News Who’s Your Daddy?

Who’s Your Daddy?

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We have all read heart- warming stories about children who find their mothers after long and exhausting searches. Take the recent case of Lynn Hayes who spent 28 years looking for her mother Peggy Cluff. Their story is typical for the times – a pregnancy concealed and a child given up for adoption that was never seen and whisked away by an adoptive family.

We have all read heart- warming stories about children who find their mothers after long and exhausting searches. Take the recent case of Lynn Hayes who spent 28 years looking for her mother Peggy Cluff. Their story is typical for the times – a pregnancy concealed and a child given up for adoption that was never seen and whisked away by an adoptive family.

Many of these stories have happy endings. Mothers embrace their long-lost children because now their situation has changed and they no longer need to be embarrassed about being an unwed mother or not being in the right financial situation to keep the child.

What many children looking for their parents don’t understand are the attitudes and value at the time they were conceived. Years ago, adoptions used to be shrouded in secrecy and the records sealed. Shame and humiliation surrounded the process.

In fact, many times the father’s name was left off the birth certificate. Although open adoptions, where all parties have ongoing contact is more popular today, there are some reasons a biological Mom may have left a father’s name off the birth certificate or refuse to tell even to this day.

Its important children seeking their biological parents understand the reasoning. It’s not that mothers are cruel, but it may be asking their mothers questions about one of the most painful times in her life. Here are some alternate reasons why a mother may have difficulty discussing the father:

1. She may not know. Embarrassing as it may seem, your mother may not know where the father is. Paternity tests and DNA testing was extremely expensive 20 – 30 years ago, Now, DNA tests are available over-the-counter for as little as $27! At that time, people were either taught to wait until they were married to have sex or bought into the whole “free love and sex” values of the times. Birth control was not easily accessible and the types were quite limited. Remember, that as much as you may want to know, your birth mother may literally not know. It could have been a “one night stand” and she lost touch with him. She may have a name but has no idea how to locate him. You are bringing up the subject opens up fresh wounds that can become extremely emotional for you both.

2. He may have abandoned her. Your biological father may have abandoned your mother, leaving her in the lurch. He may have denied paternity. Suddenly, she faced a pregnancy alone and did not have the resources to raise you alone. Her family may have abandoned her. Even speaking his name out loud may trigger painful memories. He may have been abusive, a drunk, cruel or had many other problems.

3. You may have been conceived via rape or incest. What child wants to know that he/she was created via a violent act? Many rapes go unreported because of the stigma attached or the fact that in certain cases it is hard to prove. Also, according to Wikipedia, in North America, for example, approximately 15 to 25 percent of women were sexually abused when they were children.Knowing this information may cloud your whole vision of who you really are.

4. She may be protecting you. Your father could have been a monster.,, he may even be in prison today. He could have been a rapist, a murderer or committed a number of crimes. She may be concerned about your safety … what if he molested or abused you as a child?

5. He may be married. He could have been married at the time or could still be married and his family knows nothing about you. Bringing it to the forefront now could potentially ruin a lot of lives.

Raised by a Single Parent

Maybe you were not adopted but your Mom still refuses to tell you the name of the father. This can be just as prevalent. Understand that all the reasons above may apply to your situation.

Take the case of Gregory, a 48-year old man still searching for his father. He recently posted on a forum: “My mother is still alive and refuses to share more than what I’ve mentioned above. In March 2010, I pressed her for more answers, but she just clammed up. I asked her if she thought he was still alive, she said, ‘Yeah, if he hasn’t drank himself to death.’

Is it a case of Mom’s playing God? Is it unfair to not know half of your genetic history?

Do I think it is unhealthy for a child not to know who his/her father really is? Yes. I just think it is important to know both sides of the story. I understand a child’s frustration in not knowing who his/her father is. I can also empathize with a mother’s position. If she truly doesn’t know, you are at a dead end. However, if she knows and is just reluctant to tell, it may take some prodding and patience on your parent to extract the information from her.

About The Author:
Jeffrey A. Kasky, Esq. is a Florida adoption lawyer and Vice President of One World Adoption Services, Inc., a Florida-licensed not-for-profit child placing agency. Jeff’s diverse career experiences include co-authoring the book, “99 Things You Wish You Knew before … Choosing Adoption” with Robert A. Kasky, Florida-certified.

Who’s Your Daddy?
General Contributor
Janice is a writer from Chicago, IL. She created the "simple living as told by me" newsletter with more than 12,000 subscribers about Living Better and is a founder of Seekyt.

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