AIBU to think MIL should leave it to SIL to decide

(79 Posts)
numbum Tue 13-Aug-13 23:15:09

Posting on behalf of SIL!

SIL has a 16 year old DS. The man he thinks is his father isn't in fact his father.

She had an affair, got pregnant at 15 but the man didn't want to know and went back to his pregnant wife!

So DNephew has a half sister he doesn't know about and the person he thinks is his dad actually isn't.

The real father got in touch when DN was 6 months old and said he wanted to be involved but SIL told him she wasn't interested and that DN would never know anything about him.

However, MIL is now pushing for SIL to tell DN about his real dad and has threatened to contact the real dad (via FB where she's found him)

I know it's none of my business and I wont get involved or give my own opinion but SIL has asked me to post on here. Does anyone have experience of this?

YouTheCat Tue 13-Aug-13 23:18:59

I think it's actually very unfair on her ds that this is being kept from him. He's almost an adult.

Is your sil still with the man who her ds thinks is his dad?

justmyview Tue 13-Aug-13 23:19:59

It's a very difficult issue. I think generally the advice nowadays is to be fairly open and honest from early on. Eventually, your DN will find out somehow and he may feel that he's been betrayed if everyone else knew the truth and it was kept from him

Might be worth trying to get advice from a child psychologist who could suggest how best to approach it

This might help -'s_stages_of_psychosocial_development

Deemail Tue 13-Aug-13 23:21:10

Your sil needs to text her son the truth, she should havedone sooner and she should have allowed his father to play a role in his life. I feel so sorry for this boy.

numbum Tue 13-Aug-13 23:21:34

Yes she's been with the man her DS thinks is her dad since her DS was a year old so he doesn't know any different. They're now married and have 2 other children and one on the way.

Can I just say SIL is sat with me and she knows I wont give my opinion on any of this because I never have done!

Littlefish Tue 13-Aug-13 23:21:42

Whether of not your SIL wants your DN to have contact with his father or not, I firmly believe he has a right to know who his father is. I believe it is dishonest in the extreme to allow your DN to believe that someone else is is father.

Your MIL should not need to interfere.

What your SIL is doing is wrong.

WorraLiberty Tue 13-Aug-13 23:22:46

I can't believe she's kept something from him that would have been so simple to explain right from the start.

You're not BU to think your MIL should leave it to SIL

But SIL needs to explain what happened and also admit that she prevented her son from having contact with his father.

Perhaps it's that bit she's dreading telling him.

Either way he's going to find out and no doubt it'll end in tears all round sad

Littlefish Tue 13-Aug-13 23:23:04

Sorry - lots of typos!

YouTheCat Tue 13-Aug-13 23:23:19

What if he needs to know his family's medical history in the future?

WorraLiberty Tue 13-Aug-13 23:23:22

Can I just say SIL is sat with me and she knows I wont give my opinion on any of this because I never have done!

Well perhaps you should....

Deemail Tue 13-Aug-13 23:26:51

Needs to tell her son not text.

numbum Tue 13-Aug-13 23:27:55

Either way he's going to find out and no doubt it'll end in tears all round sad

That's exactly how I feel and she knows that!

Her son has the right to know who his Dad is. How would she feel if she found out her Dad wasn't her real Dad? Gutted, presumably. Would it be more gutting to find out from him, or a family friend at 25, or to be told by his mother in a controlled way. Both will hurt, but one will be a lot less painful. He will find out, because others know and that means it will be known.

Besides, who gives anyone right to play God. OK she's his mother and has the right to stop him drinking, not let him drive her car etc but not telling her son who his real Dad is awful. I am sure she has her reasons and of course she loves and cares for her husband and perhaps the biological father would've been a rubbish Dad and may still well be, but he still has the right to know and make the decision of whether he wants to get to know him himself or not.

For what it's worth though I doubt she'll change her mind. There is a reason in her mind why she hasn't told her son and I doubt that's going to change because a few strangers online say she's wrong. I'm sure she already knows it's wrong, but feels comfortable with the family dynamic and I don't blame her for that. But it's got to be about the rights of your son and he deserves to know the truth.

WestieMamma Tue 13-Aug-13 23:29:57

This is going to be awful for her son and the longer she leaves it, the worse it's going to be. The backlash is going to be terrible. There's no easy way out of this situation anymore. I can't get my head around how someone could ever think keeping this from him was a wise thing to do.

My mum kept certain information of a similar nature hidden from me. When the truth eventually came out, which it always will, I reacted by cutting her out of my life for years and our relationship has never fully recovered. It wasn't what she was keeping from, it was the fact that she had deceived me my entire life. She had utterly betrayed my trust.

Gruntfuttocks Tue 13-Aug-13 23:30:40

I dare say SIL would have told her DS the truth in her own good time (maybe when he's 18?) and it's unfair of MIL to start behaving in this way. If she had said "I've found him on FB, do you think it's time we told DS the truth" that might have been a better way of handling it, but she is being very manipulative. I think SIL should tell MIL very firmly to back off and she will tell DS when the time is right, not when MIL thinks she should. DS is likely to be very unsettled by this news, and it needs to be timed sensitively - after all, there is about to be another new arrival, which is going to be enough of an event for now, surely? Why is MIL being so insistent? Is she always so controlling?

WorraLiberty Tue 13-Aug-13 23:32:02

I know it's none of my business and I wont get involved or give my own opinion but SIL has asked me to post on here. Does anyone have experience of this?

What is it, specifically that your SIL wants to know?

Is she looking at ways of telling him or ways to keep MIL quiet?

Or ways to handle her son's reaction and possible contact with his hidden family?

ENormaSnob Tue 13-Aug-13 23:33:07

What westiemama said.

Sil, you are out of order. You need to do the right thing by your son.

Grunt By the sounds of things SIL isn't planning to tell her DS at all, which surely isn't right?

I agree though her Mum shouldn't interfere but then again she shouldn't be in the position in the first place that she has to. She obviously has some moral fibre and believes that her grandson deserves to know the truth and she's right.

But it should not be her that tells him. But she should explain and make it known to her daughter that what she has done isn't helpful and that she should respect her sons right to know who his father is.

But yes definitely not a good idea Mum telling him. That'd upset him more, cause a whole load of resentment and probably not be put right, no matter the good intentions from MIL.

Featherbag Tue 13-Aug-13 23:34:15

Is it just me sat here wondering what a man old enough to have a pregnant wife was doing having sex with a 15 year old?

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Tue 13-Aug-13 23:36:30

Mil should leave it to your sil to decide, but that's out of your sil's control - the mil either will or won't but it'd be better to tell him first before she gets a chance to

Your sil should tell him anyway though,lying to him all these years is a cruel and horrible thing to do- if it's always been known then children take family dynamics into their stride but finding out later on can be really traumatic for them

WorraLiberty Tue 13-Aug-13 23:37:44

No Featherbag I'm sure we're all wondering that

But the past is the past

MammaTJ Tue 13-Aug-13 23:37:49

A friends DD had this. The friend had had her, then split with her Dad, then met her now DH.

When the DD was 13 a mutual friend of Mum and Real Dad was threatening to tell her who her real Dad was. She had two younger brother through mum and two younger brothers through Real Dad.

I advised them to tell her the truth before someone else did. The trouble with secrets is if more than one person knows it can never be guaranteed to remain secret.

They told her and she was more interested in meeting her 'new' brothers than her Dad, but he came as part of the package.

I would advise the same here, tell him before someone else does it. They are more likely to do it a malicious way and that will cause a lot of upset and resentment. If he is told gently and properly by his mum and the man he knows as dad, then he may well deal with it better.

either that or build a new patio with MIL underneath it

mynewpassion Tue 13-Aug-13 23:38:04

featherbag you are not alone.

quoteunquote Tue 13-Aug-13 23:39:58

Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead,

He has a right to know, and the longer you keep this information from him the angrier he will be.

one of my first post on MN was answering a thread a bit like this,

twenty odd years ago a friend was in a similar situation as your SiL and used a similar decision process, nearly two decades later, at a mini festival/party I looked up and noticed two teens, a friend's son and another's daughter, getting on rather well, and pennies started to drop as they wandered off together, a friend and I intervened, and another friend went to find various parents, both of which had a lot of explaining to do, they shared the same dad, something that had been swept under the carpet many moons before either were born (a few months apart), The information would of been better received in less pressing circumstances.

It is not fair that other people know vital information about him that he does not, if his biological father died tomorrow you will have denied him the choices that are only his to make.

There are not many people who would not want to know their personal history.

Be brave and tell him.

MIL needs to butt the fuck out of SIL's life and stay out. Yes, DS should be told, but at a time of SIL's choosing, not MIL's. It might well have been better had DS always known, but he didn't and it's done now. Is 16 a good time for the revelation to be made? Probably not, it could put DS into a tailspin. 18 might be better, post-exams and hormones settling down, better able to see the shades of grey of adulthood rather than the black&white of childhood.

McNewPants2013 Tue 13-Aug-13 23:42:09

DH was told his father wasn't his biological father when he was 16, it left him with alot of trust issues. It was a drunk family member who told him

When I met him his relationship will his mum was very strained, but with my help has dramatically improved.

My advice would be to tell him the truth ( not you his mum)

numbum Tue 13-Aug-13 23:43:32

OK SIL has gone home. Like I said, she's pregnant again and I think that's why this is playing on her mind more than normal.

I did tell her, once she'd left via text, I would say what I had to say. She refuses to sign up to MN so I don't know how she'll react!

My personal opinion is that she should have told him years ago. I told her that when the real dad got in touch the first time, I told her again when DN was 3. That time she told DN that 'X wasn't really his dad'. DN got down from the table and picked up a biscuit completely ignoring what his mum had told him. As far as she's concerned, that was enough and she's told him the truth.

I honestly don't think MIL will contact the dad but think she's frustrated because SIL wont face her responsibilities. But then I can understand why SIL is worried about being honest.

I guess SIL is worried about DN's reaction. IMO, the longer she leaves it the more she's going to push her son away sad

quoteunquote Tue 13-Aug-13 23:44:16

Sorry wrote that and went off to do stuff, came back and press post, without refreshing.

If your mother in law now feels very uncomfortable lying to her grandson, it is a bit mean to keep putting her in that position.

He will find it hard to trust anyone if you allow this continue.

Viviennemary Tue 13-Aug-13 23:45:47

In hindsight it would have been much better that he had been told years ago. But he hasn't been. I think your sil must be left to decide what is best for her own son at this stage of his life. Your mil should absolutely not get involved using fb of all things and should absolutely not be making theats.

WorraLiberty Tue 13-Aug-13 23:47:21

Fucking hell

That's two people now who have suggested waiting even longer until the poor boy is 18???

He should have been told as soon as he was old enough to understand

He also should have been afforded the right to contact with his father all his life.

OK none of that happened and you can't change the past

But tagging another 2 years onto this?


The longer this goes on, the more his mother and the man he calls dad (and rightly so, because he's raised him) risk him voting with his feet.

As it is, he's bound to be confused, angry, hurt and possibly furious when he learns his father wanted contact but was denied.

But holding off for another 2 years is likely to make things worse (if that's even possible).

WorraLiberty Tue 13-Aug-13 23:51:30

I did tell her, once she'd left via text, I would say what I had to say.


That's even weirder than spending 16 years lying to your own child and denying him contact with his own family confused

If you two can't talk face to face, why on earth has she asked you to start a thread on a forum she refuses to sign up to?

<< Seriously confused here >>

numbum Tue 13-Aug-13 23:52:46

I agree with you worra (sorry L!)

And I said the same to DH when DN was 12, 13, 14....the longer they leave it the more likely he is to bugger off and decide to live with his real dad (I have no doubt his dad has told the other family about him).

DH has also decided not to get involved. I guess that's just that their family way of doing things. It frustrates me beyond words

numbum Tue 13-Aug-13 23:56:24

She wont listen to me face to face Worra! I tried years before and I know she thinks she's done the right thing. She's having doubts now though hence her bringing it up tonight

I'm sure she will read all of this but she wont comment on anything any of you have to say to me and it'll all be swept under the carpet unless someone says that one thing to persuade her otherwise (I wish I knew what that was!)

WorraLiberty Wed 14-Aug-13 00:06:01

Well to be honest I don't think anyone here is going to persuade her otherwise OP.

My guess is that he's going to find out from someone...maybe not even MIL but possibly his own Dad and siblings will find him on FB for example.

If that happens he's going to be devastated and feeling extremely alone.

Totally unsupported by his own mother and the man he knows as his father.

The two most loved and trusted people in his life are the ones he really can't trust, as they've let him down so badly.

I'm not sure what your SIL wants from all of this but she sounds so stubborn, I'm beginning to see why the MIL is threatening to blow the whistle (NOT that I agree she should).

But I imagine MIL is feeling extremely frustrated, having to stand by and watch the web of lies all throughout her grandson's life.

numbum Wed 14-Aug-13 00:09:41

Everything you said is how I feel worra.

I've felt frustrated for years, leaving it until he was 16 felt like too much, leaving it until he's 18? Way too much and completely crushing IMO

I truly hope she reads this and realises that she needs to act now.

McNewPants2013 Wed 14-Aug-13 00:12:18

What will take for her son to be told the truth.

Hopasholic Wed 14-Aug-13 00:12:18

What does it say on his birth certificate?

What happens when he needs a passport?

What about his blood group?

What about any hereditary illnesses?

What about his unknown grandparents?

What happens when he wants DC's of his own and he only knows half of his own biological make up.

He will NEVER forgive her if he finds out via a 3rd party, which, one day he most definitely will.

This is madness.

numbum Wed 14-Aug-13 00:14:32

The dad isn't on the certificate and he's always (obviously at his age) let his mum sort out his passport. I've not thought of that you need your birth certificate to update your passport?

I have no idea about the other stuff sad

Funghoul Wed 14-Aug-13 00:18:05

I read a similar story in a magazine recently. The daughter wanted her birth certificate for a passport or something, mum kept putting it off, daughter persisted, mum eventually had to confess all, and daughter felt the continued betrayal was the worst part of the whole thing.

Sil might put it off but what happens if he hits 18, wants a lads holiday and needs a new passport? Or needs his birth certificate for something else?

kali110 Wed 14-Aug-13 00:20:31

I feel so sorry for the lad.he should have had it explained to him properly not the way she did it just so she can say she told him. The fact he has half siblings, if they know about him they may contact him. The longer it goes on the worse its going to be. Everyone saying its up to sil when the time is right, the time will never be right for her. I had a big secret kept from me, i found out when i was 13, i never got over it and it effects me still.
Im sure sil thought she was doing what was best but I'm shocked by fact she said the dad tried to make contact but she refused. I don't think that is going to go down well. I don't think that was right.
If this poor kid isn't told and finds out another way he is going to feel so betrayed. He may never forgive the sil just for keeping it a secret for so long.

MrsMook Wed 14-Aug-13 00:35:35

He needs to know as soon as possible.

My father's identity wasn't a secret, but my mother blocked an opportunity to meet my paternal family as I was approaching 16.

For years I respected her wishes. I felt an idiot everytime I had to answer questions about my family's health as all I could say to the Dr/Optician/Dentist was "don't know". Another chance came up over a decade later and I finally met my family and those missing parts of me were filled. Where I differ from my maternal family, there is reassurance to know I take after my paternal family. I fit.

I know it's a different situation, but my mother's stance has strained our relationship (there's other issues, but this is a biggie) My problem is she has failed to recognise and understand some very deep needs I have about my own idenity and self.

This situation is worse. It can't be brushed under the carpet forever. She will never find the "right time". It could easily be blown into the open by a person that knows or a genetic health condition. That could permanently destroy her relationship with him. The quicker and more open she is, the more she limits the damage.

McNewPants2013 Wed 14-Aug-13 00:43:18

Funghoul it was in the sun on Sunday mag

MrsMook Wed 14-Aug-13 00:43:53

I can understand that at the time she was a very young, vulnerable person. Her dishonesty and secrecy was wrong and selfish, but I can understand it.

Despite my conflict with my mother I can understand that on this issue, she's never advanced beyond being a wounded teenager. I understand her fear of a double rejection of me as well as her first rejection. But the choices she made were not right for my needs.

This is the best chance to put things in the right direction.

Had my family spun me a web of lies about my parentage, I would be worrying about a premature death like my "dads". I can grieve for my "dad", but at least I don't have false hopes and fears about my potential genetic tendencies.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 14-Aug-13 01:15:57

I'm not shocked she refused the mans involvement. She was a 15 year old child being messed about with by an older adult man ( assuming he wasn't married and expecting a baby at 17) who clearly is not a decent human being(decent humans don't have sex with children) quite aside from him being married and expecting a baby with his wife.

It was not 'an affair' it was an actual crime one he could have gone to prison for.

But she made a shocking choice not to be open with her child mainly because it would have been much easier the younger he was and he has a right to know.

its not her mothers decision nor is it her mothers place to tell and threatening to do so is controling manipulative and wrong but she probaly will carry out the threat because people who threaten stuff like that tend to love the drama of a good fall out.

And you can bet when she does tell she won't be sensitive or tactful so its best you pip her to the post.

MrsHoarder Wed 14-Aug-13 01:19:48

She needs to tell him.

Too many people know for her to have any hope of him never finding out, leaving aside the ethics and risk of unknown half-siblings.

NatashaBee Wed 14-Aug-13 02:09:41

At some point he's going to need his birth certificate and he'll find out. What does SIL think will happen then?

QOD Wed 14-Aug-13 02:28:28

First off, don't use the term real father. Birth father is more factual and true. His real father is the one who has brought him up

Its a bit like adoption/surrogacy in as that the step father he's with now is his real father.

She should have told him from when he was small and It probably wouldn't have mattered, but now, just the truth needs out

My friend has 4 boys, her oldest got a Facebook message saying "hey I'm your brother" last year. Enormous upset

NatashaBee Wed 14-Aug-13 02:34:27

Was he actually related, QOD? Or just an error?

sweetmelissa Wed 14-Aug-13 03:30:27

I assume that your DN has a half brother of approx. the same age as himself, that may well know all about him. Even if the biological father does not contact your DN, it is very likely that the half brother will come looking for his half brother. And in these days of facebook and so much information available online, it is very likely that he will find him quite easily.

The boys are 16 now. I would suggest she can't leave it any longer and must tell him now. There will no doubt be huge emotional distress, but that had got to be better than the even bigger distress if someone from his father's family contacts him unexpectedly. Would your DN then ever forgive his mother for not telling him herself - maybe not?

I have to say I find it terrible that so many people know this "secret" apart from the boy himself. As an adoptive mother I told my children as soon as they could understand and that was difficult for them...I cannot even envisage how much upset I would have caused them had I left it until their teens.

Sorry, I feel your SIL has made a terrible mistake. It's damage limitation now, but she has to tell him NOW as someone else most certainly will.

QOD Wed 14-Aug-13 03:30:41

Yup. 19 yrs old and the right moment to tell him never came up, he was away at uni and they got a hysterical call. All is ok now, but is it really?

My cousin was adopted and wasn't told until she was a teenager. Even then, I don't think she'd have been told until much later if she hadn't needed her BC.

Shit hit the fan and she went off the rails, lots of poor behaviour and yes, sleeping around. She ended up in an abusive marriage that took quite a while to get out of. Took a long time for her to settle down. She's nearly 50 now, so it's affected her whole life.

Things are fine now, but she did tell me once that finding out she wasn't who she thought she was had been like pulling a rug out from under your feet. It massively affected her sense of identity.

Your SIL's son needs to know. Her reasons for keeping it from her son are now no longer as important as his right to know the truth.

They need to tell him, and ASAP.

By not telling him your SIL is making it all about her, and her feelings. It's not about her anymore. He has a right to know.

I agree with Sockreturningpixie 100%.

she should have told him, but it's not for your mil to decide she should now.

if they live in the same area then it may be important to tell him just for the sister. a friend has been traumatised by how she discovered she had a half brother, especially as she had been dating him for a month or so (thankfully they didn't go that far, and her step mum leapt in pretty damn quick once she realised who the new bf was).

LouiseAderyn Wed 14-Aug-13 08:15:49

I agree with sockreturningpixie 100% too.

I think she is going to have to tell him, just in case he hears about it from someone else, but I think mil is way over the line with threatening to tell him against sil's wishes and of this was my mother, it would threaten our future relationship.

This man was an abuser and I wouldn't have allowed him anywhere near my son either.

When sil does tell him, she should include the fact that they did discuss it when he was younger, but he wasn't ready to hear it and she didn't want to cause distress to him by raising it again at the wrong time. Also she needs to stress that being a dad is being the person who loves and brings you up and this other man wasn't that. It will be easy for other man to say he would have done all that, but this is a man who cheated on a pg wife with an underage girl - not the best person to believe.

Your sil made the very best decision that she could at the time - who knew Facebook would come along and fuck everything up for a lot of people.

If she handles it carefully, it will be okay, I think. But I wouldn't forgive my mother for forcing this.

WhenToGo Wed 14-Aug-13 09:06:07

She has to tell him soon. There will be no easy time, the opportunity for that is long gone. He has a right to know and he ought to be told by his mother.

Mil is right to raise and press the issue, but would be wrong to tell him herself.

movingonandup Wed 14-Aug-13 09:13:29

Agree with everyone else.
It isn't for MIL to tell him but SIL must.
There is no way this will stay a secret as he approaches adulthood and if he finds out from somebody else his whole world will come crashing down.
As it is, it will be a massive shock but at least if SIL is the one to break the news she can gently answer questions, reassure him and help him come to terms with it.

The worst possible outcome would be he finds out elsewhere then finds out all of you know as well (and therefore in his mind also lied) - it could throw into doubt his relationship with everyone he trusts. She really does have to tell him and as soon as possible.

Nearlygran1 Sat 17-Aug-13 18:03:56

Been watching here for days. Have been reluctant to post. But here goes - My dearest, most longstanding friend found out her much loved Dad wasn't actually her biological Dad on her 60th! birthday. It was never the right time apparently. Her aunts and cousins knew about her biological Dad all the time. DF felt like ground been pulled out from under her feet and became ill. These family "secrets" cause untold grief. Please get it all out in the open soon OP. Know there's never going to be a right time but seek professional help to " break news " if you feel unable to tell all. Once it's done you will feel so much less anxious. Oh by the way - tell MIL to butt out completely too. Bloody FB should be banned.

DontmindifIdo Sat 17-Aug-13 18:34:47

Realistically, i don't see she's got much of a choice anymore, not to keep it a secret anyway. Too many people know, and while some people might have been more prepared to let it be her choice if she told her child, as he's now 16, more and more views will harden that a man has a right to know. The longer she leaves it, the more likely it is that it will come out - and anyway he finds out that doesn't involve his Mum sitting him down and explaining firstly that she was already a single Mum when she met the man who he calls dad, will be damaging to his relationship with his mum. Then she can take it from there if he's interested in knowing about his birth father (don't assuke he will, I konw several adopted people who know tey could track their birth families if they wanted too but haven't wanted too - they aren't the majority, but some people don't)

Then the next thing your SIL needs to talk to MIL about being a bit more careful with this man. Lets face it, he has sex with a child while his wife was pregnant, than buggered off when his girlfriend/victim was pregnant. Yes, there was a half hearted attempt when DN was 6 months old at contact, but nothing since - it's not a given his DW knows about this affair, or that DN exists. If it only took MIL a couple of facebook searches to find him, it would be just as easy for him to get in contact with SIL - yet he's not shown any interest for 15.5years. Be very carefuk about setting DN up for contacting this man unless its been established first he might be welcoming, to show so little interest for so long is not positive.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Sat 17-Aug-13 18:42:10

I think the SIL is getting a right pasting here for attempting to protect her son from the dodgy bloke who fathered him and instead encouraging him to see the man bringing him up as his only dad. Not saying the son shouldn't now be told but think the criticisms of her are harsh.

GhostsInSnow Sat 17-Aug-13 18:49:26

This happened to DH's best friend. He reached 17 before he knew. He actually never forgave either of them for the deceit and moved out shortly after. He's in his early 40's now and his relationship with his Mum and step Father is still very strained indeed.

My DS isn't DH's son. We met when DS was 9 months. His natural Father was a criminal, drug addict and liar and when DS was born I didn't even put his name to the birth certificate. DS has always known DH as Dad. He's raised him, adopted him and loved him. DH though was mindful of the situation with his best friend so we never kept it a secret from DS that he did have another 'Father'. DS is a sensible lad, he's proud to call DH Dad and loves him as such, as he says 'a Dad is the one who raises you and is there for you'. DS is 21 now, he has zero interest in his natural Father..

Its a shame SIL wasn't as open and honest from the start because this has potential to blow up.

KoalaFace Sat 17-Aug-13 19:02:27

Poor SIL. [Sad]

15 is very, very young. We don't know anything about this man apart from he was married, with a pregnant wife and had sex with and got pregnant a 15 year old child. And told her that he didn't want to know. She then meets a man who loves her and raises her DS with her. Of course she made the decision to allow her DS to believe it was his real father. And quite rightly ignored the biological father's wishes.

But if other people know it's going to come out. It needs to come from her. Damage limitation. I feel so sorry for her DS. Obviously in hindsight telling him earlier would have made it easier. But I can 100% see why she hasn't.

The truth will out. Unfortunately.

I found out that my Dad isn't my biological father at 16.
A neighbour told me when we were moving house that she remembered me and my mum moving in and my dad joining a few years later.

I went and found my birth certificate and there was Unknown in the fathers details box.

I asked my mum and she told me that she never intended to tell me. I am now 34 and I still don't know who my father is as DM will not tell me. She blames me for him leaving. Tells me I have no right to know who my own fucking father is.

I have serious trust issues. I am not close to any of my family. If I didn't have DS, I would have nothing to do with any of them.

DumSpiroSpero Sun 18-Aug-13 00:28:03

It's not up to your MIL to make that decision, but I would urge your SIL to give some very careful consideration as to how she's going to handle this when it inevitably comes out.

A friend of mine discovered at the age of 18 that she had a half sister from her mum's first marriage. As a result of her mum leaving first DH for her dad, she (the mum) became estranged from not only her first DH and DD but also her own mum, brother and his family.

My friend decided she wanted a relationship with the family members she hadn't met, as did they with her. Her mum went batshit as she didn't want the past dug up. Friend saw them in secret for a few months before her mum discovered and threatened to throw her out so she broke off contact.

Several years later, when my friend had her own young child, the situation raised it's head again - my friend had a breakdown caused by the emotional stress and pressure, particularly from her mum.

She severed all ties with her parents and has had nothing to do with them for about seven years now.

What I'm trying to say is that I think your SIL should be aware of the possibility that this will explode whether she wants it to or not (i.e. DN's half sister may decide to contact him - this is how my friend found out about hers) and if she is not willing to be open and honest she may lose her son altogether.

HarryTheHungryHippo Sun 18-Aug-13 07:35:27

*But SIL needs to explain what happened and also admit that she prevented her son from having contact with his father.
Perhaps it's that bit she's dreading telling him*

She's not thinking about this now because she's pregnant again it's because someone has had enough of the lies and is threatening to put an end to it. She is being selfish, she knows that when this comes out her ds is understandably going to be mad as hell he was denied contact with his father all these years. Yes she made a mistake, repeatedly but now she needs to behave like an adult and make it right.
It always seems so hypocritical to me that we raise out kids telling them honestly is the best policy and not to keep secrets then do it ourselves.
Believe me as someone who has a mother that had lied through her teeth for what appears to have been the majority of my life and still won't admit it it makes you see them in a whole new light. I would have thought more favourably of her had she come to me herself and been honest. As it stands we have gone from being close to me resenting her and barely speaking

HarryTheHungryHippo Sun 18-Aug-13 07:38:32

Personal that's horrible sad

NotYoMomma Sun 18-Aug-13 08:50:26

im adopted and currently pregnant and not knowing my potential medical history is so annoying!

I have known the truth all my life though and the truth will win.

I was more annoyed that my mum blocked an attempt to contact me when I was older (doing GCSEs) so I wouldnt have too muxh on my plate - it was that she never told me til later that annoyed me

anyway I still decided not to contact but I would be foaming at sil that I had my choices taken away from me

NutcrackerFairy Sun 18-Aug-13 09:02:03

I agree with all the posters who say SIL must take control of the situation and look at telling her son the truth about his conception. Otherwise it is likely that someone else will, whether that be MIL or not.

I also agree that leaving it till he was 16 years old means your SIL will have repercussions to deal with, no doubt a lot of confusion and distress from her son, also potentially his anger at having been lied to by the people he trusts the most in the world [Mum and 'Dad']

Therefore I would suggest she seeks the support of a family therapist/psychologist before she makes the disclosure. It is not going to be the case that she tells him and job done. There will be on-going issues and recriminations, perhaps for years to come. No doubt son will have a lot of questions and will need time and space to process this information and work out how he feels about it. He may have thoughts and feelings about his birth father and any half siblings he has through him... would he want to meet with them or not, what fantasies might he have about them, etc.

And of course, he needs to come to terms with his shifting sense of identity and his new role within his family, his feelings about his 'Father' not being his real father and what relationship can he have with him now, does he want a relationship with his birth father, how can he reconcile his relationship with Mum and his now known to be half siblings...

This is all big stuff for anyone to deal with, let alone a 16 year old. He will need professional help to begin to process this, particularly any feelings of rage and betrayal which he may struggle to explore with his family and which they might in turn might find very difficult to hear.

I wish your SIL all the best and hope she is able to access support in working through this difficult stage in both her son's and family's lives.

Laptopgirl Sun 18-Aug-13 09:10:50

If it was me in this situation I would open a new fb account with no connections and email the real dad. Find out if he is interested in getting to know his son. Ask him to write and email to be given to the child.

If he does want to do this - it could help the child rather than he straight away having to try and source his own information.

His mother can then have some
Control in breaking the news to the lad.

As tbh he needs to know. You never know what might happen. I know a situation similar to this IRL and sadly the mother was killed suddenly now the child doesn't know and has no real connections.

Hope this makes a bit of sense (bad night with baby so sleep deprived!)

MrsHoarder Sun 18-Aug-13 11:20:11

Laptopgirl the problem with that is that another person know, and this person has no reason to protect the SIL. So might well just tell the DS "You're my son" and let the fallout start.

freddiesmybaby Sun 18-Aug-13 11:48:02

I think maybe sil is scared of what she's got to do. She was hurt and betrayed when she had the baby, she's still angry about it all. I've got a friend who is in a similar position, and she doesn't know what to do for the best.

EldritchCleavage Mon 19-Aug-13 10:30:51

I can quite understand the 15 year old SIL not wanting that exploitative arse in her life, but she should have told her son the truth long before now. He deserves the truth, whether he goes on to have a relationship with his birth father or not.

This has happened in my family. Woman had a child with a man, they broke up very quickly and he moved away. She married again not long afterwards, the husband happily accepted her son and they had two more children. Mother simply WOULD NOT tell her first born that husband was not his father, despite everyone urging her to. She and husband divorced and she even threatened to prevent access to first born if husband told him.

The stupid thing is, it was bloody obvious. First born looks nothing like the rest of the family (I mean, really dramatically nothing like). He only had to look in a mirror to suspect. It was one of those horrible unspoken secrets that corrodes families. First born found out when he watched their wedding video and father of the bride thanked husband for accepting and being such a good step father to the boy.

As a result, his relationship with step father has been strengthened, and that with mother weakened. He lives with step father and sees mother a lot less.

DropYourSword Mon 19-Aug-13 16:37:48

I think MIL is being really unreasonable. It's up to SIL to tell DS if and when she wants to.
I also think it's unfair for people to say he has a right to know who his 'real' father is. The man he thinks is his father has (presumably) loved and cared for DS for many years and acted like a 'real' father. The other guy is really just a genetics dispenser. Why does being in effect a sperm donor make him more of a real dad than the guy who had looked after him all these years. Maybe his feelings should be considered in this also.

I'm not sure that there are really many circumstances where it is so vital to have a full family medical history.

maddy68 Mon 19-Aug-13 17:02:23

He is going to find out when he needs to use his birth certificate ie passport, job, uni etc

Better to come from mum than find out in another way.

Vijac Mon 19-Aug-13 17:12:06

The boy should have been told at the time bit as he hasn't been, I'm not totally sure that 16 is the best time to find out. I think maybe 18. Before he is told you should really get in touch with some kind of post adoption counselling service to advise you. Also, the genetic father is not his 'dad' as he has effectively been adopted IMO. Does he get on well with his dad (as in the not genetic one)? If not, then there may be more reason to tell him now as he may be more interested in building a relationship with the gen father. Likewise, if he questions anything then he should also be told.

differentnameforthis Tue 20-Aug-13 03:13:39

He should have been told long before now. For this exact reason, even though I am of the mind that it is up to no one to tell your DN except his parents.

And I don't think she had any right to keep him from his father all these years.

If this doesn't cause untold damage, I will be surprised.

differentnameforthis Tue 20-Aug-13 03:20:11

I had only read a few posts before I left my first message, and having had a chance to read the rest of the thread I would say, let MIL do it.

Only because it seems to me that SIL had NO intention what so ever of telling him. She wants to leave it until he is 18, then there will be a reason that she wants to leave it until he is 20, then 30, then 490. At this rate the kid will never know & your SIL is hiding her head in the sand.

It's beyond selfish of her.

MidniteScribbler Tue 20-Aug-13 04:33:59

He needs to be told, and at his age, I would also think that access to counselling is important for him to be able to process the new information. It's incredibly cruel to not allow a person to know their own background and genetic information, and you only have to listen to how many people have found out accidently later in life and it has caused a major rift and permanently affected their relationships.

EldritchCleavage Tue 20-Aug-13 09:53:25

Actually, I agree with differentname.

The 'reasons' for delaying (16 not a good age?) are flimsy. It is just pushing it endlessly into the future. Let's face it, there will never be a good or convenient time for SIL to tell him because the shit will probably hit the fan and she doesn't want to face that.

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