Should I Acknowledge Her Phantom Father?

Question: Dear Luise: Here we go; my 6 year old has never known her father. He apparently doesn’t want anything to do with her, or he would. He does just what he is ordered to do, by the state…pay child support and provide insurance. At this point, she says “we” don’t have a daddy. She has also called my dad, her dad. But, more will come I am sure. She hasn’t asked about her daddy. Anyway, it was by accident I got pregnant, and I really didn’t “know” him. He apparently had a girlfriend of 4 years at the time, and I was a side dish for 3 1/2 months. I ended it, because I didn’t feel a “connection.” A month or so later, I found out I was pregnant, and his number was disconnected. I lost contact til she was 4 mo old, and that is a story in itself! I didn’t know about the girlfriend, and all I was told by him, was pretty much a lie. He wasn’t single, he didn’t have his own place, he lived with his sister and her husband, and he did have a child, an 8 1/2 year old child. I know that was just as much my fault. I have taken responsibility for my actions. I couldn’t have given her up, or aborted her. I went through the pregnancy by myself, and am still by myself. I wondered what he would say or think, or do. I came up in a two parent, married home. My family members are all married. I am one of two single parents, and we are both young. I sacrifice all the time for my daughter. I know I made the right choice, and love my child more than anything. I just hope this doesn’t hurt her. I just found out who his parents, and sisters are, via the Internet. I also found the half-brother’s name, who I have known about since she was 4 months old. He is 14. ( He never provided me with any information about any of them) Should I contact them? His father died a few years back, and the mother is still alive and about 74 or so. I feel they do not know about her, being he moved 4 hours away, to another state, right after his son was born. I think she is a “dirty little secret.” So, he was a lying cheating man, 7 years older than me, now 38, and I just found his family. They are 4 hours, and a click away. Should I make contact, or wait until she is older and wants to herself? He hasn’t seen her since she was 4 months old, when he ordered the paternity test. I have seen him twice since, when he tried to get his support amount lowered. Help. I don’t know what to do. My grandma says to leave that be. I am amazed I have some real “facts”, and don’t want her to say I never tried, or why didn’t I do this or that 10 years from now, and blame me. The grandmother may not be around then, and she “may” miss out on time with them, if they truly do not know about her. Then again, it may not even matter. Should I contact him? I too found a way to contact him on the Internet. Like I said, I have only seen him a couple of times at court. He sits next to his lawyer, and only talks finances. I am on the other side, two people away, praying it doesn’t get any lower. Ask him why he hasn’t wanted contact? I don’t even know his family history. That is blank on her pediatric forms. I just don’t know what to do, and the ball feels like it is finally in my court. M.

Answer: Dear M.: This has to be your choice. Not your grandmother’s and not mine. I would leave it alone but that’s just my take on it. She will probably hold it against you if you do or don’t, so follow your own heart. It seems to me that he has made it very clear that he wants to keep the door closed. I would do just that. Blessings, Luise

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