Real dad

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LIFE - An­nie Lane Dear An­nie

When she was 21, our daugh­ter be­came preg­nant by a ca­sual col­lege boyfriend. Three months into her preg­nancy, they broke up be­cause the young man had no in­ter­est in rais­ing a child. Our daugh­ter de­cided to let him go and has not ever found him or re­quired child sup­port from him.

Dur­ing the preg­nancy, she be­gan dat­ing an­other young man, who wasn’t put off by the fact that she was preg­nant with some­one else’s baby. He loved our daugh­ter and was com­mit­ted to rais­ing the baby as his own.

They mar­ried soon af­ter our grand­daugh­ter was born, and de­spite di­vorc­ing our daugh­ter three years later, our for­mer son-in-law has con­tin­ued his com­mit­ment to be­ing a lov­ing fa­ther to our grand­daugh­ter. He has been the only fa­ther in her life. His par­ents and fam­ily have al­ways loved and in­cluded our grand­daugh­ter as their own.

Our grand­daugh­ter is now 16. No one has ever told her the truth — that our for­mer son-in-law is not her bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther.

Our daugh­ter has done a great job rais­ing her daugh­ter but is ter­ri­fied of the prospect of telling her daugh­ter the truth. She is afraid her daugh­ter will flip out and hate her when she is told the truth. She also fears her daugh­ter will be an­gry with ev­ery­one who knows the truth and has been “ly­ing” to her all these years.

Our fam­ily — and our daugh­ter’s ex-hus­band’s fam­ily — all agree that our daugh­ter needs to tell her the truth soon, be­fore some­one spills the beans and our grand­daugh­ter is dev­as­tated. But our daugh­ter is pas­sive. She wishes some­one else would take care of this for her, but we all agree she needs to be the one to tact­fully tell her daugh­ter the truth.

Do you have any ad­vice on how this sit­u­a­tion should be han­dled?

—Con­cerned Grandma

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