My dad is an awesome man. He is smart, successful, and highly intelligent. I ask his advise on a daily basis. I love him and I’ve always been proud to call him dad! But I don’t have his genetics. That’s right, I have a separate sperm donor who is not and has never been a part of my life. I know who he is but choose not to have a relationship with him. He is not my dad even though a DNA test would state otherwise. I do not even carry his last name. I have my dad’s last name. Today, as a grown woman, I am very comfortable with this part of my life. But that was not always the case.
I remember, at age 12, when my mother sat me down and explained to me that my dad was not my “real” dad. Uh? What? Say that again! How could this be? I call him dad. He’s the only dad I had ever known. I was so very confused! I lost my identity. I struggled with this for years and years. I resented my mother for a very long time for her lies regarding my birth father. I just didn’t understand how she could have lied to me for 12 years. She allowed me to build this father/daughter relationship without ever considering I might need to know the truth. How could she lie to her own daughter?
Today, the tables have turned. I am now a single mother of a 16 month old, which I shall call “T” hereafter. T’s biological father (sperm donor) is completely aware of him and in fact is due to begin child support soon. However, T’s sperm donor does not want a relationship with him. Therefore, it’s just me & T for now. But I do hope to meet a nice man one day who would be a “dad” to T. He deserves a dad and I feel guilty that he does not have one. I pray that God will send someone into our lives so that we might have a real family one day. When and if that ever happens, I will be faced with the exact same situation my mother was so many years ago. What will I do out of love for my son?
I know my mother loved me. I didn’t understand this at age 12. I know she wanted me to have the best life possible and I am thankful she met my dad and brought him into my life. Anyone can contribute sperm in the conception of a child, but not everyone is a “dad.” I love my dad whether or not we are genetically related or not. I want the same thing for my son.
What are your thoughts about step-dads standing in and taking the place as the “real” dad in a child’s life? At what age do you tell the child about his/her biological father?