So i have a 8 year old daughter. The man she knows as dad is not her biological dad. He has raised her from birth and still actively sees her to this day. Her sperm donor was very abusive and i left him when i was 4 months pregnant after a hospital stay and almost loosing her. He decided he did not want her when she was 5 months old ( the first visit he ever had with her) she still sees his parents regularly tho. My daughter had started asking how she is related to her grandparents on his side. I have simply just said we can love people and have relationships with them even if we are not related. ( i have alot of family i call family even tho biologically they are not related to me, i compare it to that) so my ex re married (the one she calls dad) and it has come up time and time again about telling her the truth. Im torn. I dont want her to find out from someone else or over hear a conversation and find out that way. I dont want her to think her “dad” will love her anyless either. I have always said i wouldn’t tell her until shes older and we can have a more indepth conversation about it, yet the topic keeps coming up. Do i tell her and simply say sperm donor wasn’t ready to be a dad? Do i wait a bit longer to tell her? Sperm donor has had no contact with me in 7 years, hes not blocked from anything and i stay in communication with his family so they all can see updates on my daughter ect. He just does not want anything todo with her. I feel like absolute crap for lieing about it and saying shes not related to her grandparents and cousins when in fact she is. I also dont want to completely break her heart when she finds out her dad doesn’t infact share her blood. A quick back story on “dad”. There was a big argument with his new wife insisting my daughter was old enough and needed to know the truth. Shes very Christian and her new husband telling everyone he has a kid i guess she needed it to be known my daughter wasn’t his. So she could properly explain the situation to the church. I said i dont care just dont have that conversation around my daughter. The argument ended and she told everyone but kept my daughter out of it. Her “dad” also thinks she should know the truth as well at some point. Im mainly torn because i dont want to hurt her. I also dont want her to find out from someone else and lash out on me for not being honest. She has come home from her dads several times asking randomly how shes related to her grandparents ( sperm donor parents) im also deep down afraid this would put a even bigger strain on her and her dads relationship. Just because she isnt related to her dad by blood doesn’t mean he isnt her dad… does anyone have any advice or similar situations? I know it’s alot im just really torn. I was not going to bring it up at all, but i have had people keep telling me i need to tell her and i just wanted some other momas opinions/ advice. Thank you
Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. How to talk to my daughter about this?
I have learned that you only answer questions as they come up. Keep it simple and no need for detail until she is older but answer her questions to the point. I had to deal with this with my oldest and it was the simplest way to handle it.
I had this growing up personally. Never knew my dad till 18 but knew his parents feel free to message me
When my 6 year old was crying for her dad I told her that when I’d gotten pregnant he said he didn’t want to be a part of her life and I was ok with that so I kept her and raised her.
She looked at me and asked why I hadn’t told her that before.
be truthful without bashing him and it will be fine. I’ve never bad mouthed the guy to my daughter. I have to others. But not her
I think maybe you should go ahead and tell her. You and “dad” both sit down and explain to her how just because they don’t share blood doesn’t mean he loves her any less. And nothing changes just because if that.
You need to tell her the truth and the whole truth
If she is asking she already knows to some degree be honest with her and let her ask her questions and be honest. Honesty is the best policy.
This is so tricky… I hope someone who went through this as a kid can speak on this for you and give you the perspective of your daughter and how she might feel. I really do feel for you
Truthfully its best to go ahead and tell her now let her process it but explain to her why you are not with her real daddy. if you wait until she gets older she is going to want to know how come you waited so long to tell her and she will not trust you for a while. I would go ahead and do it and get it over with. I have a niece that is in her late 20s that has no clue that they mom she thinks that her mom is is really her step grandma and the dad is really her grandpa. When she finds out the truth its going to cost alot of hard feelings.
I would say “father” was mean to you while she was in your belly and you had to get away from him yo keep both of you safe. Her “dad” was a man who was very nice and chose to be in both of y’all’s life to help take care of her and love her and keep her safe. And so on. Keep it honest and simple so she can understand.
8 years old is way to young to understand why you made the choices you did. i say wait until she older and more emotionally stable. my 10 year old son has been raised by my c husband who’s not his biological father - i plan on tellin my sons but not until he’s older and able to understand fully. have a conversation with the man whose raised her and get his opinion. let him know ur not ready to tell her.
So she sees the grandparents. So she is related to them but your saying she’s not. I think you need to be honest as abit disrespectful if seeing the grandparents and not knowing them as family but also disrespectful to them.
You need to tell the truth but maybe say some people aren’t ready to be dad’s. Just simple and not bashing his name. I don’t believe a child should ever hear that no matter there faults. Just because bad to you doesn’t mean would be to her,in a sense possibly did her a favour. My kids dont see the family or his family they are fine with it. Youngest is 7
My son thinks my husband is his father. His biological father hasn’t seen him since he was 2 months and my son is now 7. Honestly I don’t think there’s any easy way to tell her other than sitting down with who she calls dad and yourself and explain to the best of your ability that while this man has been her “dad” all these years, just because they aren’t biologically related it doesn’t mean he loves her any less.
She’s old enough to learn the truth if I wait til she’s older u might regret not telling her sooner
It’s time to tell her. That way it is told only the way you want it to be.
So, same situation. My son just turned 14. I told him about 2 months ago. The one who raised him we are divorced 2 years now and he is still active in his life and gets him on the weekends. My son handled it well at that age.
She is gonna hate you if you don’t tell her & finds out from someone else tell her everything !
My ex raised my 9 yr old daughter from the day she turned 1 til almost 7. She Only knew him as dad since her bio dad never seen her. We broke up and i sat her down and told her the truth. She was confused and asked alot of questions. After that her bio dad seen her twice and nothing after that. Its sad but i tell her all families are different. Some people are not ready to b parents and ITS NEVER YOUR FAULT.
It sounds like dads new wife doesn’t want your child around anymore thats why shes told everyone and hoping someone will slip in front of daughter . If you and her dad were happy the way you were ( not saying anything) then new wife should of been happy with what you two had decided its not up to her xx
You definitely need to tell her in my opinion. They understand more than you think at that age.
Be as honest as possible, but within reason, they don’t need to know how shit dad was. Talking negative about the dad attacks the child’s DNA and they can end up feeling worthless.
But an abbreviated honest truth, with the floor open for more questions is the right approach.
My mom always said if a child asks the question, give them the answer.
Tell her. My grandma was always honest about my moms death and sperm donor not wanting to be a dad. It might be hard for her but in the end she will be thankful you were honest with her and let her form her own opinions on it all.
Wait till she’s older n she’s going to resent you for all your lies and may not forgive you because of your lies. These are not little white lies you’re doing either these are huge lies.
Tell her that her Dad loves her and you don’t have to be related by blood to love someone. Keep it simple, otherwise, if you don’t tell her, she will heel betrayed.
I’m gonna be honest and say you made the wrong call, at this point the damage is already done, she could have had a basic understanding much sooner, I’m sure she is gonna feel blindsided by this
I would be honest with her. Answer he questions. Coming from someone who’s parents and family is complicated waiting makes it worse. Just answer her questions. Age appropriate honesty if need be. Don’t have to say sperm donor was abusive can say he was not a nice man and he wasn’t nice to you and wasn’t ready for the responsibility of taking care of a baby. The longer you wait the worse the resentment and anger will be for not telling her
If she is asking, tell her. If his new wife is making a big stink of it, she will eventually slip up and say something… better it comes from you or dad.
My husband was adopted by his dad, he found out young. He wasnt upset, he was glad that his dad stepped up for him. He still calls him dad and our kids know him as Grandpa. Life goes on.
Honestly it sounds like she may have heard something just not the whole story. It sounds like time to have that conversation with her. As for your ex”s new wife she should have butted out, of it.
If she’s randomly asking, somebody is already telling her something. Just tell her. Maybe nobody hasn’t told her anything and she may just be smarter than you think. Just don’t tell her the “sperm donor” didn’t want her, when she’s older she’ll ask more questions.I hope all goes well.
I would tell her that her bio dad wasn’t ready to be a dad. Tell her the truth about it all, otherwise she will find out one day from someone else and that’s not right. At the end of it all, make sure she knows she’s so loved by those involved in her life
Every consequence you have of not telling the truth with just get worse as she gets older. Tell her NOW. Just be completely honest.
Be upfront and honest. My mother always told me the truth about my sperm donor and I am so glad. I knew from a very young age that he refused to accept me as his, and wanted nothing to do with me ever. I’d rather have a dad that chose me than a dad that was forced any day of the week. However, I’m no longer on speaking terms with my dad for a plethora of reasons, but none of those reasons have anything to do with him not being my biological father. I will always be grateful that he was there when another man refused.
As a person who’s biological father didn’t want her until I was born. Then I guess regretted the fact that he wanted my mom to have an abortion with me. I would say have the talk with her my mom did with me around the same age i think even younger. Because I would ask questions about why my older brother was able to go with him and not me. My dad who raised me & has been with my mom since she was 6 months pregnant of me has been in my life forever . Even after knowing the truth he’s my dad and will forever be. My bio talks to me now and we try and communicate. But honestly it’s not the same. I barley know him. To me my dad will always be my dad not matter what. & i always remind him and make it clear to everyone who my dad is. I’m 26yrs old & my mother Passed Away last year. & he’s still here for me A dad is the one who raises a child not the one who makes them. I hope that the conversation with her goes smooth and she understands she will be hurt a bit but just remind her some ppl are not meant to be parents. & the ones that step up are the best .
If “dad” wants to tell her it should be HIS decision. Period. He is the one taking on a role that he chose. Maybe the 3 of you do it together but it should be his story to tell and you there to answer questions. She will have some.
Also, I went through this with my own daughter. She called us liars and didn’t believe the man she loves so much is not her bio. She was 14 when we told her. She was 16 when she tried to have a relationship with bio and 16 when she decided he was not worth her time and effort. My husband who had stepped up so long ago and my daughter have a wonderful relationship.
The truth will set you free, the younger she is when you start talking about it the easier it will be.
Tell her now. I accidentally found out when I was 18. I would have much rather either never known the truth, or had it explained gently and lovingly when I was younger.
It’s always best to be honest. The longer it’s kept from her, the more she’s going to feel lied to when she finally realizes the truth. Also your worst fear could come true and someone else is going to tell her, or she’ll hear it when she wasn’t supposed to and that could be even worse. It sounds like, by her questioning, she’s probably already heard something she doesn’t quite understand, and she’s coming to you for the answers. I think you need to have that conversation sooner then later!
Tell her the truth now. She is starting to pick up on signals from others. Simply say that her “bio dad” do not say “Sperm doner” to her, was not ready to be a dad when she was born. Her “grand parents” are truly hers. The dad who helped raise her is the only dad she has ever had, so he is truly her dad. Explain that you wanted to wait to tell her all of this until she was old enough to understand. You will both be better for honestly sharing this info. Better sooner, than later. Calm, honest conversation with just the two of you. You will be so glad that you did.
Speaking as someone who found out at almost 40 years old that my father was not my biological father, you need to tell her sooner rather than later. The longer you wait the more likely she is to be upset that it was hidden from her.
You need to tell her. Don’t want her finding out the nasty way through the new wife of your ex.
Since it seems like everyone else has been told I would go ahead and we honest with her now before it slips up from someone else.
Most males can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a daddy. That’s trite but true. She needs to know because someone else will let it slip. Love is the most important part of being a parent, and sounds like she has that from her stepdad.
I would sit down with her. My mom kept this same exact secret from me for 16 years
. She told me.on my 16th birthday however my bio dad wasn’t abusive they were just teen parents. I just turned 30 this year and started seeing my.bio dad regularly
She needs to know soon as she’s at the age to understand
She needs to know the truth.
Listen, I was in the same situation as a kid expect I didn’t find my real dad in 2020. My dad I knew all my life was not my real dad. My aunt demanded my mom to tell me when I was 8. I was hurt yes. But I also rebelled because of it. But it gave me a chance to find him years later with Ancestry DNA. I have a great relationship with him and his sister.
Be honest! My husband has been around my child since he was 5 months old and he adopted him at 4. We waited to tell him until he was 8 because that, to us, was a reasonable age. He took it great, and it took a huge weight off of us!!
Do it before she gets too old, it’ll he harder on her if you wait to long.
I know where you are coming from due to being in this position. My husband has been Dad to my two oldest children since 1 was 3 months old and my oldest was 3 years old. They are now 26 and 23. He is not their bio father but they claim him as Dad. They know this they have known since they were little. My opinion is tell her the truth. She’s eventually going to find out anyway and she will be angry with you for keeping that secret from her. It’s time to be honest you owe that to your child. Good luck hope that talk go’s smooth for you and her.
She is 8 which is the exact same age my daughter was when she got the full truth about her bio dad and why he wasn’t around and why her “dad” my husband had a different last name then her. Trust me at 8 they will understand you just have to talk to her if she is asking questions she is aware there is something up and you need to handle it before she finds out from somewhere else. Tbh my daughter knew some small stuff before 8 but like I said at 8 she got it all. She was never mad she understood and her non bio dad is still her daddy to this day and she is 16 now.
Genetics don’t make you a father. Being present and actively loving your children, providing, and being their support makes a real dad. There are sperm banks all over the world that can provide the necessary mixes to make a baby. I wouldn’t personally say anything. If for some reason she finds out down the line, then sit down and make sure you tell her this. There’s no reason to confuse a child right now with a big person matter that they will not fully understand. This may cause depression, resentment, etc. You aren’t lying to her about anything really. This man IS her dad. When she is older and deals with real life situations and relationships, I feel she may better understand if the situation would arise and be able to process things better. Best of luck with everything! Not sure what type of relationship (or lack there of) you have with the new wife, but I would try and sit down and have a conversation and explain things so you can be on the same page.
My son is 4 we adopted him at birth me and his dad divorced a yr ago his dad completely walked out of his life 5 months ago it’s so hard to explain to Lil one’s I did tell my son that his dad moved away because how can u tell a 4 yr old their dad is a deadbeat I also explained to him that another woman grew him in her tummy and gave him to us when he was born because he is black and starting to question why his skins a different color.But with that being said I never want to lie to him and will tell him he was adopted when he fully understands what that means it’s alot easier being honest I believe
You need to sit her down and tell her the truth. Kids are smarter than you give them credit for especially at that age. When she does find out from someone else instead of her mother then she will hate you for not being honest with her and telling her the truth.
Talk to her, Ive just been through this with my 8yr old, literally 3 months ago she knew about cousins his side before I spoke to her, I even told her she has 2 older siblings and she has since met one of then. I said her Daddy chose and will always be her Daddy but someone else put her in my belly and as she gets older if she wants to meet him i’ll find him. He’s never seen her didn’t even know nor can spell her name, doesn’t know her DOB etc. She listened took it in then asked to play on her Ipad. She occasionally a few months asks me stuff but I needed her to know before she was older or a teenager and she’s going through early puberty so already has wild hormones. She asked questions over a week when she wanted to, after I informed her school and Daddy so she could talk to them if she wanted. She took it as I wanted her to. And I’m so SO glad I told her when I did xx
I thought my little brothers dad was my dad for a long time. It’s not something you need to tell her without both of you there. It’s a very confusing moment and you feel lied to and hurt. If she’s asking the questions then she is ready for the talk
Sounds like it’s getting real close to her over hearing from others. Tell her.
You need to be the one to tell her. It’s not fair she over hears it. It needs to come from you.
I was in a similar situation growing up and I still to this day love and respect the dad that raised me over my sperm donor. She will probably be more upset if you try and hide it. She will know who makes her feel happy and safe but sounds like it’s time to tell her.
The older she get the harder it will be to accept. It sounds to me like she might already have an idea or have overheard something. She’s young and innocent now and should be more accepting. As the years go on you can go more into detail as she will understand it better. For now just make it as simple as you can.
Tell her as gently as possible. My daughter is 7. She knows her biological father and my husband as both her dads. My oldest son however, my husband was there throughout the pregnancy, accidentally there during labor (we were friends at the time and he brought me my hospital bag. 10 mins later my son decided to make his appearance), and he’s a wonderful father to my 2 as well as the child we have together. I keep in contact with limited people on my oldest son’s donor’s side. I invite them to parties, send his cousin’s gifts for birthdays, video chat, etc. My husband is his dad, the donor wants nothing to do with him and even wished death on him. But when it comes to that time when he’s older, I will tell him that his DAD will ALWAYS be my husband because he’s been there since day 1, he’s provided financially, emotionally and spiritually. He will not allow anyone to say he is not his child (he doesnt with my daughter either), and it means so much more because they aren’t related by blood. But I will not hide who his bio father is and if he wants to know why I didnt stay, I’m going to be honest. I tried to have him involved despite the abuse I endured. But he chose otherwise when he couldnt have control and I will not be manipulated and accept abuse from anyone and nor should he.
I got half way through this and I needed to comment same situation when my daughter who is now 8 was 7 I stuck her in therapy and we told her and kept her in it. I wish I never went with that lie I had two more kids with another man and he was her “dad” once I told her he was upset but he still takes her he’s still daddy and her just knowing she’s got another one out there was enough to make her feel okay. The most horrible thing I ever did was to lie to her.
If she keeps asking it’s time to tell her.
Her dad may not be blood related… but it sounds like he has accepted her as his own and been taking care of her… so he is DAD!! Don’t ever discount that… sounds to me that you are going to do more harm and push the man away… destroy the relationship that they have!! She knows one dad… and that’s the dad that has loved and raised her!!
I have a similar situation… mine is 16 and special needs… my middle 13 year old… figured it out!! My 16 year old has one dad… he treats her and takes care of her as his own and wouldn’t have it any other way!! I’m not about to destroy that!!
This is only a decision that you can make… 8 years old is still a baby… she is not a grown up… she is not your BFF… she is still a baby that loves her daddy!! Whatever you choose to do… make sure he is there with her!! She needs to know that she is his and will always be… no matter what!!
Your daughter deserves to know the truth about her life. This is a good teaching moment to explain that adults are learning, just like kids, and don’t always use the best judgment (e.g., blurring the details about how certain people are related to your daughter). You can let her know that you wanted her to learn about her biological family and “dad” when she was old enough to understand. You can also teach her about boundaries (we don’t have to have people in our lives who are not good for us - even if they are biologically related). It’s also a good time to show your daughter that adults need to ask their kids for forgiveness as well. Rip the bandaid off now before it’s too late to reel this back in without significant backlash from your daughter at a later date.
She needs to know the truth, and now is the time. I think you fear the repercussions more than the impact on her. She will be ok. We have had to have honest conversations with my own children about their biological father who is not in the picture and their step dad who IS their dad. Kids are extremely resilient. This is also an opportunity to explain the importance of honesty, and apologize for lying. Our decisions have consequences, even ones made with good intentions. She deserves to know the truth.
Kids are more resilient and understanding than people give them credit for. Just sit down with her and explain everything and answer all her questions honestly. Its a hard place to be in but in the end, honesty and is gonna be the best way. She may be mad and upset with all of you, but at the same time maybe. Give her the time to process and accept it and just be there. And make sure all other people involved are also told and offer the same honesty and love for her. I hope it all works out for your family.
If she is already questioning things it’s best to tell her know before she finds out the truth from someone else. Be honest and explain things in a positive understanding way
As an adult now, in this exact situation, I was not told until I was 23 years old. At 23 years old it literally shattered me.
Who was I? Where did I belong?
It’s been 19 years since I found out and I STILL wonder who, what, where, how do I belong. I love my family and my siblings have been wonderful, but I’m forever changed by that news. I share all that to say, I suggest telling her now. It’ll be awful and I suggest being open to many, many chats over the next years, maybe even speaking with a counselor as she ages a bit and continues to process this, throughout life, but I firmly believe being honest now, will be less life shattering for her, later.
Why is the wife pushing so hard though? That’s his daughter and he’s her dad. That’s the only dad she knows, and the wife should have been accepting of that before she ever married him.
Age appropriate truth. I feel it’s important she knows and keep that communication open. At 8 if she’s asking I believe it’s time to be open
Personally, my almost 8 year old wouldn’t fully understand and would be very hurt.
I’d change the narrative and let her know they are her family. But I wouldn’t broach the topic about her bio parent. That’s going to hurt her no matter of her age. So I’d personally give her some more time enjoying being a carefree child.
Just tell her. Don’t hide things from your daughter. Because she will hide things from you when she gets older.
Speaking from experience you should tell her. I was also raised by someone who isn’t biologically my father and one day when I was in 6th grade my biological sister told me that the guy raising me isn’t my dad and this person is. I was crushed first off because I was lied to my whole life and secondly because I jad to find out from someone else. My mother should of told me herself. I’m 39 now and I still think about that day. Please just be honest with her
Okay coming from someone who has the same childhood as your daughters… (my bio dad last saw me when I was 6 months and wanted nothing to do with me. My mom remarried when I was 1. I always grew up knowing that this man as my father. Well they got divorced when I was 5. I don’t remember exactly what age my mom told me that my brothers dad wasn’t my dad but I didn’t resent her for it. Any questions I had, she always answered them for me.) I’ve I would be completely honest with her. Hey your dad and I didn’t work out due to things between us. Don’t make it seem like she was the problem. If she has any questions let her ask them. Here I am almost 25 and have yet to meet my “sperm donor”. My mom got remarried again to my sisters dad and he is counted as my step dad. My brothers dad will always be my dad regardless of us not being blood or not. I even asked him and my step dad to walk me down the isle.
You and Dad need to sit down and talk to her together. As a kid who had paternity questions, it’s easier if you both are there. Explain that while Dad didn’t help make her, Dad wanted to be the one to raise her and will always be there. And that the bio grandparents that she loves already, are her family as well. She may ask why BIO Dad isn’t around, and explain honestly that some people make not great choices and aren’t ready to be a Dad, but also make sure she understands that Dad make the great choice to want to be Daddy. Also inform the school, specifically the councilor and teacher of what is going on so they are prepared. She’s old enough to understand that something is up, just keep reinforcing she has so many people in her life who choose to love her.
You need to tell her, and realize this is exactly why we don’t lie to our children about paternity. If you wait longer she’s probably going to hate you for these HUGE lies. I mean, you even told her she doesn’t have any blood relation to her grandparents. Now if/when they pass she’s going to be gutted that she spend most of her life thinking they were random family friends. You need to come clean AND apologize to her for lying about who she is and where she came from.
Tell her immediately!!! My parents didn’t and i found out it traumatized me😔
You should really have it come from you. Sounds like everyone around her knows the truth and shes the one that deserves to know the most. You also have her exposed to all those people and the conversations she may hear. Weather someone else tells her on accident or on purpose, it’s gonna happen sooner than later.
Tell her. The longer you hide it and lie about it the harder it’s going to be for her. Answer all of her questions but, just say sometimes people are not ready to be parents. Leave out that he was abusive and don’t call him names as it can affect her when she is older and contacts him.
If you didn’t have bio dad in her life I wouldn’t have invited his family. I can’t help in the least but it sounds like you have a real cluster___ on your hands. But stepdad didn’t help any either. Good luck
Just tell her in age appropriate terms. She needs to know.
Well I agree to disagree figure it out yourself you no her the best Older kids told my daughter at about 10-12 she became a nightmare cut her pc, moonchair ,her desk top of her sister’s dresser decided she was Bi.started cutting has borderline personalities that hurt her so deep she’s 24 now even though she knows her BIO we are always gonna be who she comes too to her we’re mom & dad it’s not always tell the kid there is lots of things to consider the thing I see wrong here is a jealous ass wife over a little girl sad the dad raised this Lil girl he is dad bio or not they bonded
I would start the conversation with her by talking about what she thinks makes a dad a dad. Like the most important parts to her. Then without getting into the nitty gritty (unless she already knows or you want to) I’d explain that you made her in your tummy with someone else (my kids know conception as simply a little piece of mommy and a little piece of daddy, they are 4&6) but that her dad was there from the time she took her first breath and he loves her very much.
You can then explain how she’s related to her paternal grandparents.
I wouldn’t get into the abuse. My dad was violently abusive and my parents divorced when I was three and I felt like part of me was broken, because I was half him.
Its time though, I feel like the longer you wait the bigger deal it will be.
A little different because my youngest was 2 when my husband came into her life. So, she knows he’s not her bio. But just tell the truth. We’ve never hidden the story from her. Even though she favors her daddy and even has some of his temperament. When she did see the bio, this summer, her biggest concern was daddy. Was he still her daddy, would he be upset about the visit. I had to reassure her that daddy would always be daddy and she was under no obligation to do anything in the moment. At the end of the visit, all 3 of the kids in attendance asked to never do that again. They know who is there for them and who isn’t. Kids get it better than we do.
Sit down together and tell her, only you both will know if she’s ready and no one else but you two should tell her, sounds like the wife might not let you wait. If he still wants to be her dad the wife needs to respect that and he needs to tell your daughter that even though he wasn’t there to help create her, he chose to be her dad and help her grow every day. That he’s privileged to do so.
My “dad” walked out on me and my mum when I was 2 1/2 and I haven’t seen him since, I remember the day he walked out. I’m 28 next year, I’ve been in contact a few times but only if I start the conversation. I found it really hard, I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t good enough for him to want to be my dad. Even as an adult I have abandonment issues and still can’t understand why he never wanted to be a dad, especially as a mum myself.
Tell her. She’s 8 and she’s asking. Tell her in an appropriate way that she understands. It would be harder to learn that info as an adult or even teen it’s important for her to know about her family and who everyone is to her. Not saying you do but do not talk poorly of her bio father. In explaining Even though he isn’t around that’s her father and one day she might want to reach out to him.
My baby girl is now 9. I had my daughter in high school, her bio dad and I split when she was 8 months and he was never really interested in being a part of her life. I’ve known my now husband since we were children and we got together when she was 2. She started calling him dad at 3 and I guess “forgot” about the time before he was there. He legally adopted her when she was 5. She knew she had a different last name before but never put the pieces together. I was always terrified of the day she would find out, and if she would resent us for it. We sat down just the 3 of us over summer and told her the long story short version and asked if she had any questions- we didn’t want to bombard her with too much information to handle at her age and wanted to let her know everything on her own terms. She handled it so gracefully and mature. She said “so nothings changing? Daddy is still my daddy?” After we assured her nothing was changing she decided she didn’t want to know anything else. She refuses to even know bio dads name. She said “I don’t need to know anything about that boy, momma.” About a month later I sat her down just us and brought it up again in case she was curious but trying to stifle it due to her dad being in the room the first time. Her answers remained the same. She is not the slightest bit interested in knowing anything and swears it doesn’t bother her at all. I did make sure to tell her both times that if she ever decides that she is curious and wants to know anything big or small that she should feel comfortable coming to us and we will tell her the truth about anything. I also told her certain people in the family I wouldn’t mind her discussing the situation with if she ever felt like she wanted to know but wasn’t comfortable coming to me or her dad with questions. A weight has been lifted off of my shoulders, and I’ve felt so much better about our situation since her becoming aware. I cried like a belligerent fool that night (alone) because my worst nightmare happened and it was over and done with and it went beautifully. I hope the same happens for you and your family! It will all be okay in the end!
The man that raised me, is not my biological father, but yet the ONLY father I have even known. (parents divorced, remarried, adopted by my Dad at age 5, though he was my daddy before I was 3) I am aware who my actual birth father was, and his entire family, I was loved by them all even though I was not fully active in the family and my grandparents did everything they could to make sure I knew THEY loved me( if that makes sense), although he choose to not be active in my life, his family still tried.
Even a child, can understand things are different, it’s all in how it is explained when the questions are asked … and also in how you handle it.
It all depends what yalls definition of “family” is at this point in her life…
I do feel it’s best to be honest, as it can cause her to have some resentment and feelings about it all
If you wait and rip the rug out from under her when she’s older she’s going to have emotional problems that she may never recover from
I told my daughter at 5. That her dad wasn’t her dad. Her dad didn’t want her. He wanted his freedom. But that’s ok because I wanted you. And he is the one missing out. She asked why she couldn’t go to her dad’s like her brother and sisters. I realized she thought he was her dad. I just ripped off the band aid.
In all honesty, it’s better to tell her now than later. you wait and she is going to resent you for not being told the truth as well as feel very betrayed that all the adults in her life were not honest with her. THAT is what will cause the strain.
Family isn’t blood, it is the people who are there for you day in and out. The people who love and support you, as well as call you out when you need it.
Explain to her that sperm donor helped make her, but that’s just DNA. He wasn’t ready to be a dad, but gma and gpa were ready to be grandparents. They wanted to know her and love her and be her grandparents so you allowed them to be. Dad is still her dad, regardless of DNA. He is the one who has raised her and continues to raise her. Being a parent isn’t about DNA.
I say all this from experience with similar issues, however I chose to be open with my daughter about it from the get go. The idea of we choose our family, DNA doesn’t choose them for us is something that registers with her. Does she know all the nitty gritty details? Of course not. She is a child and doesn’t need to know those things. However, she knows that someone else helped make her and him and his whole family have chosen to not have anything to do with her. She knows that this is a reflection of them and not her. She knows she did not do anything wrong. I won’t lie and say she doesn’t struggle some days. It is clear she does. Any child would question what was wrong with them from time to time that their father couldn’t love them, but it is important for your daughter to start navigating any feelings she might have about this while you are still there and capable of helping her through them. Sit down and tell her or you will regret not doing so.
My 9 yr old Granddaughter that I’m raising has thought My hubby was her bio pawpaw…Afterall her real Pawpaw passed away when he was 34 & We was divorced when my daughter was 2 yrs old and he Never had anything to do with her until she turned 16 and 1 yr later he got killed…, After her asking questions about why is pawpaw not mommy’s daddy?? I told her the truth…Kids are smarter than you think ,ALWAYS BE HONEST…They will eventually find out & I’d much rather it been me telling her than finding out from someone else !!Tell Her!! Wish you the Best! GOD BLESS YOU! And Her “PawPaw” has ALWAYS treated all 3 of My grandkids as his own…I Thank God for him…All is well with us…
I’ve been on both sides of this narrative. I’m not quite sure how old I was when I found out my parents were actually my grandparents and my sister was actually my birth mom. My parents wanted to keep the secret from me until I was old enough to understand but I figured it out on my own when I was probably 7 or so. My dad is actually my step-grandpa. No blood kin. So for me, this was never an issue. I knew I was loved and it never bothered me.
Fast forward to my oldest child. She is 10 now- almost 11. Her dad and I split when she was 13 months old. He’s been absent from her life going on 10 years now. My husband and I started dating right before she turned 5. He’s been a part of her life since day one. Very active and took on the role of a father quite easily. After we married and had our first child together, she started calling him dad on her own. She has asked a few questions about her biological father over the years and I’ve always told her what I could in age appropriate ways. She doesn’t ask much. The last time she asked about something I explained that he just wasn’t ready to be a daddy at that time. I told her my story as best as I could and reminded her that she had my daddy and my husband and she’s blessed. She hit me in the feels when she said “it’s okay momma. I have you.”
Kids are more understanding than we give them credit for, at times.
My daughter is 5 and we have never told her that my SO is not her dad but we’ve also never told her that he is, she calls him daddy or Jose, she has met her bio dad a handful of times when she was 10 months, 3 years, and 4 years old. Each time she asks who he is I tell her that’s he biological father. He has decided not to be in her life but pays support and I occasionally send him pics because I feel obligated. Luckily his parents reside in Mexico and I don’t think they even know he has another kid bit if I was in you’re position I would have told her when she asked, I’m not saying have a whole condo that she wouldn’t have understood but don’t, sugarcoat and age appropriate the answer but be as honest as possible, that way later on she will connect the dots on her own or at least know you never lied when you do explain things to her. Daddy is a title that’s earned not given in my opinion.
Tell her a story about her life in a once upon a time way. Tell her you want to tell her a story about her life when she was a baby. Write it down first so you can play with yoir words and make it age appropriate. Try not to focus too much on the bio dad. Focus more on the love she has now and how wonderful it is.
So many people are gonna hop on here and say you should’ve told her from the start. Which I don’t agree with. You how do you explain that to a 1-2 year old! We are in a similar situation with our 4 year old except I cut out my ex’s entire family. They were good people but I personally didn’t want to have to deal with the situation you’re dealing with now. Some disagree with that and say I shouldn’t have been able to do that. Oh well. It happened.
If I were you, I would tell her that when you made her in your belly, the man who helped put her in there was not ready to be a dad. So he went on with his own life, and then you met her daddy who adopted her. That’s what we plan to tell our son until he’s older and we can explain properly
Sounds like the time to talk to her has arrived
I just told mine that some people are not ready to be a mommy or a daddy and he was 6 at the time
My husband actually let it slip that he wasn’t our old 2 kids biological father. It wasn’t done to be cruel or nasty, but, my then 8 year old daughter asked how she was born before we got married. Completely caught him off guard. I did have an in depth conversation with both her and my oldest son. I was blunt and honest without being cruel and bashing their biological fathers. They asked me to reach out, so I did. Unfortunately it didn’t have good results. My son’s father wouldn’t respond at all. Her father did respond, but he claimed that all the counselors and therapists said to wait to make contact until she is 14 or 15 even though she knows about him. I flat out told him that she would know the conversation and she may grow to hate him. He stood firm by his choice though. I have been with my husband since my son was 1 1/2 years old and I was pregnant with my daughter. They are now 13 and almost 11 (2 more weeks). We also have a daughter together and she knows as well that her dad isn’t her older siblings biological dad. We did make it absolutely clear that if we ever heard that our youngest said anything about our older kids “real dads” not wanting them, there would be severe consequences. We are a happy blended family. With all that said, honesty is best. Don’t go out of your way to be cruel or bash the deadbeat, but be absolutely honest.