Dear Annie: I’m in a quandary about my little girl. She believes her mom’s boyfriend is her father, but a DNA test proves that I am her true biological father. The boyfriend does not know, but just about everyone else does.
My daughter is now 6 years old, and I want to tell her the truth. Will I be doing more harm than good? – Perplexed in Poughkeepsie
Dear Perplexed: If the little girl has a solid and loving relationship with the man she believes is her father, your sudden assumption of that role might be traumatizing for her. You also will be responsible for child support. However, if “everyone else” knows, it’s only a matter of time before the current boyfriend and your child learn the truth.
It is better if this information comes from her mother in a gentle and compassionate way, so Mom’s support is crucial in making this easier. Please ask the mother to come with you for mediation to see whether you can work on being a part of the child’s life. You can discuss it with your clergyperson or a trained counselor, or contact your local family court for a referral to a family mediation program.