Black Relationships : How do you tell a young lady that you may be her father?

Discussion in 'Black Relationships' started by JSpencer, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. JSpencer

    JSpencer New Member MEMBER

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    Approximately 21 years ago I may have fathered a daughter. I tried communicating (without commotion) with the mother doing and immediately after the pregnancy, to confirm if I’m the father. She never confirmed. Eventually, I moved away from that city. Nearly 4 years ago the mother entered into rest. The daughter, now in college, appears cared for by her uncle and grandparents (the mother family). When I recently revisited the city, approximately 20 years later, old friends asked have I tried contacting the daughter. I had never talked to her, I am not sure if I am the father. What was she told growing up? She may be calling someone else daddy? She may be wondering why I never tried to contact her, before now. Should I approach the daughter or her immediate family members first? What do I say, to either of them? If she is my daughter, I would want to be part of her life.
     
  2. skuderjaymes

    skuderjaymes Contextualizer Synthesizer MEMBER

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    When you say you "would want to be a part of her life", what do you really mean?

    Do you mean, you want her to forgive you? Because if you are her Father, she may have very strong negative feelings about you. And worse, she may have built her own identity atop those feelings. "I never knew my father", may be a large part of who she is by now. Be prepared for that. Whatever you do, don't say or imply anything negative about her mother. Just take the disdain that belongs to you and leave the rest alone.

    So, while you may not be able to have the emotional relationship that you want, you can still be there for her as a father in other ways.. like.. Paying tuition, helping with down-payments, housing, etc.

    we can hope for fairytale endings, but we should prepare for reality. But.. all of that said, she may not even be yours..

    - good luck
     
  3. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    go to her and tell her your story. get DNA tests. good luck.
     
  4. dunwiddat

    dunwiddat Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The mother did you an injustice.. At least she could let you know in the early whether you were the father. This is a touchy subject and as a grown young woman no one knows what she heard about you. If you still feel you must, just explain your position and hope for the best. Hope all works well.
     
  5. Fieldpea

    Fieldpea Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I actually think that because she is in college, that it might be better for her (for her peace of mind and stability) if you don't attempt to contact her--especially since you are not sure if you are indeed her father. You do sound like you need info, but *she* ought to keep her head into her books.


    Since you feel truly compelled to get the matter settled, maybe you should contact her grandparents and uncle. Find out from them what this young woman has been told all these years about 'her father'.


    Shy of dna testing, the kinds of things you're looking to learn can be learned without disturbing her life and peace of mind at all. If it turns out that you are not her father, then no harm done--you'll not have imposed on her. And if you are her father, then, with support/guidance from her grandparents and uncle, you can all figure out the best way to break the news to her (and help her settle down, emotionally), cause again.....she is in college and deserves her chance/s at preparing for her career/life as an adult. A shock like that might cost her alot in terms of emotional stability (very important).


    I hope you succeed in learning the truth.


    One Love, and PEACE
     
  6. MsInterpret

    MsInterpret Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I would approach her immediate family first...Talk to them first and see if they have answers. Maybe they can help ease you back into her life...I think if they do say you are her father, it would be best if they approach her first with this news since they know her best...It would be a scary and weird situation if some stranger possibly my father came and to me told me himself that he was my father.

    But yeah get a paternity test first.

    Understand that there may be a lot of different reactions to this from her. There could be anger, resentment, confusion, or their could be the possibility of joy.

    Good luck!
     
  7. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    IMO, combined, all the other posters gave you some really good advice.

    Obviously, after 20 years of being away, others from that community think/feel that YOUR NAME stayed "in the hat," so to speak, as to paternity of this young woman.

    So, I agree that you should go to her mother's side of the family and find out the "lay of the land" in regards to what the mother told them or the daughter about (whoever) her father was from "back then."

    ....and ask for their help in solving this matter with as little or no DISTRESS to this young woman's mind and emotions.

    If they agree to help you and the young woman will agree to a DNA test, then you can take it from there as to having any kind of future "relationship" with her.

    But, IF you are her father, be advised that she may resent you for your absence, no matter what the mother wouldn't tell you 21 years ago.

    ... IF you are her father, be prepared that she may resist/shun having a "daughter/daddy" relationship with you....She might feel better knowing who her father actually is but may also feel that she doesn't need you in her life at all. --- The "closure" of a DNA test for YOU and HER doesn't necessarily mean that she wants to "bond" with you now.

    ....and if "you are NOT the father" (lol---Maury), then, it's over and done with for YOU but not for HER if she still has no idea WHO her father is.

    ...Maybe her mother never told her either.

    ...maybe her mother told her her father was another man (maybe he's dead too)

    ...or maybe her mother DID tell her it was YOU.

    And with her mother being deceased now, she can't ask her.

    Do you see how all this is so potentially devastating to this young woman?

    So, YES, start with her mother's family and go from there, stepping LIGHTLY.
     
  8. MimiBelle

    MimiBelle Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Sure, handle the situation with care...but I don't understand why it has to be a negative thing.

    What could be crushing, I'd say? If you thought that you were her father...and the DNA test proved otherwise.

    Other than that? Meh. She's not 12 years old. The girl is a woman and may be far less impressionable than you realize. Able to put whatever she's heard about you in it's proper perspective.
    She'll likely be a hurt, maybe...?
    But...just because she's a fatherless daughter doesnt mean that this is her entire identity. Doesn't mean that she's walking about an emotional mess.

    Some people are more resiliant than others.

    The girl has no mother and she's still young. There's a good chance that she'd likely embrace her father coming around. I'm a Daddy's Girl. I'm a 31 year old woman and I still call him, 'daddy'.
    My daddy and I are very close, so color my biased...*laugh*
    ...but I've never known a fatherless daughter who didn't long for the relationship that women like me share with ours. Who didn't want to get to know the man that fathered her.
    No matter what he's done or didn't do. No matter what the mother and the other women said against him.

    If nothing else? This is closure.

    You're going to have a good explanation for why you stayed away so long and never thought to look her up until now.

    I'd reach out to the extended family, first. Try to touch base with the men. I'm a woman. I love women...but we know how many women are. The odds of disclosing this sensitive topic to some judgemental gossiping biddy that's going to put things in that girl's ears are too great.
    Men are good in this light, because they cut to the chase. They'll protect their own and step up with necessary, but can be usually expected to mind their own business.
     
  9. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    i say tell her and tell her now. tomorrow is not guaranteed.
     
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