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Annie’s Mailbox: She’s old enough to know about her dad

Kathy Mitchell

Dear Annie: Many years ago, my husband, “Sam,” and I divorced. I started seeing someone else and became pregnant. That man left me, saying he didn’t want more children. Sam and I began dating again, and he said we could remarry if his name went on the baby’s birth certificate. The biological father didn’t care, so I agreed. Three months after the baby was born, Sam and I married again.

That was 13 years ago. The problem is, sometimes Sam and I will argue, and he’ll say, “Just take your daughter and get out,” and other hurtful things indicating he’s not her real father and so there’s nothing to tie us together.

I’m worried that our daughter will find out about her parentage and be hurt. Should we tell her about her biological father? I know her bio dad recently got out of prison after a year’s sentence for child molestation. I don’t know where he’s living, but I don’t really want him around my daughter. Any suggestions? – Living a Lie

Dear Living: The biological father no longer has any claim on your daughter. He gave up his rights. Your daughter is old enough to know about her background, although due to the particular circumstances, we suggest you first discuss it with a therapist who specializes in such issues. It would help to bring Sam into the sessions, as well, because his comments are not only reprehensible, but could cause all kinds of repercussions in his relationship with his daughter. He may be too angry with you during these arguments to fully realize how much he can hurt this child.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailboxcomcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.
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