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Tell the child dad wasn't bothered or not?

(10 Posts)
pinkyp Tue 02-Aug-11 18:02:04

My friend asked me for her advice today and I wasn't sure what to say so I told her I'd ask mumsnet ladies :-D

Basically she had a affair, got pregnant to the otherman but only found out once her and dh were back together. Her dh knows the baby isn't his, and her ex knows it is his. All the way through the pregnancy her ex said he wanted to be involved- she was ok with that but also told him if he didn't want to be involved then it's his choice she wouldn't chase him for money or anything but expected a contribution if he was to be a part of the child's life. The ex went to scans, etc with her but always wanted more (to be together). Her dh was gr8 throughout and says he loves the baby like his own. The thing is the day the baby was born her ex sent a text saying congratulations and that wad it! My friend said she never text back (just after having a baby she did mean too). Days turned into weeks, weeks into months now there little baby is 1 this weekend and her real dad has never seen her or even asked about her. My friend doesn't know what to do, does she tell her daughter that the man she thinks is her dad isn't and her real dad couldn't be arsed with her?

I didn't no what to suggest, they seem like a happy family I 'forgot' her dh wasn't the real dad, it seems a shame to turn there world around but their dd has a right to know doesnt she?

Excuse spelling etc I'm on my phone

festi Tue 02-Aug-11 18:10:15

never a good idea to lie, sceletons always emerge causing great stress and upset later in life and too often rip families appart. who is on birth certificate?

I would def tell her to be honest. she does not need to now but she should when the child is able to verbalise and communicate and have a greater understanding let her know. it does not need to be a massive revelation just gentle reminders through out life, particularly when looking at baby photos or talking about where babies come from.

the problem is who is to say 5 10 15 years down the line this man will not turn up and tell the child himself.

p99gmb Tue 02-Aug-11 19:35:57

sounds like its a bit too early to do anything yet - a lot can happen/change before she needs to decide what to tell her..

any 'man' can be a sperm donor - it takes a real man to be a dad and I take my hat off to her DH

I agree that honesty is always the correct way to go - but in gentle kind words at the appropriate time - no slagging off the ex - just that they didn't keep in touch etc etc... the child at some stage will bound to want to look him up and its unfair to prejuidice them against him - no point turning it into a divided loyalty issue for dd... and to tell dd that her 'real' dad is the man who cared, loved and provided for her...

swash Tue 02-Aug-11 20:14:04

Talking about it from the start so that it is normalised is the only way to handle it. Pretending dh is her real dad would be lovely for the parents right now - but the child will feel upset and disorientated when she finds out. As she will find out, the friend should just talk about the ex from the start (maybe have a picture in the child's room even?).

Octaviapink Tue 02-Aug-11 20:17:23

Her DH gets a cheer from me too! Agree that it should be carefully phrased and should be part of normal family life as soon as possible. A bit like telling children they're adopted - do it from the get-go and it's never an issue. If the baby's always told that she has two daddies - one who lives with them and loves her and looks after her and one who gave her life but isn't around any more (or similar) then she'll accept it.

muslimah28 Tue 02-Aug-11 22:55:43

What swash and octaviapink said smile

pinkyp Wed 03-Aug-11 02:13:37

Thank you will show her this thread smile as far as I'm aware no one is on the birth certificate in the dad bit. I agree it's best not to lie but it also gets me mad that this other bloke isn't bothered and caused her so much stress during pregnancy for nothing. There dd deserves so much better than her real dad.

Thumbwitch Wed 03-Aug-11 02:25:51

Agree with swash and octaviapink too.

Someone I know is currently in a situation where the eldest child is not hers but is her DP's and she has had care of the child since 7mo. But they haven't told the child and at age 7, it's getting rather perilous IMO (and everyone else I've asked about it). The mum doesn't want to tell the child until age 18 - absolutely godawful time to do it, if you ask me, throws the whole life and personality and sense of identity into utter crisis - but she won't listen to reason sad sad sad.

In your friend's case, she can make an early distinction between Daddy (her DH) and the sperm donor who created her. The DD doesn't need to know the full circumstances of how her birth came about unless she really gets into it when she's in her teens - just what Octavia said.

pinkyp Wed 03-Aug-11 09:21:07

What age / how to word it? I know children accept things better than adults and don't ask too many questions so I agree younger is better! How would you remind dd of her dad without making her feel like the odd one out or feel like she's rubbing dh face in it?

Jux Wed 03-Aug-11 17:11:10

Well, she's got so much better than her real dad, hasn't she?

Lieing is always a bad idea, and if no one's on the birth certificate then she'd find out sometime anyway, so telling the truth is the only option anyway. It's just a question of when. Imo it's usually better to tell earlier, before they really understand what it means, emphasising that dad (NOT biological) is the one bringing her up, who sees her every day, looks after her and loves her all the time. Avoids that sense of betrayal that most older kids feel when they finally find out.

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