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How can I tell my daughter I just found out who her real dad is after 12 yrs?

When I got pregnant with my daughter I was with a violent relationship with my oldest sons dad. I was also seeing a friend who was also in a relationship with another woman. At the time we decided to say nothing as she looked like me and was afraid of the consequences for both families ( he had a child the same age of my oldest and his partner had a baby not much older than my daughter). Thing's got really bad so I moved away to get away from my partner when she was 10 month as I couldn't take the violence.                            since then the children didn't see my ex parter very much but do think he's their bio dad. My oldest is autistic and very challenging and pines for his dad whilst my daughter hates him for what he's done and choose drugs and alcohol over them.                         As my ex is on her birth certificate I've just put her conception behind me and always thought I'd tell her when she was old enough to understand.     The guy I had a affair with contacted me a few weeks ago asking if I would let my daughter see him. I decided that I would do a dna test to find out for definite as I didn't think it was fair to put her through it if she wasn't his. I lied to her again telling her it was an allergy test. I got the results back and it's confirmed she's definitely his ( I think deep down I have always known it really)                        Now I have the decision to make how do I tell her? Should I do it now and risk her going off the rails and I know that my oldest whose 14 will take it bad and is already volatile with the autism and regularly hurts himself,  he is also going off the rails because he's not allowed to see his dad for his own protection social services won't even let him have supervised contact.           I just don't know for the best I need to get this right for my kid's sake any advice would be greatfully received.                I have to say that this all happened when I was in a dark and depressed time in my life and I have tried for the last 10 yrs to make up for what they suffered and made sure I put them first over everything and worked hard to provide a decent upbringing and always will. All I care about is what best for them.
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973741 tn?1342342773
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi there.  I'm so glad you are here on our forum.  I can feel the pain you are feeling in your words.  You sound like a mother sincerely wanting the very best for your children.  Both of them. This is really hard with some complicating factors.  Your daughter would likely have mixed emotions about this which would be only natural.  Things in her life are not as they seem.  Admitting that we lied to them is a hard thing.  She's going to feel betrayed by that.  I would not feel pressured by the bio dad of your daughter.  Remember, he also had suspicions this was his child and you haven't felt any help coming you way, have you?  While maybe it was nagging at him, his need to be responsible didn't make him check in with you for over a decade or help financially support his daughter.  I understand it is very complicated on both of your ends but you need to make all decisions strictly on behalf of your daughter.  When she turns 18 though, he may contact her regardless of your thoughts.  So . . .   what do you do now?  

How do you think she will handle it?  Will she be upset about being lied to but excited at the prospect of a dad in her life? Speaking of which . . . would be cruel for him to meet with her and then NOT be in her life.  What is his intention for the relationship?  Is he going to visit her?  Pay child support?  All important things to discuss with him.  

My gut says that you have to tell her.

And then with your son.  That's really hard. Is he in therapy?  
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Hi thanks for your thoughts and time.  I feel awful for not telling her before but it's so easy to put things off for another time especially when you convince your self it's for the the best if they don't know they unwanted by their father but I don't have the right to take the truth from them either. I'm planning on sitting down with her dad to see his intention I know that he's not willing to pay child support but I can live with that if he would be willing to give birthday gifts or help out with school trips every once in a while.  I've brought my kid's up with no financial help from anyone and quite proud of that. I do expect him to have a proper relationship with her and NOT let her down it's the least she deserves.  I will also make it clear if she decided she doesn't want contact I will not make her and I have a feeling at first she will say that. After seeing what I've been through in abusive relationship she's very independent and her favourite line is I don't need a man to make me happy I'm good at school and will be successful in my job after uni and partying!  ( I have to say I'm a little concerned about the partying lol)  
I am worried about the fact that he may let her down and what his life style is it's unclear if he's working and I know that he's living in a rough area which she's not used too at least.

I do feel that she needs to know about him the more I think about it I'm afraid she'll take it bad and go off the rails.  She's happy bright and settled I just don't want that to change, I did read a comment on mums net how a 12 yr girl had been told that her stepdaughter had found out the truth went completely off the rails and was hooked on drugs and pregnant at 15. It's worried me that could happen I'd never forgive my self if I did that to her. I can't blame her if she hates me it's what I deserve but I don't want to be responsible for ruining her life.

My son has a superb support worker who can probably help him understand. He is also going through a tough time as we're trying to get him into a special needs school but the council has refused to fund this. The poor kid is struggling to cope in main stream school so is very volatile and is also being bullied. For a child with autism it's so hard to understand why what's going on . I just don't know how he's going to cope with even more upset I'm so afraid of the consequences for him. It has crossed my mind if I should not tell him for a while but I can't expect my daughter to keep more secrets and lies,  if nothing else it's not showing a good example I pride myself on being hard working and honest. I changed my life around when I left my sons dad and always made sure that my children will have every opportunity I never did.  I came from a rough area and spent a lot of time under social services care as a child.

I'm so sorry for going on but I don't have anyone I can share this with I've been single for 5yrs so don't even have a partner to share the burden. Xx
I think you have to tell her almost the way your post directly above says it. You've got to address why you didn't tell her before, and that does address it, and you've got to address your concerns that she will be upset to find that her sperm donor dad did not apparently want contact before. (I would say, though, that you shouldn't say she was "unwanted" by him. You have no way to know if that is true. He wants to know her now, at least. He might have held back due to problems of his own.) It might be a relief for her to think her legal dad, who was violent, is not her biological dad, even if the biological dad doesn't look like Father of the Year either. I also think you don't send her to see him, he comes on visits on your own ground, to see her. There is no reason to send a child of 12 to a rough neighborhood to spend time with a man who is, at least right now, a stranger to her.  Most important, talk with your son's support worker for advice on what to say and how to say it, not just to him but with your daughter also.
495284 tn?1333894042
She needs to know the truth.   If he wants to visit make sure it is done on your turf, with you there.  
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1 Comments
Well thanks for your advice after talking it over with everyone I did tell both my children. I have to say I was completely surprised that both of them took it amazingly!!!  First my daughter was pleased that the man she thought it was isn't her dad and is looking forward to meeting her dad on Saturday. Her dad has stepped up beyond all my expectations. My daughter totally understood the reasons why I'd kept it to myself and actually said she was pleased I waited until now so she can understand the situation. My son was fine and also understood that the way his dad is it was better not to say anything,  he said that his dad almost killed me for coming home late so if he found out he could of killed both me and my daughter it's so hard for me to hear him say things like that but I don't think he'll ever forget it. He upset himself last night telling me that if only his dad would get off the drugs and sorted himself out then he could see him  he said that maybe it was his fault. I've reassured him it's not his fault and he's got so much going for him he'll have a good life and he doesn't need his dad if he's going to be like that we have all the love in the world and I'll always be there for him no matter what.  It baby steps for now but I'm sure it's going to work out.  Thank you so much everyone!!!!
134578 tn?1614729226
I'm really happy to hear this. It sounds like you told them well and they are as understanding as their ages and the situation permit. Please tell your dear son that if someone is on drugs, it is not his child's fault, it's nobody's fault but his own, and that there will be other good men in his life that he can look up to and be friends with. Tell him that many people don't have a wonderful sweetness-and-light relationship with their own biological dads. One thing to keep in reserve in your own head, is that your daughter got a gift -- the news that someone she didn't wish was her father is not her father, and that she might get a re-try on this important relationship with her newly-revealed father. Your son didn't get that gift. Instead, he gets to hear that his sister gets this and he can see he does not. Treat him with care, he deserves every good thing in life too. Maybe her bio-dad could also be in on this kind of discussion. He has no obligation to try to be a good person to your son, but if you were to let him know this (about how your son sees his sister as getting this wonderful thing while knowing he does not), at least he might muster up the kindness to treat your son with decency and some mild amount of (even if feigned) interest in his life.
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