NOTE: This story was updated on Aug. 04, 2014. Please scroll to read the latest update.
NOTE 2: This story was updated AGAIN on Aug. 15, 2014. CLICK HERE
In many ways, I’ve learned to detach from some of the hard scenarios that come up on Ask.FM. It’s a defense mechanism to keep me from being weighed down all the time with other folks’s problems. But every once in awhile I get caught up. This story stayed with me.
A man wrote in recently to say that he recently found out that his 4-year old son that he had with his girlfriend is not biologically his. A couple of men who read his query weighed in to say that this is every man’s “worst nightmare” realized. As a woman, there’s little chance (barring a hospital mix up) that I’ll ever have to worry if the kid I’m raising is my own. But stories like these come up often enough—this isn’t the first time on even Ask.FM— that men have a valid concern.
The Brother who wrote was hurt more than anything, but also angry and unsure if he could continue a relationship with the child, who to complicate the situation, was calling to ask where he was.
The whole situation was heartbreaking. Take a read of the AskFM exchanges and see how it turned out:
Yesterday, I appeared in court to have a DNA test result read . It turns out the boy I have been taking care of for the last 4 years isn't mine. The mother has to back pay me yet that doesn't make me feel any better. I know men aren't supposed to cry, but everything is hurting even my toenails :(
"the boy" is your son. you've been his father for four years. is it possible to continue a relationship with him, especially as that is what is best for the child (and you)?
terribly sorry to hear what happened to you.
Dna/Son, I want to be there right now it hurts so much. He called me Saturday night (he is so proud that he learned my number the boy wont stop using it :) lol) He wanted to know why I wasn't there to watch him practice like I always am. This really sucks. He's my little man.
Work the ish out with the mom. Forgive her, as hard as that is. Do it for you and the kid, not her. And spend time with the kid. This story of you two being torn apart is breaking everyone's heart.
Please do not exit the kid's life because the mom is trife.
GM, TY for responding to my query. I was trying to be mean by asking for a DNA test because I was upset about our break up. I didn't think he wouldn't be my child. My mother is hurt as well. I lost a son xmas from a hit & run (he was 12). It feels like were mourning all over again :( I want to be there.
I'm terribly sorry to hear about your oldest son. But this kid who isn't biologically yours? You're the only father he's ever known, and he's the son you have... if you want to continue the relationship. The kid is here and he wants you.
You're hurt. I totally understand why. You were terribly deceived. But you CAN ease some of this pain. You would feel a million times better if the kid was still in your life. Tell me I’m wrong.
DNA/Son, Yes Ma'am you are right. I need him in my life. He's my boy. I am afraid that anytime he does something new, I will be left feeling like " Did he pick that up from me or is it a trait from his real dad?" I haven't seen him since the day at court. I'm crashing at my Mother's house.
I get why it matters to you. But in the grand scheme it doesn't, especially if it's a positive trait. Your role is to give him the best that you've got and mold him into a great man. Given our exchanges today, it sounds like you have a good heart and a level head, even when you're hurt. He needs to pick up those traits.
DNA/Son, Forgive me if I seem like some whiny crazed brother that has camped out on your site (If hard expressing my feelings to my friend we don't really talking about things of this nature). My daughters and I went to watch him practice this afternoon in fact just dropped him off an hour ago. His eyes lit up when saw us. He said to me Daddy I'm gonna run super fast and if I get hit, I'm not gonna cry just like you said. I 'm gonna take it like a man. I prayed so much the last few days. If I decided to stay I want to legally make him mine that way his mom can't pull any funny stunts."
I think getting legal rights is really smart. Hopefully, the mom is on board. leave out the "funny stunts" part when you talk to her.
I also want you to know that I'm really proud of you. It's taking A LOT for you to put your feelings aside for the situation and focus on what matters. I thought about your situation several times today. I know it's HARD, but the boy didn't ask for this and you being his Dad is all he knows. He needs you and you need him. I hope this works out for the best.
DNA/Son, lastly (I know you have others that need your help) I received an email this morning from the mom her defense is , She stepped out when we were having problems it was a 1x thing with a guy from HS and she didn't think he was a possible because they air both fair skin and the boy is my tone.
If she had sex with someone else around the same time, it was a 50/50 chance of who the father could be. She should have spoken up when she discovered she was pregnant. The "you two are the same color" isn't enough to reasonably think it's your child.
She has some things that she needs to work out and she needs to work some things out with you as well. I'm glad in the midst of this that you can still focus on what is best for the child.
DNA/Son, Thanks for the time and advice Ms. Lucas. Please keep us in your prayers and I will do the same. Goodnight.
My take on this is clear from the responses above. But FB reader, Kia Richards, saw it a different way:
"I know this sounds harsh but unless this man plans on being an active part of the boy's life he needs to cut ties and move on. I'm assuming this man will date and move on to find love with someone else. Having the child around means he will have to deal with the ex which may complicate his future relationships. If he was my relative or friend I would suggest that he cuts ties. The mom needs to find out who the father is and make him take a proactive role in the life if his biological child."
What would you advise?
"DNA Dad" as I've conveniently coined him, is back. He wrote in over the weekend to say that he was going to have dinner with his ex to hash out how they were going to clean us the messy scenario she caused by cheating on him and never mentioning the paternity of their child could be in question. Understandably, he was a nervous wreck. And unfortunately, his flurry of queries came through while I was away from my laptop:
"Good Afternoon, Ms. Lucas I know you might not get this in time. I am on my way to meet the Mother to try and work some things out. I feel real raw on the inside, really raw. I hope I can make it through dinner with a little grace. I just want my boy back in my life. Wish me luck please. :)"
When I didn't answer, he wrote back:
"I am a man that goes before God for guidance and I know as a Christian I must forgive. I think its only fair that I admit that in our six year relationship. She has giving a lot including taking on mother to my 3 kid whom I have full custody. I don't want to paint her as a monster."
I was still out. But when I read this, I kinda new that everything was going to be okay, or er, as okay as can be in a situation like this. His ex has made his worst nightmare a reality, and just two weeks later, he's able to recognize the good in her. Actually, I think they're going to get back together down the the line. Between this, and that the great revelation about the child's paternity came about because he was in feelings about their break up shows that there are still a lot of care involved here, at least on his end. If they could both show some maturity and some act right post-fiasco, they may be able to move beyond this betrayal.
"I guess you can tell I'm stalling by all of my rambling and chatter. I didn't think we would be going through this madness at this point in our lives but here we are. Maybe a drink will mellow me out. What do you think? Dinner is at 6."
I was back at my computer by 5:30, just in time to catch him for his last message before he headed in for dinner. He was waiting for me:
"I am about to walk a hole in my tiles from pacing back and forth. I'm meeting the Mother for dinner at 6:00 . My agenda is to work out something where I can have my boy back in my life. I need some encouragement to help me not blow my cool."
No matter what happens, focus on the end goal: getting the kid back in your life.
And be honest with her. You're hurt, disappointed, angry, all that, but you don't think she's a horrible person and you still want the child in your life. Add that you appreciate the sacrifices she made for your children.
She likely still wants you in the child's life, so you know. She's not exactly in a great position here.
I wasn't aware just how accurate that last sentence was. She got caught in a lie. A huge one. The man who's been financially supporting and loving her child may or may not bail, which leaves her child screwed and maybe her too if she's still in love with him. In the best case scenario, Mom had to call and old beau and inform him years later that she had been pregnant with his kid, and had a child... who she had been passing off as someone else's for four years. If he had any sense, he'd demand a DNA test, which has got to be humiliating to be on the second test to determine paternity of your child. If the alleged biological dad was the actual biological dad (because at this point, her word is no good on this matter) she would have to figure out how to introduce a very confused little boy to his new father and hope New Dad was an active father in the kid's life the way First Dad was. The shit, to put it mildly, was a mess. Add to her stress that she was going to need to pick up the tab on some hefty therapy bills for her son down the line.
Those were my theories. Reality is much worse.
DNA Dad wrote back with a post-dinner update:
"Ms.Lucas, tonight I was a ball of emotions. I felt everything from wanting to smack her, which I would never do, to wanting to comfort her while she cried. The end goal has been met. There is a little boy asleep on my mother's sofa and I'm happily on a pallet on the floor . I don't mind:)
"I will get my son on weekends, I will pick. him up from summer camp or school and drop him home week nights after FB Practice. I'm not sure if it was my place but I Just had to ask her. I asked if the "Bio Dad" knows she informed me that she sent him an email after he didn't return her calls. I asked for his email address which she obliged and I too sent an email . I tried to explain that I am in no way looking to settle a score. What happened between them is in the past. My concern is for my boy. I invited him out for a drink so we can talk as men. He declined.
"Instead, I was replied to with this: "Listen, man I told [redacted] and now I will tell you. I ain't in no position to take on no extra kids. What happened between [redacetd] and I should have never happened. I was in a bad space. I have now since fixed my marriage. We are doing great . Please just drop this. I think its best if we all just move on. I have two kids now which includes a 4 year old. My plate is full. Whatever you need me to do, let me know so that we can resolve this matter quickly and quietly."
This just became a verse (or three) of Trapped in the Closet. The guy she cheated with was married?! Has a four-year old?! Doesn't want anything to do with the kid?! And isn't telling his wife sh-- about it?!
- The horror! The horror!!!!
Ok, back to DNA Dad:
"Did you catch that he called my boy a MATTER? I am going to save the email. I have been doing some research the last few days. I found out that if I can prove that the "Bio Dad" has abandoned his child, then I can get his rights terminated. I think this email alone proves that this guy is a huge douchebag. Monday morning, I will be getting a family lawyer."
Sounds like he is serious about getting custody of his son, not just talk, ACTION!! I wish them all the best, even the Mom.
Good night, Ms. Lucas .There are no words to thank you. Thank you doesn't do justice I am forever in your debt. We have a long road ahead and if its ok with you, I will like to keep you posted on how things are progressing. (Sorry for the million queries.) Again, pray for us. I will do the same.