Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Dad’s medical history vital for daughter

- This column was originally published in 2012.

Dear Annie: My daughter will soon be 16. Her father and I were never married, and we had broken up by the time she was born. When my ex discovered I was pregnant, he threatened to take the baby away and never let me see her. So I left him when I was six months along. Due to some complicati­ons during delivery, my mother filled out the birth certificat­e. Since my mother never liked my ex-boyfriend, she made no reference to him and put down my name only.

I tried to contact my ex after our daughter was born and got his mother instead. She told me no one believed her son was the father and she would not help me get in touch with him. She also refused to give me any family medical history, saying it was irrelevant since they “weren’t related.”

My plan was to take our daughter to his hometown when she turned 16 so she could get to know her father and his relatives. I recently found out that my ex passed away a few years ago. He was only 37. I do not know the cause of death and worry that my daughter has inherited something fatal. How can I get a copy of the death certificat­e? Is there another way to get this informatio­n? His family refuses to answer my calls.

— Mom of a Mystery Daughter

Dear Mom: In many states, records of deaths are public and should be available through the Bureau of Vital Statistics in the state where the person died. If you encounter difficulty, you should talk to a lawyer. It is important for your daughter’s health that she have this informatio­n.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column.

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