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2 Bumps

Whens and how is the best way to tell a child that their daddy isn't actually their bio father?

My daughter is 3 she will be 4 next month and she hasn't seen her bio father since she was 1. She only knows my boyfriend as her father he's been raising her since she was 7 months old. He wants to adopt her and see's her as his daughter, he cares for her, supports her, and insures her. Her bio father doesn't pay support and has no contact with us.
How and when do we tell her, I don't want to wait to long and have her be angry with us. I also don't want to say the wrong thing and her to think he didn't want her or love her. I needed to protect her and myself by getting away from him and his family.They aren't good people so I cut all contact and moved an hour away. I did change her last name from his to mine and he is not on the birth certificate , so she might ask about that once she starts school since her sisters last name is my boyfriends and her's is mine.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 4:35 PM on Oct. 4, 2012 in General Parenting

Answers (5)
  • My daughter 4ish. I had to because my father's adulteress was chomping at the bit to tell her.

    Answer by Izsarejman at 4:42 PM on Oct. 4, 2012

  • If the birth father gave his permission for you to change her name to yours, why not simply get him to allow the adoption, since that is what you want anyway?
    I wouldn't tell her now.

    Answer by Dardenella at 4:44 PM on Oct. 4, 2012

  • I would not make it a big deal. I would be honest and tell her that you boyfriend is going to adopt her and make her legally her dad. Then just tell her again when she asks later. That way it is NOT a secret. Secrets are destructive.


    Answer by booklover545 at 5:00 PM on Oct. 4, 2012

  • Coming from someone on your daughters end of it I would tell her now but not make it a big deal. My mother choose to not tell me that the man who had been raising me since I was 6 months old was not my biological father until I was 13 years old and she was worried someone else would tell me. Need less to say I was very angry with her for a very long time. I did not however get upset with my dad (adoptive) or my half sister. My mother choose not to tell me not them. Personally I think something being said earlier would have lessened my anger for my mother. I say something as simple as explaining that adoptive dad did not help create her (or however you have discussed birds and bees and where babies come from) but he was more than happy to be there now. When your boyfriend adopts her you can legally change her name (my mom did).

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:04 PM on Oct. 5, 2012

  • I have absolutely no first hand experience with this, but a great deal of second hand expereince from teen and college years with people who suddenly find out that they were adopted, their real father isn't dead, that their dad had whole different family and so on and each time that trust that had been built up for years and years suddenly collapsed. It was not that they did not love their family less but something in their hearts just broke. Perhaps the best thing to do if your boyfriend is going to adopt her is wait until it goes through and then have a big deal celebration letting her know that there was some other guy and someday she want to know more about him but that your boyfriend is now officially her Dad.

    Answer by hotelmom123 at 3:41 PM on Oct. 5, 2012

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