I'm 54 and just found out my father isn't my biological father

Amber - posted on 04/01/2016 ( 14 moms have responded )

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It's very upsetting to me. We have a blended family. My mother had two children with a deadbeat dad, then got pregnant with me, and married my father a few months later when her divorce was final. It turns out that everyone but me knows. I have no full sisters or brothers now, they are all half. I feel like an outsider in my family and always have. My mother won't tell me anything at all about my biological father. The problem came up because I need my birth certificate and passport to move and my birth name doesn't match my birth certificate "father unkown" and her ex-husband's name is listed but I have always gone by my "father's name, in school and everything. Everything is messed up and I feel so alone. Nobody in my family thinks it's a big deal.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/04/2016

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"I don't understand why other people don'tsee this as a problem"...PERHAPS it is because you only gave us the ACTUAL story 36 hours AFTER you posted your very cryptic OP.

OF COURSE none of us responded the way you "thought" we should...YOU DIDN'T PROVIDE full info.

In THAT case...I agree with Sarah. Sit down wiht your mother, tell her to put on her big girl panties and address the situation that she created.

Sarah - posted on 04/04/2016

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Amber you asked for advice and I gave it several posts back:
"Life is too short to hold on to anger or resentment, justified or not. If this were me, I'd like to hear from my mother; ask her why she kept it a secret all these years? Surely she did it out of love, and the desire to protect you. If she refuses to discuss this with you then what option do you have?"
If, what you were looking for was to have the mothers here simply validate your anger, then I see why you aren't happy with the advice of "See what you can find out, be thankful for the family you did have and try to forgive" You wrote in one post his phrase:
"I've always been told Husband 2 is my real father although I have been upset about not being adopted formally"
How would you even know you needed adoption until very recently. You can't be adopted after age 18 anyway.
I get your mad, but it doesn't change a single thing: you were raised in love, with siblings and a family. You may NEVER know who your bio-dad was, but you do know the mad who loved you and treated you like his own.

Sarah - posted on 04/01/2016

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Well I am still confused, but that's not important. I would be shocked as well and you will probably feel a lot of different emotions before you can accept it and move forward. If your whole family says they knew, and you were the one in the dark, then why would you have to pretend not to know? I have to say I agree with Raye, family is what you make it. Life is too short to hold on to anger or resentment, justified or not. If this were me, I'd like to hear from my mother; ask her why she kept it a secret all these years? Surely she did it out of love, and the desire to protect you. If she refuses to discuss this with you then what option do you have?

Raye - posted on 04/01/2016

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I'm so sorry you're going through this. I'm actually a little bit confused about your post...
So, you have two older siblings from the union between your mom and husband A?
And you were conceived by the union of your mother and husband B (before he was husband B)?
But, your BC has your last name as husband A's last name?
If your mother was still married to A when she gave birth, most states will list the current husband as the father, not the real biological father. Once divorced, if your real dad was B, they should have gotten a DNA test done and had the document corrected.
You say your mother raised you to think you were a full sibling of her older two kids, but you went by your real father's last name (husband B)? If you went by a different name, how did you think you were full siblings?
And your mom won't tell you about your biological father (husband B)?
So, where did husband B go? Why won't she tell you about him?

Since you are an adult, you can choose what name you want to go by. But if it's different than what's on your birth certificate, you would have to file the paperwork (and pay) to have it legally changed.

As far as the relationships you have... your family is still your family. Doesn't matter if they're full, halfs, etc. I have three half-siblings, but grew up only knowing one. She's my sister, period. I almost never refer to her as my half-sister unless I'm also talking about my other half-siblings that I didn't really know until I was an adult. Family is what you make it.

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Raye - posted on 04/18/2016

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Tiffani, so sorry you're going through this. You are justified in your feelings, but you will have to face it some time. Whether you choose to try to get to know your father or not... it's totally up to you, and no one can tell you it's right or wrong. Whether you stay mad at your mom... is also your choice. She did lie to you, which is wrong. But she probably thought it was better for you at the time. Still doesn't make it right, but can you really blame her for trying to do what she thought was right for her child? You don't have to make any decision before you're ready. Take time to process your feelings. And hopefully the answers will become clear for you.

TIFFANI - posted on 04/17/2016

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Im going threw the same thing right now but a little bit different. Im 21 years old i just download facebook messenger never had it before and some messages poped up some from couple years ago some recent that ive never seen or read them and it was a guy claiming he is my real father this happened two weeks ago i understand how u feel i felt completely destroyed /broken angry sad mad ,it hurt so bad i still cant process it. My try to ignore me bringing this up and caused a lot of fighting arguring.we are so close i left it alone for a few days.But i had to know but it was making my mom mad bring up the past in a argue ment i went outside out of anger she text me oh by the way he is your real dad:( i felt lied to my whole life. Couple days go by and she finnally told me the story.i have is first name last name one picture i seen on facebook.i did sent only a few messages back one day now two weeks later im ignoring him not on purpose but i just dont now how to handle it

Raye - posted on 04/04/2016

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See, that's where I was confused, also... you didn't mention the affair, only husband A and husband B. We can only try to provide advice based on what is written. I'm not trying to make you feel bad, but you didn't write it so that we could truly understand what happened.

Still, if you thought husband B was your real father, then your two siblings from husband A would have always been half-siblings. Husband B's other daughter, that you knew as your half-sister, is now your step-sister. I still don't understand who you though were your full siblings. But as I said before, family is what you make it. Full, half, step shouldn't matter. If they're being mean to you by saying they always knew, and they hid the information from you, then they're being assholes... but they're still your family.

You feel betrayed, and that is totally understandable. Really it is. You did in a way lose your "father" because the man who raised you isn't your biological father. So what. He raised you, and so he was more of a real father than your biological father.

It's also very normal to want to know who your real father is. If your mother doesn't know or won't tell you, then there's no much you can do at this point. If she's purposefully withholding information from you, then there has to be a reason in her mind that justifies hurting you. Doesn't make it right, but again, not much you can do about it.

It's a really sad situation. I don't want to minimalize your feelings. You have a right to be upset. But you can't let this re-define you. You're still the same person you were, but now there's a different piece of the puzzle out there. Keep living your life. You can choose to distance yourself from these people that have hurt you, or you can move past it and keep them close because they're still family.

Michelle - posted on 04/03/2016

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Sorry, but the way you had written it before sounded like your Mother had been with her 2nd husband (and conceived you) before they could marry. The way you wrote it sounded like your step Father was your bio Father but it wasn't on the birth certificate.
This is why I was confused: "My mother told me that she got pregnant with me with Husband 2 (who I call my father) but because she wasn't technically yet divorced from Husband 1, she didn't list Husband 2 as my father." That says husband #2 is your Father.
Sorry that I got that all wrong.

Does your Mother even know the name of your real Father? Maybe if you can get his name then you can search the different registries to try and find him.

Amber - posted on 04/02/2016

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Yes, genetics matter and I don't know who my father is. Yes, I am getting counseling. I have read quite a bit on the internet and this particular thread hasn't been particularly helpful to me. But thanks for responding. OK. I was using step sister and half sister incorrectly:

"A half sister is a sister who is related to you by only one parent. She shares half of your blood. You share one parent either a father or mother with her. A step sister is the daughter of your stepfather or stepmother by a former partner."

Just in case anyone else wants to give me advice let me try once more to be clear.

I am upset because at 54 years old, when it is too late for me to find out anything about my genetic father, my mother tells me I've been living with the lie that her current husband, who did in fact raise me, is not my true father. I don't understand why other people don't see this as a problem. My mother refuses to tell me his name. She simply says it was an affair, he was married, he was older, didn't want me, and she decided not to give me up for adoption.

Tom Jones was my mother's first husband. They had two daughters, who are my half-sisters because we are connected through my mother.

My mother had an affair with Dick Smith and I was born and my birth certificate says "father unknown." Sorry if you can't understand how it feels to have that on your birth certificate. It hurts. On my birth certificate my name is Sally Jones. I have never gone by Sally Jones.

Jack Black knew my mother before and ran into her after I was born. He had a daughter from his first marriage.

Jack Black married my mother 4 months after I was born and didn't adopt me. They just told me he was my father.

Jack Black is still the man I consider my father. But the fact remains that I was lied to and never had the chance to get any genetic information about Dick Smith, my true father, for example health related.

I will get resources from my reliable sources, for example, my therapist. This site is somewhat ridiculous.

Michelle - posted on 04/02/2016

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The name doesn't matter, it's the genetics that do.
The daughter your Father had (husband #2) before meeting your Mother is still your half sister. The children your parents have had after you are still your full siblings.
Names can be changed (as you have found out) but genetics can't. You are tied to your blood family for life.
If the name is such a big deal then change it legally. It's very easy to do.
I would also suggest you seek some counseling, it sounds like you are very confused over the whole lot and talking to someone may help.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/02/2016

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You are over 18, and therefore able to legally have your name changed to whatever you want it to be, have it amended on your birth certificate, and then have your documentation for your passport.

Name changes take about 6 weeks to legally complete, and then, once you have an amended birth certificate in hand, you can apply for your passport.

Family is what you make it. A name is a name. If you are allowing this to alter how you feel about your family, then maybe you could benefit from some counseling as well.

Amber - posted on 04/01/2016

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I've seen my birth certificate. It says Father Unknown. My mother told me that she got pregnant with me with Husband 2 (who I call my father) but because she wasn't technically yet divorced from Husband 1, she didn't list Husband 2 as my father. She married Husband 2 three months after I was born. I've always been told Husband 2 is my real father although I have been upset about not being adopted formally. My mother simply enrolled me in school with Husband 2's last name, even though my birth certificate makes my name X Husband2'slastname because that was her last name at the time. When I got my driver's license, my mom just basically forced them to accept the deal and use Husband2's name, which I have used all my life. When I get a passport, I have to have an affadavit from my mother, notarized, saying that my name is what I've used through school and not what it says on my birth certificate.

My father had a child before he married my mother. She is supposedly my half-sister. She is now NOT my half-sister since we don't share a true father. My two older sisters from Husband 1 are my half-sisters. And now my brother and sister who are younger than me are not full siblings, but half. I don't understand why it's so complicated and it's upsetting to have to explain all this. If there is anyone who might have a helpful suggestion for how I proceed, like just pretend I don't know? My mother has told me that the man who got her pregnant with me was married and older. He wanted nothing to do with me. She was all set to give me up for adoption and changed her mind at the last minute. She had known husband 2 for awhile and they ran into each after I was born and dated and decided to get married.

Sarah - posted on 04/01/2016

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I still don't get it, if your mom had two girls with her first husband, then conceived you and then married her second husband (whom you thought was your father). Then you'd not be half siblings. Who is your bio father, the same man who fathered your siblings or some other guy? What sort of age difference is there between you and your sisters?
You must have lots of questions. I am surprised you have not seen your BC until now, didn't you need it to get your driver's license, married etc? Since you just found out, maybe your mom needs a little time to open up. If there is a third man in the mix, is it possible your mother was assaulted and doesn't want to tell you?

Amber - posted on 04/01/2016

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My mother had two children (daughters) with husband A. I was told that my parents met, and got pregnant but had to wait until her divorce was final to get married. Apparently I was naive about that because as you say, my birth certificate said "father unknown." Two months after I was born, my mother married husband B, who I have always consider my father. I'm sorry my post was unclear. I have been pretty distraught. What is upsetting to me is that I have been lied to all my life and yet my siblings all knew. We are not particularly close, in fact, I got in a fight with one of my sisters because she laughed when I asked her and said "We all knew." It was hurtful and upsetting. I have always been the black sheep and I feel that behind my back they have all been attributing my depression/anxiety and any of my negative traits to this unknown father. I understand that my father is my true father; that is not an issue. It's the lying and refusing to talk about something which is very upsetting to me. "Get over it" is not an acceptable answer. I was just hoping for some help with processing this.

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