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Old 04-15-2012, 10:08 AM
Caa Caa started this thread
936 posts, read 2,214,322 times
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Hi all, to make a long story short, my husband got married in his early 20's as he got his girlfriend pregnant. They had the baby then got divorced abour 1 year later-they were not in love anyway. He had visiting rights, but she never let him see the baby. A year later, she got re married and the new husband wanted to adopt the boy to give them all the same name. Lawyers got invloved and my husband finally relanted on the condition that his whole family could still remain close with the boy, Nick. He (my husband)though, was to give up all rights to seeing or having contact with the child. Now, the boy is 21 and we have a daughter who knows nothing about this other child. My husband and I ar ealmost in a divorce due to disagreement about letting Danielle know about Nick. She is 9 and I feel we need to tlet her know, my husband feels that she will hate him and not understand why he has no contact with Nick, why he gave hime up, that he will give up on her etc.... Nick is over 18 now, but for some reason, my husband due to guilt or fear, will not attempt to contact him. I am afraid that Danielle will find out in a bad way, that she has a brother and that she will hate both of us...any advice, I really need it!!!
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:20 AM
Location: North America
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I mean just be honest and admit he was young then and made a mistake.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:26 AM
Location: here
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I don't know if it is urgent to tell your daughter. Eventually she should be told, but I don't think you need to push it right now. Does your husband plan to not tell her ever? I think that's a mistake. She'll find out eventually.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:37 AM
Location: Coastal Georgia
37,090 posts, read 45,594,679 times
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She is too young, and unless things change so that your husband and his son are planning to have a relationship, I see no reason to burden a child with this sort of information.
In fact, I think you should butt out, and let your husband handle this the way he sees fit.
IF they start to have regular contact, and the son participates in your family activities, then you can tell your daughter that he is her half brother from her dad's previous marriage and answer her questions honestly.

I'm thinking you are whipping up a frenzy here where none needs to be.

Last edited by gentlearts; 04-15-2012 at 10:48 AM..
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:44 AM
Location: Denver 'burbs
21,873 posts, read 23,139,610 times
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My initial thought is that she is too young to start with this. It may confuse her and cause her stress that dad will give her up also - she's not old enough to understand the circumstances. Additionally, like it or not, this is your husband's "secret" to tell, not yours.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:47 AM
Location: southwestern PA
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She's nine... there is plenty of time for this later.
And I agree with the others... this is your husband's story to tell, not yours.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:31 AM
Location: New Hampshire
4,835 posts, read 4,819,708 times
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A few months ago I found out I have a younger sister somewhere in this country (She should be 18 or so). She was given up at the hospital. I found that out through my aunts ("mother"'s sisters). I have yet to confront my "mother" about it. I wish someone had told me that sooner.

I think the kid should know. But it is just me.

I hope I am able to find her someday...but I have very little information on her.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:33 AM
Location: Texas
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I would have wanted to know (at any age) that I had a brother.
Childhood is a special time to create bonds with family.
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Old 04-15-2012, 01:50 PM
Location: New York City
2,814 posts, read 6,017,364 times
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All I can add is that you should tell her in the next couple of years. I found out as a young adult that my father was married briefly once before marrying my mom. I also was told as an adult that my mother had gotten pregnant with me before they married. Up until they told me, they had fudged their wedding date/anniversary date. They were these nice upstanding people who were living a lie due to I don't know what. Maybe shame. I also always had this feeling that there was some "secret". There were actually two. Kids are often intuitive. Just don't wait too long to tell her.

PS= when you realize that your parents had secrets it makes you wonder what else they haven't told you. My parents didn't want to upset me, but they did by keeping secrets.
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Old 04-15-2012, 02:58 PM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,484 posts, read 43,738,878 times
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I have very strong feelings about issues like this. I have had a great deal of interest and experience with adoption. Not only do DH and I have 3 adopted children, I have helped several young friends with making adoption plans.

First of all you need to encourage your husband to start looking for his son. The boy is old enough now to probably have access to records which were previously secret. Believe me this boy knows or will know about his background and if he decides to look up his father/your husband, you will react in a less than positive way ,mainly because of what you have kept from your daughter.

Second, this can all be explained in a positive way without all the shame and guilt your husband is experiencing. Get rid of "gave up" from your language.

At 9 your daughter is old enough to understand. She will not have fear she will be "given up" unless you directly express yourself in this way.

Tell her her Daddy married very young and had a son when they were not in any position to properly care for each other or him. They divorced soon after the son was born.( no need to say mother got pregnant and they were not in love. That's ridiculous.)

Explain to your daughter her Daddy loved the little boy but his mother soon wanted to start a new life with another man and wanted this other man to be the little boy's father. Again no need to go on about she wouldn't let him see him, etc.

Tell her her Daddy thought very long and deep about what would be best for the little boy and even though he knew he would miss the little boy and wanted to be part of his life, he realized it was best to let his mother and him and the new husband have a full life together. So it was decided they would not be a family anymore and he would not be a part of the boy's life. Again no need to get into signed away parental rights and other things she won't understand.

You can tell her if this boy ever wants to know who his biological (avoid "real") father is, her Daddy will be very happy and willing to meet with him but you have no idea if or when this will ever happen. Even if your husband decides to look for the boy don't tell your daughter this as worry and anticipation might be too much for her.

Somehow lies and omissions always end up hurting a great many people. If you come from a position of love- Daddy loved the little baby when he was born, Daddy wanted his little boy to have the complete family he could not give him, Daddy has always been thinking about this boy and hoped he has had a good life and most importantly how much Daddy loves his daughter and is so happy he found the right person to make a family with.

Your daughter deserves to know this part of her father's life. Waiting much longer will put her right in the middle of puberty where emotions and hormones are off the chart. Now is the perfect time. She has heard about adoption and divorce. She will understand more than you think.

Good luck.
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