and cares for Jeremiah, theres no need to mention Michael. Perhaps when Jeremiah is 18 you can tell him and let him choose if he wants his biological father in his life. One of my favorite movie quotes comes from the movie Parenthood. Keanu Reeves character says "you have to have a license to fish, or drive a car, even your dog has to have a license, but anybody can have a child." You are very lucky to have Christian in your life. He sounds like a wonderful man, hold on to him.
8 people like this
@sanell (2113)
• United States
1 Dec 06
Well, I think that Jeremiah has a right to know who his biological father is but that he must also know that his bio father has no interest in him at this time. It would be any question posed from any adopted child as well. My sister was adopted, and she knew that she did not belong to her adoptive parents before they even told her that she was adopted (She found us ten years ago)... She said she knew that by the time she was 4 she knew she was adopted...mostly because she was very dark, and her family were all very light and blonde. Her adoptive mother is the nicest lady in the world and she and my mom have talked and hugged and cried together about my sister. so It was definitely an amazing thing to find out...
@Kackie3 (345)
• United States
1 Dec 06
I also think that he should be told and expained to, about his father. It is always good to be upfront with your child, that way they will always trust what you say. If you keep the truth from him he may find out someday, by chance and not have faith in what you say anymore.
@Jestin (560)
• Philippines
1 Dec 06
I agree that she should tell the kid but I guess she should not tell him that his biological father has no interest in him. It will make the child think that there's something wrong with him that's why his father is not interested in him at all. Maybe she can tell him that his father is not ready so he will know it's not his fault.
• Netherlands
1 Dec 06
I agree that if you tell the child that his biological father doesn't want him it will probably make him think there is something wrong with him. I try to put myself in that position and can't help but think that I wouldn't want to hear that at that age. I would put off the explainations for when he is older and can process that information. However, I would let him know now that the new daddy is not his biological daddy. This way he never feels lied to and the story behind it can be discovered later.
3 people like this
• United States
1 Dec 06
He has a right to know. There may be genetic or health reasons he will need to know later on. But more importantly, he needs to know he can trust his mother. If you are not honest about the biology, he will never trust you about anything ever again. And parents who wait until the child is "old enough" are making a mistake. When you do that, you eventually reach a point where you have to admit to your child you've been lying to him about something huge. If you just matter-of-factly tell him the facts from the beginning, he will accept it much more easily, and won't have any problem knowing who his real dad is (and by that I mean the man who cares enough to raise him). Having some big dramatic revelation down the line will be a bad thing and a shock to his system. If he knows about it before he's even old enough to understand it, it won't be a big deal.
@medooley (1874)
• United States
1 Dec 06
You make a very valid arguement. Good work I guess you don't have to go into details. Just let him know, and answer any questions that he may have truthfully.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Dec 06
Exactly! And I don't think it should be a big dramatic event where he's sat down and The News is presented with wide eyes and fretting. It should just be mentioned occasionally in everyday conversation as if it's no big deal. That will reassure him, especially if, at the same time, he is constantly being told and showed how loved he is. Care has to be taken to always talk about it in such a way that he will not blame himself or feel that anything was his fault. If he shows any signs of being worried or upset, mom should be sensitive to that and open to discussing it. But in my experience, if the child knows the mother is being honest, he will be OK with getting more and more information gradually. And you don't risk the resentment and anger that always comes from being lied to.
2 people like this
@Tejass (108)
• India
1 Dec 06
there is nothing wrong in telling ur son abt that..but u do this after he bcomes mature enough to understand...a 4 yr old boy cant undersatnd the relations ..i guess ...rather he ld be confused!!!
3 people like this
• India
1 Dec 06
Yes, I agree with above response. I think It is not right time to tell him the reality because he is not so enough mature to understand the relations, but you have to prepare yourself to tell the truth when he matures or he would able to understand. You consult his biological father too.Also, you should not stop him to met his son.
@psy978 (48)
• Australia
1 Dec 06
I believe you should tell him he is a lucky boy to have two fathers. He has Christian who is one father that lives with him and loves him and would do anything for him. The second father called Michael lives far away and wants to meet him when he is a man. Maybe tell him that both Daddys' love him very much but only one Daddy can live with him and that Michael wants Christian to be the Daddy because he can't be there.
2 people like this
• United States
1 Dec 06
I really appericate you comment but if I tell my son this I would be lying to him. Michael wants nothing to do with Jeremiah. He told me that from day one. Michael doesn't love Jeremiah!!!
• United States
1 Dec 06
"I really appericate you comment but if I tell my son this I would be lying to him. Michael wants nothing to do with Jeremiah. He told me that from day one. Michael doesn't love Jeremiah!!!" I can understand your desire and need NOT to lie to him but is the truth so important to you that you would actually say this to the child? What happens if the bio. father realizes one day that he made a mistake and wants to meet him? Do you think that LOVE is something that must always have been there or never will be? This is a very complicated decision for you but before you say anything that will be held against you,(remember kids have memories like elephants), consider the future and the infamous "what if" scenarios. Good Luck!
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Dec 06
Anyone can be a father but few can be a daddy. It sounds to me like you have a daddy in Christian. Michael was merely a sperm donor. Tell Jeremiah when he's old enough to undestand.
• Philippines
1 Dec 06
i suggest you tell your son about his real dad. my friend learned about her real mom when she was already in high school. prior to that, she had great relationship with her foster mother but after she learned that truth, she became rebellious and started treating her badly. eventually she ran away and tried to locate her real mom. but when she finally found her, the mom didnt wnat anything to do with her. when your son is much much older, it will be difficult how to approach the subject already. And also, what if all of a sudden, the real dad shows up and wants to see his son? It could happen you know. Tell him now before it's too late.
• United States
1 Dec 06
Michael has no rights to Jeremiah. Michael has never asked to see his child ever. At one time he said he would only if I wasn't part of Jeremiah's life. But NC always sides with the mother! Michael I know for a matter of fact doesn't want anything to do with J!
@JC1969 (1226)
• United States
1 Dec 06
I would say that you should be open to the possibility of telling your son about his bio-father at some point. He may be too young to deal with it now or even comprehend it, but he may gradually start having some awarenesses as he gets older and making those connections, and you will have to be ready to answer them. I have a friend who has this same situation. Her daughter was 3 when she met and married a wonderful man who then adopted her daughter, and the bio-father didn't want anything to do with her. They eventually went on to have more kids, and her oldest began to question things like why she didn't look like any of them. My friend was always honest with her about the situation, without badmouthing the bio-father for his choice. I say, just be open to the eventual questions, and don't hide the fact from your son--be honest. He will grow up and realize that it takes more then genetics to make a father. The last thing you want is for your son to find out by accident about having a bio-father. Again, honesty is the best policy. You don't have to say your bio-father didn't want anything to do with you, but be tactful. As for my friend, her daughter eventually got to the age where she was soul searching her identity and she needed to know and meet her bio-father. The experience was good for her, because she got to learn about him and make her own mind up about him--and she eventually drew her own conclusion that her bio-father is worthless, which was better for her to do on her own then have mom badmouth him to her. Now, she appreciates her "real dad" even more.
• United States
1 Dec 06
Thank you. You have really helped me on this. I am sitting here and listening to my son and thinking that Michael is a bad person, but he gave me one of the most precious things in my life so I can't be too upset with him. Yeah he may have been rude and mean to me after I got pregnant but he did help make Jeremiah.
@baysmummy (1638)
• Australia
1 Dec 06
I am in a similar position to yours, i have a 4 year old boy named bayley, and he calls my fiance matt although he see's him as his dad, Matt is not his dad but his biologcal father has chosen to have nothing to do with him, Matt and i are planning to get married September next year and he will adopt my son But i still feel that your son along with mine have to be told the truth about it all and i have already started telling my son about it! I wish you luck!
2 people like this
• United States
1 Dec 06
Jeremiah calls my husband daddy. I love hearing those words come out of his mouth. I want to tell him, but right now I really think he is too young to understand. Thanks for your thoughts
@kittykatzz (1132)
• United States
1 Dec 06
i absolutely agree that you should tell him. when you feel he is old enough to understand.. probably not at 4 but maye soon over the next couple of years.. i would say alot of the time by 4th or 5th grade they know enough from what they learn in class (through science and such) that they may be able to figure it out on their own.. and that is worse.. because he may feel betrayed.. that could make for a difficult teenage period if he is to lose his trust in you right before the typical "rebellious" stage moves in! he is your son and you know him best.. you shouldnt hide it from him.. but rather explain that you did IN TRUTH what was best for him!.. and a FATHER is someone who raises a child any one can HAVE a child. that doesnt make it theirs.. be honest with him .. when he is old enough.. his father is whos been there all along.. but make sure that if he says that he wants to meet him.. tell him you would only like for that to happen when he is of adult age (or close 16+) for his own wellbeing.. that he make not like the type of person that his biological father is and you dont want it to affect the "man" he is becoming.. you'd like him to wait till he is a grown man and is able to judge for himself if he'dlike to consider a relationship with a man who never persued a relationship with him.
2 people like this
• India
1 Dec 06
i think u shuld knw what to do, u shuld knw whether he is strong enough to knw such a fact, but if he is not ready, he will probably take it the wrong way, and his life will get messed up, u should tell 'em when the time is right, its the best thing for everybody!!!
@Khangura (924)
• Canada
1 Dec 06
i believe that u should tell him when hes mature enough to understand. Who knows how he might feel at a younger age, i dotn think we want to know. It may be a very heavy blow that he cant take. When older like 18,20ish he will be able to tank this blow and understand the whole concept. Like how u didnt leave him he actually left u so thats a good part of it. He will be alot better and u kno itll take alot of stress off ur own shoulder too. Ive never had this experience but a friend of a friend of a friend of mine has. Trust me ull feel alot more chilled out when u tell him. Itll feel like u both have got that much closer, not saying that u arent close alrdy. But i mean the closer the better!
1 person likes this
@Daoussis (460)
• Canada
1 Dec 06
yes, but then he'll realise that you have just lied to him from day one. if u tell him it must me at a young age where he realises it, or do not tell him at all
• United States
1 Dec 06
It will not be a blow at all if it is something he's heard about all his life. If you wait, he'll be going along blissfully unaware and then will have the rug pulled out from under him at the very same time that he learns he can't trust his mother. He will have serious trust issues for the rest of his life. I don't know why so many people are saying wait until he can understand. That is the worst possible thing you can do. Take advantage of this time that he doesn't understand to break it to him without pain. The understanding will come later, and it will not be nearly as painful because it will not be a surprise. BTW, I have lots of adopted relatives including a brother, nieces, nephews, cousins. My family knows adoption. You do not lie to them and then spring it on them unless you want serious problems down the road.
• United States
1 Dec 06
I really appreciate this advice.... I will definately take it to heart!
• South Africa
1 Dec 06
I would tell him a later age,when he is 18 or 21 and when he will understand better why you did it. Good luck
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Dec 06
I understand wanting to wait until he is older to break the news to him. But waiting "too long" can build resentment in the child, after he's old enough. Besides, by 18 or 21, he will have already realized that his last name is different from everyone else's in the home. My son is almost 8 years old. He realizes his last name is different, however he has yet to ask about it.
@no1biz (262)
• Sweden
1 Dec 06
This is a difficult question. I feel about it this way though... A child should always be aware of its roots, also if the parents don't live together anymore. Even if the (in this case) father doesn't want any contact. However, a real parent is the one taking care of the child and supporting it during its growing up years. I'm an adopted child myself so I know what I'm talking about. I'm fully aware of my biological parents, but the ones I consider as my parents are the people who've been by my side through all the years. Just my 2 cents...
@no1biz (262)
• Sweden
1 Dec 06
I forgot to write that I think he's still too young to know though. Me myself was 11 y.o. when I got the information. A few years before the teenage period would probably be a good timing.
1 person likes this
@divir_vij (1591)
• India
1 Dec 06
My sympathy is with you and your son but i think its better you tell him now and prepare him for the worst before its too late. Also one day there is 99% chances that he'll get to know about it.
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48703)
• United Kingdom
1 Dec 06
Yes i think you need to as I do not know my Father and my Mum still refuses to tell me his name I am now 45 I have a Disability and I can not tell my Doctor if it was in my Dads Family or not as I have no clue who he is and what the History is there Out of Experience I will say let him know as it is not nice not knowing anything and it does cause Problems later on in Life so please tell him
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Dec 06
Im sorry you don't know who your biological father is. Before I got married Jeremiah asked who is father was. I explained to him that GOD was. It says in the BIBLE that God is the Father of the Fatherless. God is all our Father. You just have to put your faith in Him. Hand you life over to Him and He will help take away your pains. If you need to talk. Im here!
@rms2727 (815)
• India
1 Dec 06
i guess he is too young to understand the arrogance he will face from his father if he meets him. try building stories to keep him convinced but dont spill the beans till he is at least 10 years. you know these things can have a grave psycoliogical effect on the child so let him enjoy his childhood for now. and dont feel bad if you have to tell him lies because you are doing it all for his benefit, and when you finally decide to let the facts out do it gradually
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Dec 06
I am really frighten about waiting so long to tell him. I was ten when my mom told me that my father wasn't my real father and that my biological father didn't want nothing to do with me. Im just afraid that if I wait too long that someone will tell Jeremiah before me and then he will resent me or be very upset with me!
@wvchell78 (564)
• United States
6 Dec 06
I think if the biological father does not want anything to do with him I would wait until he is older to explain. I also want to say I think it is wonderful that your husband is adopting your son. In his eyes he probably feels that he is the only father your son will ever have or need. This is the way my husbands adopted father feels. My husband found out he was adopted at 11 years old. At that time he met his biological mother. It was not until he turned 21 that his mother told him his biological fathers name and gave him a picture. We have tried to locate his biological father but have been unable to do so. My husband is just curious about him but unsure of what his reaction will be as he does not know my husband exists.
@daehtop (118)
• United States
6 Dec 06
I think that you should tell him about his father! I know it seems best not to tell him because his father is not there for him or anything but you should still tell him. If your son gets older and finds out himself or by somebody else it would hurt him very badly. I don't know if you are planning to tell him that the other guy is his dad or not. I think that if you are this is how you should do it........ I think you should tell your son from the start that his real daddy isn't a part of his life because he is not smart but that this guy your with now is gonna adopt him and be his step dad. I hope that your son will understand if you tell him this! Believe me I have seen this get hidden from a child before and its not pretty. You should just start off being honest with your child so there aren't any surprises. You never know when the other guy will pop back up into your life.
@cherhost (1072)
• United States
5 Dec 06
I do not think you should hide it from him... but he is so young that he may have a hard time understanding. Waiting until he is 18 can lead to some problems... you know the finding him and the rebeling thing. So just be open and honest with him when he is able to understand better. Make sure that he knows that Christian is his Dad, but Micheal is his father. Anyone can be a father but it takes something special to be a dad!
1 person likes this