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At what age is good to tell a child about their father?

I have a baby girl she is my first her biological father has not contacted me since she has been born. we broke it off because of his use of alcohol and other substances.we were not togeter long. me and my ex got back togeter and he has been there though everything with me and is bringing her up as his own. she is 3months old now. should i tell her i feel i should but dont know what to tell her or when. i dont wont it to interfer with the only man shes ever been around. im so lost please help.

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:50 PM on Mar. 13, 2010 in Relationships

Answers (8)
  • SHe knows your present BF as father, honestly that is all that will matter. In that case IMHO I wouldn't say anything til she is older or if she asks. I can tell you I was about 10 when I asked about my dad. My mother was so mean in how she told me about him so I didn't believe her. Turns out she was right. When you do tell her don't make it sound bitter.

    Answer by Mrs.Owen86 at 2:53 PM on Mar. 13, 2010

  • That is entirely up to you, but you need to wait until your child is old enough to understand the concept that dad is not her biological dad. Probably between 7 and 10 would be the right age. Avoid using the term "your real dad" - the man who raises her and loves her is her real dad.

    Answer by neebug3766 at 2:57 PM on Mar. 13, 2010

  • when she's WAY older, or if he comes around and tries to have a relationship with her

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:57 PM on Mar. 13, 2010

  • Don't tell unless she asks.

    Answer by admckenzie at 3:02 PM on Mar. 13, 2010

  • I think you need to tell her someday. My husband's mother didn't tell him until she was going through a divorce with what he always thought was his dad at the age of 16. He had chose to live with his father and I am not sure if she thought it would change his mind. He was devastated. I think you tell as early as you think she will understand and present it as a matter of fact. For example, "**** is your father but there is a man who was your father before and he is your biological father. Your dad now liked you so much when he saw you that he wanted to be your dad and raise you with me!" Then answer questions when they come up. I think if she grows up knowing and you answer all questions as a matter of fact, she will accept it as fact and not dwell on it. I'd be sure to keep it positive and don't tell her anything negative about him.

    Answer by bjane01 at 3:29 PM on Mar. 13, 2010

  • I've got the same issue....there's a little difference though. My daughter who is 2 1/2 now, her bio dad was an abusive drunk. I left him and met someone new when she was 4 months old. He's been around ever since. She calls him Daddy. But she still has visitation with her bio dad once a week and she calls him Dada. I think she's kinda confused. and my current boyfriend also have a 9 month old son, and she loves her little brother so much. But when she gets older and asks about what's going on and starts getting curious...I will definitely tell her the truth. Just make sure you don't bash on her bio's hurtful. And if she wants to try and search for him...let her. Don't discourage her, it will only make things worse. Just be honest with her and answer any questions she asks that you can answer. I agree with waiting til she's around ten. Good luck! Don't worry about it any time soon though.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:13 PM on Mar. 13, 2010

  • Same thing happened to me with my boys. Their biological dad spent a little time with my oldest son, but when he was 1.5 years old we both seperated and divorced. So what he remembers is very little. I ended up meeting my dh now a few years later and they've always known him as dad. As they grow up and understand, I tell them that they are the luckiest boys ever to have 2 dads. bio-dad sees them maybe twice a year, while dh is always around. They've taken it so well. Luckily for me my parents divorced so I have "2 moms", my real mom and my step mom. They understand they have 2 dads, neither is better than the other and they love them both the same. Children are incredibly resilient and can be understanding. I would, imo, prefer to be honest with them at a level they can understand. Right now they are younger so they know they have two dads, and they're so lucky to have them both!

    Answer by LynnB1 at 4:47 PM on Mar. 13, 2010

  • My mom did not tell me about my bio dad until I was 12. I was pissed!!
    Pissed that she never told me this, I felt like my whole life was a lie.
    I started working on finding my bio family. I found my sister first and then my grandmother. I first talk to them when I was 15. I am 30 now and still dont have the relationship I would like to have with them. I also have 2 brothers 1 I met for the first time last year. I talked to my bio dad 1 time. Never met him face to face, never will he is dead.
    When I had my daughter and her father and I broke up he wasnt in her life much because I moved 1800 miles away. I made sure she did not call anyone else dad until she knew who real real father was I could not lie to her her whole life. That is not fair to a child. By the time she was 7 she fully understood she had a bio father and did talk to him once in a while but when she felt comfortable is when she started calling her stepdad dad

    Answer by rochellecole at 10:58 PM on Mar. 13, 2010

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