Stressing about that chat.(37 Posts)
Sorry if guys aren't allowed. But I'm a guy. I have 2 kids with my partner. Only 1 is biologically my child. The daughter that isn't biologically mine is 4 and a half years old . I have played the father role in her life from when she was 7 months old. Her dad wanted nothing to do with her. We have took him off the birth certificate and changed her surname to mine. I have been told many different ages to tell her I am not her real dad someone told me to tell her at 5 and someone else at 15. Any help would be very grateful.
Personally I would tell her sooner rather than wait for a big shock reveal...especially not as teenage hormones also kick in. I would just make it normal, because it is. You are her daddy but she also has another daddy that is no longer around. Keep it simple - because it is. There is no need for high drama. She may ask questions but she may not. Hiding it will cause heartache and turn it into a huge drama when she eventually finds out. Give her lots of reassurance that nothing has changed- you are and always will be her daddy. It's really common and better she hears from you before someone else puts their foot in it.
I agree it should be early and something she has also known. I'm saddened that you've taken her fathers name off her BC and changed her name though. My DF wasn't in the picture growing up and it sounds similar to my mother, she whitewashed him out of our lives and I will not forgive her for it.
Thanks people. I have discussed it with my partner and she says I would be better telling her . For the 2nd message my mother had been honest with me about my father from a young age and I intend on being honest as I can be. We have not stopped contact it was him. He has our contact details. The birth certificate was to try and make her life as simple as possible as both daughters will be at the same school and if we hadn't told her by then questions may be asked before we tell her.
You do realise it's illegal to put the father down on a birth certificate that is not her biological father? That's what adopting is for. It is pretty damaging when a child finds out his/her dad isn't her real father you shouldn't have lied and been honest from the start. I know a girl who found out in her teens and she was devasted and didn't feel like part of the family or that she should have that surname she was given. My friend is currently doing the same with her DS.
OK. Don't know what you're getting at. I haven't done anything illegal thank all done by solicitor. Who said anything about putting me on birth certificate? Yeah I'll bluntly tell a 2yo I'm not her daddy.
You cannot just decide to put you're name on a child's birth certificate when your not the father it is a legal document and you gave false information
Yes, you do tell a two year old you're not the daddy who started her growing, but you are her daddy now because you met her when she was a baby and you loved her then and you always will.
It's a shame you didn't tell her then, so tell her now.
You might want to read up on it
Tell her now. Then it will never be a big deal.
Don't say "I'm not your real dad or I'm not your dad
Say something along the lines of I'm not the one that made you with mummy but I am your dad now as I love you and will always look after you"
Ffs it's not difficult. It's only difficult when parents make it difficult.
One of my best friends has always known her stepdad is not her real dad, she can't remember life without him, but as soon as she asked questions about babies being made the distinction was made that it wasn't daddy who made her but a daddy can be a person who raises you and makes your tea and looks after you etc. She is now in her 30s and totally cool with it, because it was explained to her calmly, without drama and it just 'is'. Children are remarkably adaptable, it's the adults who put the pressure on it all.
Another friend found out she was a sperm donor child at 22 and is comparatively much more fucked up about it. Not the same but a marked difference.
When a child is adopted, adoptive parents are encouraged to be honest with their child from as young an age as possible about their identity/origins for the purpose of them understanding their life story and as an earlier poster said, to alleviate the disruption for them of a 'big reveal' later in their childhood or adolescence. Please don't turn her world upside down with this when she's 15. She needs to know now.
I'm confused by your comments that her birth father has simply been taken off her birth certificate and her name changed to yours. No mean feat and as far as I understand could only have been achieved by a step parent adoption.
You have read it wrong. Took him off. Not put me on. And wow.
You cannot just decide to put you're name on a child's birth certificate can you go back and read the post again?
I agree it has to be something always known rather than a huge sit down chat when they are teens. Differentiate when giving the facts of life
I've been in dsd's life since she was 1 and she has always remembered living with dh and me with her dm visiting. But she never realised I wasn't her mum, and neither did the rest of us. It seems horribly careless to think back on it now but we genuinely didn't think she'd think I was her mum - she never even called me mummy. It all came to a head at nursery when her teacher explained what a stepmum was to her, after watching fucking cinderella, & then explained but 'you're lucky yours is nice and she lets you live with her too'. She was hysterical. I ended up explaining that She has 2 mummies but her dm asked for her from the stork and I chose her & that we both love her. She got really clingy afterwards, would try to make bargains with me that if I do x y z would you be my real mummy etc etc. It wasn't what any of us wanted for her really and I wish we'd thought to tell her sooner.
Tell her asap & try not to make my mistakes! (I compared her to Supergirl at one point and she thought she was adopted so yeah many mistakes were made)
There's a lot of advice from adoption agencies about when and how to tell a child. It's worth approaching them now.
How do you feel about it OP?
It's a strange position. An Ex of mine took on a baby who wasn't his, as the child's mother didn't want the Dad involved. He eventually adopted her, but always felt differently. Her biological Dad contacted her later in life too. It's worth just talking about how you feel too to someone, a mate, family, not just your partner.
From my understanding OP has never said he put his name on the birth certificate. Only that biological dad's name was removed. Child's surname has been changed to his - Which AFAIK can be done via deed poll when a parent is AWOL or with court order etc.
Agree with tackling this immediately. I think the younger this is explained to her the less of a big deal it is. Kids have an amazing ability to just accept these things after a bit of careful explaining. A teenager I think would feel insecure and lied to which is exactly what a teen doesn't need to deal with on top of normal teenage angst.
I never thought this would be difficult, but my dgd has a half-brother somewhere and my dd occasionally refers to her having a brother, but it not easy when that person is totally absent from their lives.
Your her dad, daddy IMO always will be
Can you not just wait until she asks how babies "happen" when she does in an age appropriate way explain, then say that's how babies happen but sometimes others choose to be daddy's or mummy's
Thanks for all the supportive messages people. For the record if the biological dad did want contact I would never get in the way of that. And to a previous message I am always worried that her real dad could come take my child away but also realise that that won't happen because me and my daughter have such a great bond. Also thanks dearsantadefinegood for explaining to these people especially the person sending me links about changing names. They could have read my post properly like you.
Changing a child's surname by deed poll does not grant parental responsibility to OP and also wouldn't necessarily mean that the surname is changed on documents such as the child's passport.
Also you can't just remove a father's name from a birth certificate without a court order. It would be very unusual for the court to do this.
Look at what you watch now. As I said everything was done through solicitors bailiffs were sent with a letter explaining what was going to and he didn't even bother with a 28day reply. I don't need parental rights I brush my daughters teeth lie beside her through night terrors and get covered in sick when she is not well. Who needs parental rights when your covered in sick .
You're her dad , no one's arguing with that ! Just explain to her now so that she understands why you're her dad.
I'm not suggesting you need parental responsibility, I was just explaining that changing a surname doesn't give PR and isn't equivalent to you being named on the BC for an above poster.
I am curious about the court giving agreement for the birth father's parental responsibility being removed. It's certainly not something done lightly, even if the birth father doesn't respond
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