Mother un­sure if she ought to let feck­less fa­ther con­tact her son

The China Post - - TV & COMICS -

DEAR AN­NIE: I was di­vorced in 1972 and was given cus­tody of our 2- year- old son. As much as I didn’t want the di­vorce, my hus­band was an al­co­holic who re­fused help. I fi­nally re­al­ized it was the only way to pro­tect my son. My ex did not use his vis­i­ta­tion rights and never paid child sup­port.

I re­mar­ried when my son was 4. My new hus­band wanted to adopt him, but my ex at first re­fused to re­lin­quish his rights. When my son was 6, my ex called early in the morn­ing ( drunk) and said adop­tion was OK. When our son turned 10, my ex called want­ing to see him. I re­fused, say­ing it would be too dis­rup­tive to his life.

When my son was 18, I asked whether he wanted to know any­thing about his bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther, but he de­clined. I asked him again at 21, say­ing that peo­ple can change and that he should be pre­pared for the day when his bio dad shows up on his doorstep. He didn’t care.

Our son is now 45, and my ex re­cently called want­ing to have our son’s con­tact in­for­ma­tion. In­stead, I gave our son his bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther’s con­tact in­for­ma­tion. He had no in­ter­est and tossed it away. He con­sid­ers my hus­band to be his fa­ther.

To ap­pease my ex ( and hope­fully stop him from try­ing to track our son down), I told him I would send him gen­eral in­for­ma­tion about our son’s life, along with a few pic­tures. But now I’m hav­ing sec­ond thoughts, be­cause I know nei­ther my hus­band nor our son would ap­prove. I have done noth­ing so far and am stressed about the sit­u­a­tion. I would ap­pre­ci­ate your opin­ion.

— Sec­ond Thoughts

Dear Sec­ond: If your ex wanted to track down your son, he could prob­a­bly do so with­out any ap­pease­ment from you, but we un­der­stand why you are will­ing to in­dulge him with photos and in­for­ma­tion. Nonethe­less, you should not have made such a prom­ise with­out con­sult­ing your son. It is his de­ci­sion, so talk to him. Ex­plain that you don’t ex­pect him to want a re­la­tion­ship with his bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther, nor does he owe him any in­for­ma­tion. But it would be a kind­ness to give the man some peace of mind af­ter all these years. What­ever de­ci­sion your son makes, please abide by it.

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