When to tell child about real dad? and how?

Katie - posted on 08/04/2009 ( 47 moms have responded )

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My daughter liberty turns 5 this week. Her real dad left shortly after her first birthday. Completely disapeared. This was a good thing as he was an abusive man. I got married to my husband who has just takin over and raised my daughter. She doesn't remember her real dad. And my husband has been around as long as she can remember. So my question is do I sit her down at this age and tell her or wait till she is older? What to say? I don't want to wait to long and have her feel like she has been lied to, but I want the relationship between her and my husband to stay strong. Anyone been through this?

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Dawnda - posted on 03/19/2013

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My daughter is 7. She has no idea that her 2 older siblings have a different father than she does. My ex-husband has raised her and taken her in as his own since the day she was born. Her real father knew I was pregnant but I told him when she was born that she wasn't his. I've since contacted him & let him know she is in fact his & he's willing to meet her. My question is how do I tell her? What do I say? Any advice?

Rachael - posted on 08/29/2013

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Please I need help I have just told my 13 year old daughter that the man that brought her up is not her biological daddy I think ive made the biggest mistake of my life even tho I never lie to my children, I think I should of kept this 1 to myself ive never seen my daughter so hurt and im so scared she will hate me for thw rest of her life pls wat do I do now I want to tke it bk tell her I lied.

Shawn - posted on 01/18/2013

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This was extremely helpful. My daughter's biological father has never been in her life. That was by his choice. He pays child support (when the court puts the screws to him to do so) and that is it. I am getting married next year to a wonderful man. My daughter has only known him as a father figure since she can remember. We were worried about when to tell her about her biological half, and now we know. We know what to say. Biology doesn't make a great Dad. My fiance has been tremendous since the beginning and my daughter loves him to the moon and back. Thank you to everyone who posted here.

Baily - posted on 04/12/2013

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I am glad I found this site, I have a 6 year old son who has no clue about his biological father, I was with him for 5 years before we split. He was never around my son and I because he was always out doing drugs and stealing cars. We split when my son was 2 and I started dating a good friend shortly after who has always been around my son. We go married and now have a 3 year old as well. My ex is in prison and I dread explaining to my son why a different man's name is on his birth certificate. We changed his last name so that our whole family has the same one. I also don't want him feeling like I lied to him or it is my fault things are this way. I feel guilty even though I made the right decision for my son's life.

Sarah - posted on 11/04/2012

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I think maybe a good way to introduce this idea to her might be to tell her you want her to "meet" someone. Then, give her a photo of her bio dad and explain to her what she probably already knows, which is that babies are made with a piece from a dad and a piece from a mom. And, tell her this is the dad who gave you a piece of her. Sometimes Dads can't stay with us, sometimes they die, sometimes they leave, sometimes things just happen. But, the good news is she has a Daddy who has come to be her all day every day Daddy. Just like some kid in her class at school (surely you know at least one kid with a step-dad and a dad-dad), she has 2 dads also.



My daughter always knew she had a Daddy Travis. She didn't see him often but it didn't affect her relationship with Daddy who lives with us at all. I never told her that Daddy Travis didn't love her, I always told her that he wasn't in her life because he didn't know how to take care of a little girl like she needed her Daddy to take care of her. I always told her that he did love her, which if you asked him, he would say he did, even though he didn't feel the need to be in her life. I also told her when she was older, she might get to know him if she wants to.



I believe in telling kids the truth. It's when we lie to them and they find out that they become the most upset by our choices. So, I would tell her as soon as possible and just let it be a fact of her life as she grows up so that she is (hopefully) never blind-sided by this information later on. That never goes well, in my opinion.

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Raye - posted on 02/17/2016

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Carole, don't say I don't know what it's like. My husband's ex ran off and left her kids. Instead of a bad father, we have to deal with a bad mother. My step-kids mom is self absorbed, cancels her visitation days, ignores them when she does have them for visitation, doesn't make sure they get their homework done, doesn't make sure they take prescribed medicines, doesn't make sure they have their glasses on their face or retainers in their mouths (of course SHE doesn't pay for medical, vision or dental), didn't take the kids to their counseling session (that she also doesn't pay for), couldn't come up with $3 to get into her son's basketball game, ignored her daughter when she fell on the playground, has smacked her daughter in the face (when she was 8 or 9 y/o). I could go on and on. But we are abiding by the LAW (custody orders) and putting our personal feelings for this woman aside; trying to do everything we can do to help the kids still turn out to be well-adjusted and know they are loved by my husband and me. Again, don't say I don't know what it's like. My step-son has said I am more of a mom to him that his real mom. And when he's old enough, he will decide he doesn't need to go to his mom's anymore. And that is HIS decision to make.

I wasn't trying to "win". It's not a competition. It's a place for people to come and get information. I was providing information. You're the one that was taking offense to my advice and you keep responding. If you didn't agree, that's fine. If you didn't want me to reply, you should have left it alone. But you deleted your original post and you've come across nasty to me. So, now I am done. I won't respond anymore. YOU WIN!

[deleted account]

And I'm not trying to be rude when I say this but...I've already had legal advice.... So.if I was on this website for legal advice that'd just be ridiculous.. I just wanted an opinion from a mother whose preferably in the same boat as I am..because clearly other than legal knowledge you have no idea what this position is like...
Please I'm begging u don't respond....

[deleted account]

Please stop replying you have made your point. You win lady!
I just asked you nicely... If you knew the man maybe you would understand my position... Take care

Raye - posted on 02/17/2016

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Carole, I wasn't trying to be nasty to you. My advice was to reveal some hard truths and let anyone reading know that, by taking matters into your own hands and denying the father his rights, it could turn out bad for you and/or the child in the long run. You should get it legalized through the courts. If you don't, and the father were to take it to court to fight for custody, you could lose. One NY study showed that, in 82% of the disputed custody cases, fathers achieved sole custody despite the fact that only 13% had been involved in child care activities prior to divorce/separation from the mother. Moreover, 59% of fathers who won custody litigation had abused the child's mother. It may not happen to you, but then again it could.

Parental alienation is an effort to undermine and interfere with the child's relationship with the other parent, and is often a sign of the "custodial" parent’s inability to separate from the couple conflict and focus on the needs of the child. Such denigration results in the child’s emotional rejection of the targeted parent, and the loss of the "non-custodial" parent from the life of the child. According to the Family Court Review, there is now scholarly consensus that parental alienation is a largely overlooked form of child maltreatment. Every child has a fundamental right and need for an unthreatened and loving relationship with both parents, and to be denied that right by one parent, without sufficient justification such as abuse or neglect, is a form of child abuse.

For the child, parental alienation is a serious mental condition, based on a false belief that the alienated parent is a dangerous and/or unworthy parent. The severe effects of parental alienation on children are well-documented; low self esteem and self-hatred, lack of trust, depression, and substance abuse and other forms of addiction are widespread. Children who have undergone forced separation from one of their parents in the absence of abuse, are highly subject to post-traumatic stress.

So it appears the real question is, where is the break even point? At what point does a father become bad enough that it would actually be better for the child if he wasn't in the picture? And this is something that is impossible for one parent to determine. They are too close to the situation and biased by their own feelings. Therefore, the court should be the one to impartially determine what is in the best interests of the child. And a Judge is the only one that can LEGALLY remove a parent's rights to a relationship with their child.

Is no-father better than a sometimes-father? Depends. If the father can offer love and help the child's self-esteem, then it's better for him to be a sometimes-father. Even if it's only 2 or 3 times a year that he sees his son. The child will know he's loved. Think about this: if his uncle came in from out of town 2 times a year and wanted to spend time with your son and show him a good time, then left for 6 months, would you say he's a bad uncle or it's wrong for him to only show up twice a year? I know an uncle is not a father, but it's a similar concept. And really, the child has a right to make up his own mind about the kind of person his father is. If the child gets to know him and the father turns out to be a less than stellar dad, then at least the child will know the truth, and would probably be more grateful for the opportunity to come to that conclusion by himself. If he never knows his dad, he may create this "fantasy dad" (the dad he wanted, that never existed) in his head and then, and no one can live up to that.

I don't think any parent is wrong to get into a relationship with a new person that is more than willing to fill the void of the absent parent. It is good for the child to have a loving role model in their life. But the new parental figure (or step-parent) should not superimpose themselves into the biological parent's place. They should not want to deny the rights of the child to know about, or know personally, their natural parent. You should not lie or wait to tell them the truth, because finding out later can lead to resentment and undo all the "good" you were trying to do by "protecting" them.

[deleted account]

Honestly... I'm almost in the exact same boat... Spoke to my pediatrician about it today.. He said that basically if the man is raising her that is her dad.. Anyone can make a baby but only caregivers can take care of children... Your man is a good man for filling in the void he chose to leave... Same with my man and my son.. Like the pediatrician said when you feel your child is mature enough to actually understand the situation then tell them..
However don't speak I'll of the man because that can really hurt the child's feelings and confidence because after all that is her father...
When she's old enough to decide whether she wants to know him or not you can help her do so..and if he rejected her once again then it will hurt her but better than hiding the truth from her.. Sometimes it'd be easier to lie and protect them from unneeded pain but we don't have that authority... Just make the vest judgment as her mom and tell her when the time is right... Support her choices.. And don't worry at least she will always have the man that raised her... Wishing u luck..xo

Just heads up some people have very awful responses to theses situations.. I got a nasty reply on mine... Don't worry your doing right by your daughter by informing yourself..

[deleted account]

And just wanted to add....that I'd rather him stay away than come in and out of our child's life like he was......... So yes... As the mother of this boy, the main caregiver, the one person who will protect and provide for.him...he's better off without him...
If he changes he knows where I live...
And he wasn't lied to...... He saw his step brother calling his father dad so he copied and I didint stop him... He knows there's a difference he calls him by his name.from time to time... Ya getting off this site for sure that was a bullshit response and very unhelpful

Raye - posted on 02/16/2016

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Carole, First, you have no authority to say that your son is better off without his dad. There's no way for you to know that for certain. When you were no longer in a relationship with the father, you should have gotten custody/visitation and child support worked out in court. That is a protection for both parents and the child. Only a judge can legally take away a father's rights. And if you have willfully kept the father away, and the father decides one day to take you to court over it, it could lead to you losing custody to the father. Doesn't matter if he's ever parented any of his kids a day in his life, at the very least he would be granted visitation. And if the child has believed his dad is someone else, wouldn't that be a horrible shock to learn he was lied to the whole time?

Especially now, if the father has been out of the picture for 3-1/2 years, you can't say if he's changed or that you "don't trust him" around your son. You don't know him anymore. And, again, you don't have the authority. If he shows up, legally he has as much right to the child as you, because you don't have court orders saying otherwise.

Your child has rights too... to have a relationship with both parents. It's also good to know the medical history of the father's side of the family. I have a genetic heart defect (that my dad has) that I found out about 10 years after my parents divorced. I didn't have the best relationship with my dad (still don't) but it was helpful to talk to him about this condition. Also, he has had cancer, and my half sister on my dad's side has had cancer, so if I didn't know them I wouldn't know that cancer runs in my family. And I wouldn't know that I might need to be tested earlier and more frequently than "normal" people. Your child's health isn't something to disregard and keep half of the information from your son because you're uncomfortable being an adult and won't co-parent with the father. Get over yourself. You're not protecting your son. You're protecting yourself from being hurt. It's understandable, but it's maybe not the best thing for your child. My dad is an asshole. And I think I'm better off having come to that conclusion by knowing him than if I had been "protected" and lied to.

The child should never be lied to about parentage, and should know from the beginning that your BF is not his father. Kids will want to simplify relationships and call the nearest father figure "dad" or the nearest mother figure "mom", and that's ok. But you should talk to him about his real father. Show him pictures. Don't bad-mouth the father or give the kid all the hateful details of your relationship/breakup. If he has questions, just say that you and his father could not be together, and you don't know why he's not around (unless you're stalking him, then you don't know what he's up to or why he hasn't come around, so it's not exactly a lie).

Show the child that he is loved. He may still wonder what he's missing out on by not knowing his real father, but he will be better adjusted for knowing the truth all along than finding out he's been lied to for years and years. If the father does decide to come into his child's life, give him a chance. Quit thinking of your own discomfort, and do what's right for your child.

Nena - posted on 04/05/2015

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Well I am going to just do it. I am going to tell my 8 year old about his biological dad. He was raised by my ex, but now he is to busy with his new wife and child, I don't know how to explain to him that his dad is not his real dad, he is not a little boy anymore, I don't want to put this off any more, I am nervous but he needs to know the truth, God please give me the strength I need to do the right thing.
sometimes the band aid just needs to be ripped off, I hope it goes well.

Mo - posted on 04/15/2014

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hello everyone can i get some advice please, my daughter was adopted from a baby, the mother denied i was the father so i could not get any access to her. she now 14 years old with adopted parents, social services have my details to be forward if she wishes to when she 18 to know who her father is. I found her on facebook, i am in two minds to contact her or not, do you think it wise not too contact her this way.

Kirsty - posted on 03/17/2014

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I have been wondering the same thing my little girl is 9 months old her father and I split before I found out I was pregnant, I met someone during my pregnancy and he was there at the birth of my little girl as well she has started saying dada to him and I think its quite right that she calls him dad he's been there from the first moment and loves her with all his heart and plans to adopt her.. but I also know she must be told about her biological father and I was thinking the earlier the better so its normal for her.. I was thinking of writing a story to tell her then as she gets older I could say "your special like the girl in the story you have 2 daddy's aswell" type of thing does anyone tthink this is a good idea?

Monica - posted on 03/16/2014

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I have two children 3 yrs and 18 months. Their biological father my ex husband has been in jail for 18 months and is about to get out in 3 months for beating me and putting me in the hospital 2 days before I delivered my daughter. When he gets out we are supposed to go back to court for a custody hear to see about him getting possible supervised visitation.
I have met someone and am getting remarried in 2 months. The kids know him as daddy and he is the only daddy my daughter knows. My son the 3 yr old in autistic so it is hard to explain things to him. All his therapists said he has improved dramatically since my fiancé has been with us and he has been in a stable environment now. I don't want the visitations to hinder that and make him regress at all.
I'm not sure what to tell my children about who they are going to see. My lawyer said my ex just has to screw up again (which he will) I have a restraining order against him. And when he screws up the courts will make him give up his parental rights and my new husband can adopt them. Until then though they may have to do visitation with their biological. I am at a loss as to what to tell them and what to do. My daughter doesn't really like new people and is going to scream and cry the whole time she is at visitation I don't want to put her through that and my 3 yr old is going to get so confused when he goes and my ex tries to tell him he is his daddy.
I need some advice please.

Pauline - posted on 03/02/2014

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My 4 yr old is involved w/her phycological n biological father. She has visitation w/ the both of them, she knows her phycological father as "dad" n her biological father as "uncle" she has grown close to him n I don't want to lie, the older she gets I feel she may resent me for not telling her the truth, but maybe a little young to tell her now, so when will be the right time?

Pauline - posted on 02/25/2014

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I have a 4 year old daughter, who will be 5 in one month. She was raised by a man who was not her biological father. After court and pathrnity testing, the real father was revealed as another man. The three of us (adults) made an agreement with our lawyers. We all share joint custody of the 4 ur old child. With the biological father having visitation rights as well as her phycological father having visitation rights as well. Child lives with me(mother). We as a group are suppose to inform my child that she this man she visits with, she calls him uncle (biological father) is really her father. My child is very smart for her age because she has an older sibling in the house with us my 13 ur old daughter. My question is, when should I inform my 4yr old child that her uncle is her real father n the father that she calls dad is just her phycological father? Confused! Both physiological and biological father are both involved with my four year old child... Both have visitation and help me anyway they can, as my four year old is growing closer to her biological father , just trying to find the right time to tell her, she also has three other sisters by her biological father which whom my daughter plays with. They all look exactly alike. I feel the earlier she knows the better she will be, if it is prolonged then I feel like she will be angry for the three of us lying to her. What age is appropriate? She's four now, n everyone involved loves her n supports her n we will always be there for her!

Emily - posted on 02/18/2014

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I think I made a mistake I have always said I wasn't going to tell my little girl about her biological father because when I met him he was totally different then when I had her he was a compulsive liar, robbed ppl, stole and sold drugs, took drugs , beat his mom , tried to kill hisself a lot or threatened to , has been in jail and in the crazy house a bunch, also tried to run my off the rd knowing my little girl was in the car. Well I decided to tell her about him bc she has had the same father figure in her life since he was born and I just felt like I should tell her about her biological dad she's on 4 now she said she wants to met him.... What do I do ?

Jane - posted on 02/16/2014

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I can't imagine talking with my daughter about this. She's not yet 10 so we aren't rushing. I was single, 42 and quickly running out of time and had no desire to remarry. I do know her daddy (happy surprise) has been here since I was 4 months pregnant, adores her and has given us a good life. As she studies biology and DNA we will speak a bit more about some people being single and using a "donor" to have babies. Eventually we will explain that is how we had her. When she's in her later teen years and if she wants it, we have photos and information to share with her. It is most delicate and we will proceed with great caution. Neither my husband nor I want the donor to be a part of her life, he was a selected vehicle and never wanted contact after the exchange of information in the process. We can only love and support her as a young woman when she decides what to do with the knowledge.

Holly - posted on 03/21/2013

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My daughter has a different father than all my boys do and I have never tried to keep it a secret.. She calls my husband "dad" and always has.. She knows about her biological dad and refers to him as her Dave. He has never been in her life, not have I ever gotten child support or anything from him. However, I feel she needs to know.. My husband plans on adopting her when he can (have to be married 2 years before he can) and her last name will be changed so it is the same as the rest of ours..

Fgirl9482 - posted on 12/24/2012

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I have a different question my daughter is 10 she knows who her real dad is but my 3 boys ( her brothers) have no idea their dad is not her biological dad, she does go with her dad every other weekend but my kids have been told by us (my husband and i) that she goes to her friends i thi ks its time for them to know the truth i just dont know how or if its still not the right time, my boys are 5, 6, and 8... any advide would b so much appreciated, thank you...

Erin - posted on 12/18/2012

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I WAS in a similar situation years ago. My daughters father left when she was 9 months old. Had absolutely nothing to do with her. My now husband has always been her "daddy". At the age of 7 he went to the court and filed for visitations. We were months away from my husband adopting her. The law states that a father has to be absent for a full 7 years for him to abandon the child and to make anything legal (adoption). Well we have always talked about her father (always in a positive way) and even had a special photo album for her. We never hid any of that info from her. Well once she was forced to go with him every other weekend he destroyed the relationship my husband and daughter had. He told her crazy stuff that no 7/8 year old should have to hear. He pretty much manipulated and brain washed her to believe all the vulgar things he told her. She is now 12 and we still have the same issues of her believing things he tell her. I know in her heart she knows the truth but she desperately wants this abusive crazy man in her life. I don't know if I should of done things differant but that was my experience. The point of this is just please be careful. Don't put your guard down. Defiantly be honest with your child but don't let her think that he isn't out there.

Betty - posted on 12/18/2012

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Hey im going thur the same thing my daughter is 3years old and her real dad havent been there because I had told him that she wasnt his but now that she is 3 I had told him the turth and my husband and I would like for him to be part of her life but we dont know how are we tellin her all this because her real dad wants to see her but I dont know if its a good idea because we dont know how she going to act. Please help I really want both man in her life I just dont want my child to love one more then the other one.

Jewel - posted on 10/10/2012

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Hi all I'm a man. I have been away from my 9 year old for 7 years and its due to me being in prison for 3 years for theft. And I also moved out of state after being released cause I couldn't contact my ex. I've been doing well and working and looking for my ex with no luck to see my Lil baby girl after some years bam I find her on face book and send MSG after MSG no response a year go by still sending MSGs no response so I see what state and city she live on FB and call the police in that town and they gave me public information of her so I called her and spoke to her father. Later I receive a FB MSG from her saying don't contact my daughter cause she think someone else is her dad and she don't want to confuse her. She told me she will send me pictures but stay away and let her grow as a family girl with the father she knows. I don't know what to do. Me and my ex wasn't a abusive relationship it was she was a very jealous person and I wasn't aloud to go anywhere and always being accused of stuff so I left and got in some trouble.

Kristen - posted on 10/05/2012

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I just recently sat my 6 year old son down and explained to him that the man he calls "Dad" is actually his step-dad. My son's biological father chose not to be involved in his life from the beginning, having only seen him a handful of times and not since my son was 2. My son was very mature (for a 6 year old) about the situation and has only had a few questions, but even at that age he did feel bothered by everyone else knowing and the secret being kept from him. I really believe that between 6 and 8 is the time to reveal this information. Before the teenage angst sets in and they really have a reason to resent their parents and after they have experienced a little more (school-age) and have become accustomed to kids having divorced parents, etc. As nervous as I was to tell my son, he made 1 comment that made it all ok. "It doesn't matter if he (my husband) is my real dad or my step-dad, he is the best dad ever."

Candi - posted on 05/04/2012

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i have a similar situation and need advice. My ex husband and I were married and had two children. He had been cheating the whole time but I never knew. When i found out we went through some difficult stuff but stayed together but I always hated him. A few years later I started seeing someone else (we were still married) and eventually got pregnant. My husband knew and I stopped seeing the other person. We went on like nothing happened but my son is the bf's. When the baby was about two my husband and I separated and I got back together with the other guy. That was two years ago. The other guy and all three kids and I live together now and the other guy wants my son (now four) to know he is his bio father. It difficult because I have a nine & 11 year old also who will be affected by this. Their father is in the picture. He has visitation (with all three) and is active in their lives.All three children love my ex husband (their father) very much. They also really like the other guy. None of the kids know that the other guy is actually the four year olds father. How do I handle this and not confuse everyone?!

Joanie - posted on 07/30/2010

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my daughter is 6. I am not married but her dad had not been around until last year but he has only seen her a few times. I told her the truth a 3 years ago when we went to court for a DNA test. For the past 3 years she has seen her most of his family on a regular basis and this summer she has been spending time with her half brother and her grandmom and great grandfather. I have told some of why he left when i was pregnant with her.she and her brother are 18 days apart. she is oldest. I tell her not to base her feelings on what happened between me and her dad but base it on their relationship
You know your child better than anyone. If u feel ur child can handle the truth than talk about it. If not wait a few more years.

[deleted account]

This sounds exactly like my story! Although Savannah (will be 6 in Nov) has known from the beginning that she has a first daddy and her now/forever daddy. Every now she comes up with questions about my ex. I answer them as truthfully as I can without going into full detail. She knows that her first daddy was mean to me and that's why mommy moved in with Oma (grandma). Savannah has a half sister (from her bio dad) that we've tried to get together with every now and then (she doesn't see her dad either). I also tell her that her daddy now loves her and takes care of her and makes sure she has everything she needs and that's what's most important. Savannah does sometimes try out the "you're not my real daddy", but I think it's more of seeing what kind of reaction she gets from it. When she does that, we tell her that's not nice and it hurts daddy's feelings, and then we drop it. We pretty much refer to my ex as her first daddy, and my bf as her daddy (we started dating when she was 7 mos old). My daughter adores my bf and it doesn't affect them at all that she isn't his bio daughter. Your daughter's and husband's bond will stay strong because he is the one who is there and loves her and takes care of her. This she can understand even at 5. It's actually not as bad as you think, there are so many kids out there in this situation (unfortunately) not to mention children who've been adopted, that there will always be someone whom she can identify with.

Nikki - posted on 07/28/2010

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im so glad u posted this question because im going thru the aftermath now here is my story.... i was engaged to BD1 ( baby daddy #1) once he proposed i freaked out and told him to leave... then about 2 moths later i found out i was pregnant... i met a nice guy who offered to take care of the baby and me ( always me 2nd) so i caved in and started dating him... about 2 months later i gave birth to Eric (now 10) i ended up getting married to BD2 and had another son... we are now getting divorced and Ian (BD2) told Eric he is not his father but will always be his daddy...... well just this last 4th of july i got an email from BD1 and he wanted to see Eric turns out he was keeping tabs on Eric the whole time but was doing what he thougt was best by staying away.... I told Eric his Fther was in town and wanted to meet him and Eric agreed to see him now i have a 10 year old who wantes to love two men who love him to no end but is afraid of how the other will feel... i believe i waited too long to explain things to Eric and have been trying over last few weeks to explain its ok to love both of them because they both love him and your heart grows bigger with the more people you love so its not taking away from one to give to the other just growing bigger to make more love.....

Sherilyn - posted on 07/28/2010

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I don't believe 5 is too young. My oldest daughter is in this situation. Her "father" left when I was 3 months pregnant with her. She has asked questions over the yrs about her dad and I was honest with her. She really wants to meet him because she has never had someone want to be her dad and she can't understand why everyone else has one and she doesn't. I had to sit down and explain to her that her "dad" was not ready to be a father but that's ok she still has lots of people who love her. She has the hardest time around fathers day becasue she doesn't know what to do since she has no "dad" to give a present to. this yr however she decided that she was going to give her fathers day present to my current boyfriend and explained to him that he is kinda like her dad and that she loves him very much. It breaks my heart everytime we have the conversation about her "father" as I can not give her what she wants the most. My bf however is an amazing man and loves that she has choosen him to be father. She knows that there is a difference between a father and a dad and that she is loved by my bf as his daughter. Both of them accepted eachother at their own pace and things have turned out wonderfully with them so she is much happier knowing that she has a dad who loves her even tho he is not her biological father.

Good luck and do what you feel is right. YOur daughter will love u still and it doens't change the fact that your husband has been her dad and will continue to be and will love her just as much as your other child

Riki - posted on 07/27/2010

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tell her when you feel the time is right! you know your child and only you can decide whens the right time.

Kristin - posted on 08/06/2009

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Funny I'm pretty much in the exact same position. Lily's bio-father left when I was 7 months pregnant. I don't call him a real father. Her real father lives with us and has cared for and about her since she was a month old. I've been quizzing a lot of people I know in a similiar situation. Both of them knew at fairly young ages. I have been watching my Lily to sort of see if its the right time. I however have the benefit of having an older girl. And I've noticed that around 7 becomes a bit of a maturity. So I've personally decided that I'm going to tell her at 7. However at the same time I've never hid it from her. His picture is in her baby book. She's never asked. But one thing I know I'll be telling her is that her real dad is right where he's supposed to be with us.

Katie - posted on 08/06/2009

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I just want to thank you all for your insights on my issue, I just want to do whats right for Liberty.

Renee - posted on 08/06/2009

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Same situation here too. My son's dad left the picture when he was 2 and I married my wonderful husband when he was about 3. It wasn't until our daughter arrived that we really started feeling the pressure of defining our roles. We told our son when he was 5 that he has a "biological" father and a "real" father. He never had an issue with it, has even seen pictures of his biological father and is now 12 and perfectly adjusted. Kids are far more resilient than we give them credit for and with enough age appropriate information and explaination, it really isn't too much to get worked up about. We have been fortunate that his biological father stepped out of the picture completely, my husband was given the opportunity to raise him as his own. My daughters are now old enough too to understand that their big brother was born from a different father but he is still 100% their brother and they have the same daddy. The conversations are never weird or awkward when you aren't worried about hiding truths or afraid of reactions. I wish you the best of luck. We did offer my son counselling at age 10 (mostly for his ADD/OCD) but I did bring it up with the counselor to feel him out to see if he had some underlying issues about having two fathers and the counselor seemed pretty convinced that he was perfectly happy with his life and held no resentments. Bottom line, I do not believe 5 is too young, kids are brilliant individuals that deserve honestly just like the rest of us.

Kim - posted on 08/06/2009

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Speaking from experience my mom told me about my "real" dad too soon. I must have been around 7. It really effected me turns out with 4 children there were 3 different dads. I felt alone and I wondered why he didnt want me ect. I have a wonderful stepdad and I wish I never even found out he wasnt my biological father. But I do believe in honesty so if it were me I would wait until she is 18 (if ever) and let her know that way she can decide what to do next. I would also have your husband adopt her. This is something that my step dad talked about but never actually did. I belive if he had it would have made it a little easier on me. Hope this helps. Good luck.

Melanie - posted on 08/05/2009

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I am not in your situation, but I do think you should sit down and talk to her about it. Yes, she may not understand all the nuances in the case, but she will have the opportunity to deal with it over a long period of time and know there is nothing shameful about her parentage.



I also guess it would be better coming from you than from someone else accidently.

Billie Jo - posted on 08/05/2009

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My husband and his brother both were adopted and both have known from the begining. I for one am very curious about these situations and he rarely speaks of it, but I asked him once if he cared that he was adopted, answer was no and if he wished his parents never told him. His response was he was glad he knew as he would have questioned certain things like looks, etc and thinks he would have taken it hard if he found out at a later age. I think, personally maybe just mentioning it to her, and as another responder said let her know she can ask anything she wants at anytime about him. Keep it open ended and possibly clue your husband in on things so he is able to join in as well to keep him involved since they are close.

Shyvonne - posted on 08/05/2009

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she sonly 5 so leave it a bit longer, my son is 11 yrs n it came about that i told him when he was 7 and they had done a project at school about familes, and he asked n he was ok with wot i had 2 tell him. as much as i wanted 2 i didnt say anything 2 bad about him i dont think they need 2 much info in that way. but if she does ask just sit her down n tell her the basic info, or wot ever u think she can handle.

Anne - posted on 08/05/2009

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I would honestly wait until she is older to understand, Five year old children do not understand this type of personal information. What is important is that your now husband is a father figure to your daughter and biology doesnt a make a father it makes a child. My daughter is fifteen years old. Her father is not a nice person either. She grew up with knowing he was her father but she also blamed her self all of those years for him not being around. Even though I explained to her that it was not her fault. He then wanted to come and in out of her life which was more painful. Sometimes, it is better to just let the lion lay and not stir up the past

Rosienne - posted on 08/05/2009

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Hi dear Katie, I haven't been through your situation but since I work with kids (apart from having 2 children myself) as a primary school teacher I wanted to share my opinion - I strongly believe that honesty (without going into unnecessary details and negative or judgmental comments about the biological father) is the key to ensuring that our kids grow up healthy and happy. I agree with Cori in the approach she took to tell her kid the truth. It won't be easy but I encourage you to bring it up before your daughter is a teenager, may be wait a year or two but not more. Well done for a lovely picture of your kids! Rosienne (Malta)

Linda - posted on 08/04/2009

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My son Devon is now nine, my husband came into our lives when he was two-three years old. He has always called my husband Dad. Jon and I had two other children, Devon has no clue Jon is not his biological father and Jon treats Devon no different. Devon's biological father has no clue he has a son, not his doing. We met, things happened, he left to go home, never seen each other again. When Devon turns 18 I will tell him, hopefully I can find his biological father by then.

Cori - posted on 08/04/2009

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Same situation here. We sat down with our son and told him exactly what you just wrote. They don't want the gory details, just the facts. I think my son was 6. We told him how lucky we are to have Daddy, and asked if he had any questions. He said no. We told him that if he ever had any just to ask, he has a question about 2x a year, and that is it. We are honest and that is it. I think the most of the anxiety is from ourselves! He is now 10 and could care less. He knows who his real dad is!

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