Question: Dear Luise: My son and his girlfriend had a baby in Sept 2008. My son has not married her but he is supporting her and bought a house that they both live in. He loves that baby so much…he just glows. I did not see anything in the baby that would resemble my son. Unknown to anyone, I did a DNA on me and the baby. It came back as not being related. I know if I tell my son, his heart will just split in two. He and his girlfriend seem to be ok in their relationship right now. What would you do with this information if it were your son? L.
Answer: Dear L. “What would you do?” is always a hard question to face honestly. I have had times in my life when I knew without a doubt how I would react to a certain situation, should it arise. Yet when it did…my behavior wasn’t as lofty as I might have hoped. Also, I don’t know much about DNA testing. I would have thought you needed samples from the baby and your son.
That said, this issue is between your son and his girlfriend, isn’t it? Don’t you think that your course of action should have been to air your views with your son, asking if he saw any resemblance and suggesting a DNA test “just to be safe?” Then the choice would have been up to him.
Your son is an adult and no longer under your care and supervision. We all have to learn not to interfere, not matter how much we would like to and think we see the need to. He’s out in the world and has his own lessons to learn in his own time frame. Your job is to let go and to support that process, no matter how hard it is to see him making mistakes along the way.
Now you have something in your possession that is none of your business and you don’t know what to do with it. Perhaps it would be wise not to do anything with it. In fact, why not get rid of it?
They are getting along well and seem to be happy. If they ever end their relationship…and custody and support are an issue, you might suggest a DNA test. But the truth is that he might see the child as his and want to continue in that role. I don’t think it would ever be wise to get into what you did and why…much less what you determined to be the facts in the case.
Your son has established a new family unit with or without marriage being part of it. He has a home and a child. Keep telling yourself that you are outside of that structure, not inside it. It’s very hard for some of us to do that, myself included, but we all need to withhold our opinions and not interfere unless asked. And even when we are asked, we need to be prepared for our adult children to weigh our advice and then not take it. That’s their right. Blessings, Luise