Should I tell my niece's dad that he may not be her father?

Saph - posted on 09/14/2014 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My sister had a baby 6 years ago and didn't know who was the father. It came down to 3 or 4 guys that might be the father so she decided to pick the one who's family would help out the most. Yes she has problems. She is not that bright, literally and I'm not saying that to be mean. I can't be close to my niece's "dad", and his side of the family when I'd like to. I feel they should know that my niece may not be theirs, but it's not really my place to say anything. My sister will never say anything. She's even tried to get child support from different men telling them that her daughter is theirs. Should I hint at this to my niece's side of the family or just let it keep playing out?

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Sarah - posted on 09/16/2014

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It is not your place......period. That is not your decision to make. There is a little 6 yr old that believes this guy is her father. There is a man that is there for his daughter and helping raise her. It is not your place to step into that. Maybe this is the best situation for all involved. Maybe this guy enjoys and wants to be this little girl's father. Maybe this little girl wins by having this guy be her father. Just because they may or may not be biological makes no difference. Should the father be able to make that choice.....yes and no. Yes things should have been done differently and your sister should be honest with him.....but again.....not your place to step in. On the other hand this is a guy that decided to have sex with her. Having sex creates the risk that you make a child and have that responsibility. Having sex in an non-committed relationship means that you then have the risk of STD's and a child that may or may not be yours. Just as your sister has made choices right or wrong he has made choices also right or wrong. It is not your place to get involved in that. It is also not fair for that little 6 yr old girl that may be the one that gets the most hurt in the long run by you "spilling the beans".

Leela - posted on 09/16/2014

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Hmmm talk about a rock and a hard place. I wouldn't say anything to him. That conversation should have happened 6 years ago. Speak to your sister and say enough is enough. If she won't move then involve your mom etc so they can also push her in the right direction.

Chet - posted on 09/15/2014

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Very honestly, I probably wouldn't say anything to the man who is raising your niece. Not unless there was an urgent reason to.

People sometimes choose to turn a blind eye to the truth. You don't know who knows, or who suspects, what. If your sister had to "narrow it down to 3 or 4 guys" it's very possible that the man who is raising your niece as his own is well aware of the fact that he might not be the biological father. Moreover, in this day and age, it's hard to believe that word hasn't gotten around to at least some of the other men your sister was with that she has a daughter now. Surely they could do the math and know that they might be fathers. It's possible that everyone is completely clueless, but it's also possible that people have opted to just play dumb on some level.

You also have no idea how things will play out if you come forward as a third party. What's to stop your sister from denying your story? What proof do you have, and how likely are people to take your word over hers?

Even if you do set paternity testing in motion that's all you can do. As a third party, you haven't got much control over what will ultimately happen. Your sister will have no opportunity to make plans for any fall out that results from this... not like if she started the ball rolling herself. And for your niece's sake it would be good if there were some plans in place... on the off chance that the man who is raising your niece is completely shaken and takes off, his family throws your sister out on her ear, and the bio dad turns out to be in jail with no interest in being a father and no capacity to provide.

Even though your sister has no plans to come clean, I think you might be able to nudge her in that direction. You could encourage her to discretely do the DNA testing herself. She can submit a hair sample or a toothbrush sample from the man who is raising your niece and find out if he is the dad or not. Point out that, for medical reasons, your sister should know if he's the biological father, and make sure she understand how easy and discrete the whole process will be.

And if this guy is the father, it's all good. And If he's not, your sister will know and that's going to be a much harder secret to take the grave... she will be much more likely to give up the truth herself. Even as far as the discussion between the two of you goes "might not be the dad" and
"know that he isn't the dad" are completely different dialogues.

Dove - posted on 09/14/2014

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Technically you should have told him 6 years ago.... What is it going to do to that little girl NOW if it turns out he isn't her bio father? Is he going to be wlling to stick around and still be dad regardless?

Yes... they have a right to know and the child has a right to know... just be prepared to be potentially ripping apart several people's lives and know that you will probably lose your sister and niece in the process.

I'm really not saying this to convince you NOT to do it. I'm a big believer in the truth despite circumstances... but this should have been dealt w/ 6 years ago.

Ev - posted on 09/14/2014

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Then in that case you need to do the right thing and tell these men not just the one who is being the father figure what is going on and what her game is. These men can petition the court and judge to get the paternity test done and your sister will have to comply. But that depends on the laws regarding how long after the birth of a child that this can be allowed. If it is allowed she has to follow the court orders and allow the child's DNA be tested against that of the men involved. Once the father is found out, then she can get child support and so on for her child the right way.

Saph - posted on 09/14/2014

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I have told her. She won't do it. One guy that she was taking to court to get child support had requested a paternity test. My sister decided to not go through with it. I told her she should because it could possibly rule out that guy. She lives with the the supposive father because his father supports them. A lot of deception and lies going on with her and I try to get her to do the right thing, but she's extremely lazy and just doesn't care.

Ev - posted on 09/14/2014

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I think you should tell your sister that she needs to tell all these men that they are potentially the child's father, ask them to get a paternity test done to see who is and then set up visitation, custody, and child support. Its not your place to tell any of those men even the one who thinks he is the father this information; it is your sister's place. And this has been six years ago? Why did she not do something then? Its not fair to the child nor the man who thinks he is dad and may not be.

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