• Resolving Problems

Upset by a revelation on Facebook

Published: March 9, 2015 | By | 19 Replies Continue Reading
The revelation: A man learns his family has been communicating with someone who may be his son.



Twenty-five years ago I had a short relationship. A child was born that I never knew about. The grandmother approached me some years later (I had never met her before) and told me I had a son. She was estranged from her daughter who kicked her out of the family home which belonged to the grandmother, strange I thought at the time.

I only took it in piecemeal and never heard anything until approximately two weeks ago. In the last two weeks, the boy has befriended my daughter and two grandchildren, my sister and two nieces all through Facebook and met them in person, which I learned about on FB pages.

Never was I told about this in person, I feel like everyone is sneaking around behind my back to the point where I feel like walking out on them all. I am a kind considerate, somewhat sensitive person, and don’t feel like I should
be left out.

Any suggestions on the matter?



Hi Peter,

I have few suggestions because your letter–which wasn’t focused on friendship, per se–left me with so many questions:

  • Are you certain this young man is your son?
  • Assuming he is your son, have you ever spoken to him?
  • Have you ever told your own family (particularly your daughter and sister) about this child?
  • Could these other individuals have felt left out if you didn’t confide in them?
  • Is it possible this young man spoke to your family in confidence and specifically asked them not to tell you?
  • Do you want to have any relationship with this young man?

That he approached your family after all these years raises the possibility that he may want to get closer to you. I imagine that everyone may be walking on thin ice, not knowing how to handle a complicated situation.

Don’t walk out on your entire family because you’re feeling hurt and betrayed. Would either your sister or daughter be someone whom you could talk to about how you’re feeling? If not, do you have a trusted friend who could help you think through next steps?

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene

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Comments (19)

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  1. Aloutisious says:

    DNA TEST!!! I’d confront them all, since this has to do with someone who is possibly your child. Get a DNA test. If he’s not your son, you have nothing to worry about but a person who’s desperate for attention.

  2. LaTrice says:

    First off, I can’t blame you for being angry towards your family about them communicating with a son that you didn’t know about, Peter. As Irene mentioned that your son wanted to get close to you, and unfortunately, approached other relatives. It seems to me that there’s a LOT of secrecy going on among your family-which I find completely unacceptable!!

    Everyone is saying that you need to take a DNA test to establish paternity. If you decide to go down that route, be prepared for more BS!! In my opinion, I feel that your son’s grandmother wasn’t sure how to break the news to you, and didn’t know what to do. Her actions doesn’t excuse and justify what she did. Also, your son’s mother could have told you about him. I can’t speak for the both of them, but what they did was WRONG!!

    You need to reach out to your son, and talk to him. Apologize for what you did, and hopefully, he will forgive you for your shortcomings. You can’t blame your son for his mother’s actions, and it wasn’t his fault.

    • Peter says:

      Hello LaTrice, yours and Irenes suggestions are by far the most valued and non judgemental here to date. Maddie needs to take some valium, bit hi strung. It turns out that the mother did try to make contact through my own mother. My mother kept this from me. (she had her reasons, whatever they were and has since passed away four months ago). I have had lunch with the boy, and also an email yesterday. In the email he made demands, and said ” if you want to have any kind of relationship with me, you must apologize to your sister, two nieces, your daughter and her two children for never telling them about me” (I felt this was a kind of blackmail) he also said in the email, that he never really wanted to meet me, and only did so as he thought that I wanted to. The email was very long, as was my reply. In my reply, I stated that further meetings or emails were no longer necessary seeing as he felt that way. Suits me, we both have adult lives to live, and I can not make up for all those years, and now that he is an adult, there can be no good come out of it. We will only stay as acquaintances as there may be times our paths will cross, there is no love. The issue is now resolved, and all of us can go on with our lives. I intend on marrying, and will have two more children, these I will love and cherish, and we will grow together.

      • LaTrice says:

        I’m so sorry that things didn’t work out between you and your son, Peter. I have to give you props for trying to get to know him-despite the blackmail. Yes, what your son did hurt, but you did accept it for what it was, and you didn’t force him to have a relationship with you. That definitely took courage.

        Maybe someday, your son can forgive you for your shortcomings. Hopefully, the two of you can have a father and son relationship. At least you know that you tried.

  3. Maddie says:

    You did wrong by this young man if he is your son. You were told about him and turned away. Legally and morally wrong. Your relatives are not to blame.

  4. Maddie says:

    You were on the hook for supporting this boy, if it could be proven that he was yours. You were told of his existence and chose to ignore it.

    It doesn’t matter that it was a “short ” relationship.

    Now the chips are falling. You have no reason to be angry with anyone other than yourself.

  5. Susan M. says:

    So far as I know, my biological father never saw me after I was an infant. I did read a letter he wrote to my biological mother, though. This was when I was in elementary school, and the letter was in plain sight. It did not paint him in a very positive light. I think that my biological father made his choice, to stay out of my life. I am probably far better off that he did so. ONLY you, can decide if you wish to become a part of this grown, adult’s life. Even then, this person may not wish for you to be. It sounds as if the person who told you about the situation, may have done so in anger. How do you actually feel, knowing there could be another child you fathered? That is a tough one!

    • Amy F says:

      You read a letter that he wrote decades ago. People change and grow. I wouldn’t assume he’s the same person.

  6. Laura says:

    In any case, if someone tells you, you might have a child, the right thing to do is take responsibility and check it out. This could be your son! He deserves to know you, his half siblings and the rest of his family. Get a DNA test!

    • Maddie says:

      He should have done that years ago but turned his back!

      • Peter says:

        Maddie, I was never 100 percent sure, therefore why proceed? One strangers word ( Grandmother who I never met and was kicked out of family home) should not be taken as the truth. nd I was never approached by the mother either.

  7. Lovey says:

    Hi Peter,

    Perhaps the grandmother told your son that you knew about him. If so, he may think you don’t want a relationship with him since you haven’t pursued one, so he is reaching out for a family connection that doesn’t include you. Have your feelings about having him in your life changed? You may want to think about that first, before you speak to your family about why they have been secretive about connecting with him.
    I hope it all works out well for everyone.

    • ruth says:

      I feel that Lovey is spot on on all counts.

      We have a as similar situation in our family. The child was adopted out through the state and we have no way to reach her except through very loose information and unreliable people who have lied in the past to us concerning this subject. I can see how today, 30 years later, my husband’s daughter would be afraid to approach her biological father. Putting myself in her shoes….after all, he rejected her. Similar to this story, the son may be afraid to approach the father for fear of rejection yet again: first when he was born (to the child it doesn’t matter much if the parent knew of their birth or not), 2nd when the grandmother approached, 3rd today. The child is likely eager to have a connection to a ‘real’ family, something akin to what the traditional Christmas movies portray (very fantasy like in my opinion, where everyone is always happy and mostly get along and any problems are happily resolved in an amicable and loving manner very quickly and the story always ends supremely perfect). I have no way of knowing of course. In our situation, if only the daughter in our situation *would* reach out to us, we would be thrilled but thus far she hasn’t in spite of us writing the state to contact her and provide our information and background. I can’t blame her one bit.

      Back to the original post. I wouldn’t read too much into the fact the daughter was kicked out of her mother’s home. One possible scenario out of many. A daughter had a fling, got pregnant, apparently opted exclude the father for whatever reason (maybe she wasn’t 100% sure who the dad was? It happens.) in the upbringing of their son, probably expected her own mother to raise the child on top of whatever else mother had to face and deal with in her own life, and daughter relied on her for money, transportation to school, doctors, emotional & mental support, and so forth …eventually the relationship between the mother and daughter became strained, but the mother knew the stress in the relationship was never her grandchild’s fault so felt compassion to her grandchild, yet after one too many broken promises couldn’t take the daughter’s attitude anymore and kicked her out to live on her own, mother eventually after many years reached out to the father for some kind of aid or support, he rejected rather than said, oh really, wow, hmmmm, well, let me see what I can do, let’s start with a blood test.

      Far fetched? Maybe. I guess I feel like I’ve heard it all so not much would surprise me anymore.

    • Maddie says:

      He was advised he had a child and completely blew it off. The young man probably knows this. This guy messed up in the worst way and now wants to blame his relatives.

      He needs to man up. Today.

      • Peter says:

        As stated Maddie, I never knew of his existence, the mother never mentioned him to me, the grandmother of this child, was removed from the family home, and then came forward to me. Prior to this, I never knew the grandmother, so why believe what she had to say? If the mother never wanted me to be involved, so be it! There are many such cases. In any case, it is of no concern to me anymore, the young man is, and never will be a part of my life, and never have access to any part of my estate or more importantly, my love or emotions.

  8. Amy F says:

    In addition to Irene’s advice, you might want to prepare yourself for answering why you never followed up when you were told you had a son. If I were your kid, I’d want to know. Now is your chance to but in your father hat, put aside your hurt, and reach out to this man. You didn’t reach out the first time, you have the opportunity make that step. You’re the parent. I’d also do a DNA test to verify, but assume he has the right information so that he doesn’t feel even more rejected.

    • ruth says:

      I can’t overemphasize the importance of the DNA test to the letter writer. I have a family member who has 5 kids by 3 different dads. It took her 15 years to figure out which man was the father of child #1. (Child #2 followed shortly thereafter by a different dad.) The mother had it narrowed down to 2 men for the last 2 years or so, both of whom were incarcerated. She wrote both men, both men agreed to do blood tests from prison. At 16 or so the child began to write her biological father, still in prison. It is very hard for me to imagine what the child went through. All the confusing signals her heart and mind must have experienced. Her siblings all knew their bio dads and she had 2 step dads in her life, past and present but my heart breaks for her never truly knowing her bio father during the important formative and foundational years of her life. All that to say…. original letter writer, if you are reading this, yes, meet this child and do a blood test, awkward though it will be. If the result is yes, be the dad they need you to be. Read up on parenting; you can do this. Lots of people become parents long before they are ready. If the result is no, your conscience will thank you.

    • Maddie says:

      He speaks about finding out he had a child like it’s no big thing.

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