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?