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Birthfather questions


Our son is adopted and we share pictures and letter with birth mom.  She listed BF as unknown on birth certificate. However, she tells us “X ” is the birth father and he is aware and she shares pics with us and him.  Our 5 yo (finalized) is asking about BF now.  Why don’t we know who it is?  What would you do?  Share the info the BM has provided or go with birth certificate.  My guess BM is correct, as they look similar and their other biological son looks like our adopted son.  Thank tou

Replies

Hi Mab13,

I would test for paternity to confirm. It’s very simple and even if you live in different states you can get this done. It’s important for your son to know who his birth father is. And how wonderful that you can find out now. Talk to birth mom and and X to make this happen.

Posted by Barbara Herel on Jun 15, 2017 at 3:31pm

Hi,
I have a similar situation with my five year old.  I’ve told him (he’s JUST starting to ask) that when he’s older, we’ll do some research together and speak with his tummy mommy.  I don’t want to down play this crucial piece of information for my child, but I also don’t want to get his hopes up/mislead him.  I have a lovely relationship with his birthmom, and I don’t want to put her in an awkward position right now if she’s not totally comfortable.  When our kids can process things a little more fully, I feel it MIGHT be easier to go down these paths.  At age 5, it can still be overwhelming and confusing.  Answer as honestly as you can, read books about adoption, and reassure your little one how loved he is by lots of different people. 
Just my two cents—every situation is different and every family feels comfortable making different choices.  Good luck!

Posted by AllyC on Jun 15, 2017 at 3:42pm

I worry about compromising our relationship by asking for DNA.  Would that be insulting?  We don’t talk with BF only BM

Posted by Mab13 on Jun 15, 2017 at 6:12pm

I had a foster daughter several years ago, who initially, both “parents” were coming to visits. Then, mom stopped coming, but Dad was still at every visit. I was the supervisor of the visits, and we would meet in a public place, At one visit, he started talking about just taking his daughter & walking out, and heading to Canada.

He said he didn’t see how the border authorities would stop him, since she was his child. I tried to remain calm, and reminded him that the baby was on a feeding tube, and had severe reflux and asthma, and was fed formula through the tube 5 times a day, and was on several prescriptions to control her reflux & asthma. Thankfully, he didn’t attempt to leave with her.

I of course called the caseworker right away, and they stopped visits temporarily. In the meantime, they ordered a paternity test. Turns out, he wasn’t the father! Just mom’s current boyfriend.

Regardless of hurt feelings, I would absolutely insist on a paternity test, for the sake of your child. If he turns out to be the father, you then need to decide when it’s the right time to tell your child, and how that relationship should be handled going forward.

Posted by Tracieb2020 on Jun 15, 2017 at 6:23pm

Perhaps start planting the seeds that you also welcome and value a relationship with birth dad and begin getting to know him. Let her know that your son is asking about him. What can she tell you about X? 

In a little while you can bring up DNA test. You can let birth mom know that you’re sorry to ask and feel awkward. That you’re not judging her or not believing her, yet purely from a medical standpoint confirming paternity is important for your son’s sake. And regardless, right now you can answer your son honestly by telling him that birth mom says his birth dad is X. And if it should come back that X isn’t birth dad, then you can find out more of your son’s story. You can create a deeper relationship with birth mom and even with X. I like that he’s showing interest in your son’s life.

I think the focus has to keep coming back to the child. This is about him—his history, his identity, the circumstances surrounding his adoption. Maybe a good first step is talking to an adoption therapist to help you talk this through.

Posted by Barbara Herel on Jun 16, 2017 at 3:41pm

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