Please Help! When do I tell my daughter?

[deleted account] ( 9 moms have responded )

I'm an emotional wreck right now. I am 7 months pregnant, and I have this huge decision to make and I'm not sure I know when I should act on it. I have been talking to my fiance about making this decision of when to tell my 7 year old daughter that he is not her biological father, we are just so unsure of when we should tell her. We have enjoyed 6 beautiful years of raising her together without any worries of her biological father in the picture. My fiance has raised her since she was 10 months old.
She knows him and only him as her dad. She has no knowledge that he is not her biological father. Her biological father has not been a part of her life since he and I separated (she was about 7 months old.)
I have been noticing that she has been asking lots of questions like, why her sister and her have different last names, and why her sister has blue eyes and she has brown eyes. All I can do at this point is sweep it all under the rug, and dance around the questions saying "well mom has a different last name too", and "mom has brown eyes just like you". I don't know how much longer she's going to accept those answers. How much longer until she notices that brother and sisters who have the same father also have the same last name?
My fear is that if I tell her now - the wonderful relationship she has with my fiance will be ruined or different, that she will love him less, that she won't bond with the new baby, or treat her sister differently. But if I wait till she's older (say 10y/o or 12y/o) then I fear that she will be bitter, angry and resentful for keeping this from her for so long.
I just want to know if I should tell her now or should I wait? Has anyone else experience anything similar to this?

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Sarah - posted on 07/08/2016

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What is with the deleted accounts? I make a few posts, go clean a closet, come back and the OPs are run off? Cowards!

Ev - posted on 07/08/2016

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My niece never knew her bio father. He denied her when he found out my sis was expecting even going so far as to blame my sis for cheating on him. in 15 years he never once tried to send letters or cards for holidays or birthdays, never sent support, never tried to find out about her until our 1st couin's wife who was his cousin tried to get my sis to allow a meeting through herself. First off, my sis and this woman never got along for all the years they knew one another and two she did not trust her with her daughter. All this time though my niece did not know about this man who was her father. Once my sis did tell her my niece was all about going to meet him despite the fact we tried to tell her he might not agree to it. Also he had been to jail for statutory rape and was now a sex offender and not allowed around children (he can not even parent his younger children with another woman because of this and that means my niece has siblings she may never know). And after turning 18 my niece has yet to try to meet her father. So it is important to tell the kids from the beginning who their bio parents are.

Sarah - posted on 07/08/2016

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Now, tell her now. She is old enough to understand that her father is the man who raised her, who loves her and that families come in all sorts of different packages. When she asks about the bio-dad, be honest and brief "he simply could not be a dad to you" but you and I met "Joe" and he fell in love with both of us! Pitching it in a positive light and making her feel confident in her place in the household it the goal. When siblings come up with "your not even our real sister" as siblings may do; you nip that and nip it fast. Start soon, you do not want her to confront you with the truth later and be called a liar. She probably has an inkling since she is asking you questions already. Sooner the better. Celebrate it and make her proud. Does bio-dad pay support? Is there a potential for him to meet her someday? Is her father potentially going to adopt her legally?

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Dove - posted on 07/08/2016

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You don't have to tell your daughter that her bio father is a drug abuser for her to know that the man raising her is not her bio father.

It's not that hard to understand what I was saying, but since you apparently went off and deleted your account in a huff based on one single line of my first comment (which wasn't even the point of my post/advice to you)... what do you want?

Why are you focused so much on one tiny aspect instead of the entire point of my post.... which was the second paragraph of my original response?

[deleted account]

Tell the truth but tell the altered truth?! I will tell you who your real father is but if you ask to see him..hmm what will I say to you then?

Dove - posted on 07/08/2016

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You don't have to justify anything to me. My beliefs about this topic will never change regardless of circumstances, but that isn't your issue to take on.

There is a difference between telling a child age appropriate truth... and full disclosure on every nitty gritty detail truth. One is important... the other is just cruel (depending on what that truth IS).

[deleted account]

I don't want to seem like I'm justifying why she hasn't exactly been "raised with the truth", but I think I made the best decision in waiting to tell her. I knew that the day would eventually come where I wold have to have this very difficult conversation with her. There are certain times when you just want to live your life stress and drama free and raise your children the best way that you believe you can. Her biological father was abusing drugs and had no stable place to live. I don't believe that's an appropriate subject to speak about to a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 year old. Now at 7 years old, having been exposed to news outlets, understanding that people make bad choices sometimes, children in school who have 2 mothers, or children in school who have only one parent, I feel like NOW she's able to have a better understand. It's all about timing!

[deleted account]

Thank you for your honest opinion! Her biological father is not paying support. He is living in the same city as we are, and I've always kept minimal contact with his sister and his mother. We currently have a phone number where he can be reached so we can communicate with him our goals, and see where he stands. My fiance and I have spoke about adoption, but he doesn't want to take her identity from her. He wants her to know who she is, where she is from etc.

Dove - posted on 07/08/2016

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Since you haven't been raising her w/ the truth (always the best way)... tell her now.

You can briefly explain the difference between a father (the man that helps create the baby... also her intro to sex ed if you haven't yet started that topic) and a dad (the man that helps raise the baby). For some kids... their father and their dad are the same person. Some kids have a father and a dad that are different people (like her). And some kids only have a father.

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