"This happened to my father. His dad had no idea he existed.
My dad never wanted to search for his parents, but my mom was rather nosy and did so. She was successful and had talked to his dad, who had been told my father died in childbirth. Upon finding both real parents the dad wanted to meet him, he lived about an hour from my dad's hometown. The mother lived farther away in the US and wanted nothing to do with my dad.
My father and mother eventually met my dad's biological father, along with his new wife. They were both happy and it all went well. So well that my dad took me to see them and their whole family and have seen them numerous times since.
However, this is an intermediate family secret because the adopted parents of my dad would be horribly heartbroken."
"I met my real father when I was seven. I remember taking the news that I had a new dad pretty well; sometimes kids are more resilient than we give them credit for. New dad welcomed me into his family, and I started to live with him after kind of a messy custody battle. Everyone gets along now.
The funnier side of this is that, until I met my real dad, my mom told me that my father was my half-brother's father, which would have been a pretty reasonable cover, except for the fact that I was white and he (and my brother) were black. As a young kid, I didn't second guess this at all. Might be why mom decided seven was the right time to tell me before I figured it out myself.
Mom likes to tell a cute story now about how, one day when I was in preschool, my black dad was going to pick me up from school instead of my mom, and all day I kept telling the teacher, 'Wait until you see my dad, you're going to be so surprised!' At the end of the day, he showed up, this 6'3" very black man in an airport uniform and hat, and I looked at my teacher and I said, 'Are you ready to be surprised?' and I pulled off his hat and gleefully exclaimed, 'He's bald!'"
"My mother and father had a one night stand off with tequila that ended with me. My father was a US soldier in Germany and simply put, my mother didn't want to ruin his life with a child. She was a German native and didn't want to ruin a young man's life, and essentially force him to marry her.
Eventually, my mother fell in love with an American a few years later, and we moved to the States. After I graduated high school, I decided to look for my father. I didn't want to find him until I was 18 because I never wanted him to think I wanted anything from him, it was strictly wanting to know who he was, who I was...
When I was 21 years old, I ended up finding him on Facebook. He looked just like me. It took me two hours to write him a message. You have no idea how hard it was. How do you even start? 'Hey, I'm your kid?'
He wrote me back the next morning. My heart raced a million beats a minute. He actually believed me from the get go. He spoke on the phone with my mother, they both remembered each other and their time in Germany. We never did a DNA test, we both knew I looked like him, and my half sister. My father was upset with my mother for never telling him, but he understood the reasoning.
After visiting my father and his family for two months, I decided to move to Colorado and live nearby to create a relationship with him and my new sister.
I think I walked into the situation a little too optimistic. It wasn't as easy as I had hoped to create a father/daughter relationship. We were perfect strangers. He never had the chance to grow up with me, or understand my personality. Truth be told, we didn't really like each other. After a few months of living in Colorado, we decided to end our contact. I haven't spoken to him in over a year now but I feel relieved to know who I am, what I am. I'm currently married and have a child on the way. He's aware that he has a grandchild on the way, but isn't interested in a relationship."
"My dad grew up with my mom, their parents lived next door to one another, so they played with each other as children. My mom moved away for a little bit, but she returned home at the age of 14.
My dad had been in love with my mom since the day she returned home. He was 16 at the time, but my mom was uninterested. Over the next two years, they pursued relationships with other people. My mom ended up becoming pregnant at 16, but the father was a heroin addict, whom she didn't want in her future child's life.
She began to show interest in my father at that point (she 16, he 18) and my father left his girlfriend to be with her, knowing that my mother was pregnant, to help raise the child. Her intentions were not the purest, in that she didn't love him and was mainly seeking a provider in my dad.
This is where it gets weird. 15 years later, my dad noticed a fire in the woods that ran along side our house. He ran down to investigate and found a boy down there who was the only one he caught as him and his friends were escaping. It was a small fire, and easily extinguished, but it could have gone badly, and he was trespassing, so my father called the police.
When my father went to court over the trespass and fire, he found out that the boy was his ex-girlfriend's son, and also his. She had never told him because she was angry about him leaving her for my mom.
My dad ended up dropping charges, and we got to spend more time with my brother."
"I'm the child, but the thing is the guy knew he was my father. Furthermore, not only did HE know, but EVERYONE knew.
I grew up in a tiny town in South Dakota. I mean very, very small. Its population, when I grew up, was about 550 people.
My mom was knocked up at the age of 16 by a guy who apparently had a problem not fathering children as I have 6 half-brothers/sisters.
Well, because it was so small, and everyone knew the guy, everyone knew he was with my mom at the time. Everyone of that generation and older knew him, personally. Nobody 'brought it up' because my mother was from a reasonably poor family, whereas he was from a well-respected family.
My mom married my stepdad (one of the town drunks) when I was 5. He wasn't a great guy, but he had a job and was reasonably responsible. He had a reputation, but oh well.
Every kid in school knew, however, that I was born to a single mother. I was actually not allowed to play with some kids because I was 'her' son, and my illegitimate 'cooties' might rub off on their kids.
But NOBODY told me anything about who my father was. Parents would tell their kids, make it out that it was my mother's fault she got knocked up, and force them to keep the secret.
Things got weird, though, when it came to some older folks. They were super nice to me for no particular reason. I found out later that they were HIS family, and they knew him and his problem with keeping it in his pants. They couldn't 'claim' me, but they weren't going to let me be completely alone either.
I finally found out all this out in my later teens and less than two months later, we moved away from the little town to a reasonably large town (60,000 people), where there were tons of kids of different backgrounds. I found a friend who was raised by a single mother, one by a pair of gay fathers, basically, I wasn't a pariah anymore.
Flash forward. Four years ago, I turned 38 and found out I had a prostate issue. One of the big questions? 'Is there any family history?'
I gave everything from my mother's side, but they wanted to know about my father's family. I asked a couple people who may have known, but they didn't have much information about something so 'personal.'
I sucked it up and called his brother. We talked for about an hour, where I found out that he had come to my grandparent's house and offered to marry my mother when he found out his brother had knocked her up. My grandfather told him, 'You can't spend your life taking care of your brother's difficulties.' He told me that, to this day, even though he heard it from a lot of people, my grandfather telling him that meant more than anyone else, due to the situation that it came from.
He took down my number. He asked if it was OK if he gave it to my father. I said, 'I'm giving you the number, what you do with it is up to you.'
I got a phone call the next weekend. It was my father's wife. She told me, in no uncertain terms, that I am NOT to contact their children. I told her I wasn't interested in that, and the only reason I called the brother at all was to find out medical history. She told me that he had a prostate problem in his early 40's. Oversized. Then reminded me not to contact them again.
Two years ago, I was hanging out one weekend with my wife in Savannah when my phone rings with a 605 area code. I answered.
A gruff voice says, 'Is this [my name]?' I said sure. He said, 'This is [my biological dad].'
Took me a few minutes, but then I said, 'Oh.' Thinking back about his wife's call, I followed with, 'Is there something I can do for you?'
He apologized for his wife's phone call. He told me his brother gave her the number, thinking she'd give it to him. Instead, she decided to try to defend her 'happy home.' He then told me that if I needed to know anything else, just call and ask for him.
That was it. I didn't press it, and I haven't called him ever again.
The way I look at it is, I'm a pretty happy guy. I've moved away from the horribly closed-minded place into a completely different version of closed-mindedness (Central Georgia), but I can deal with this. The reason I AM happy is because of the events that have taken place in my life to lead to this day. Some things have sucked, but if I didn't have the suckiness, I wouldn't have any reference for the good days, would I?
I don't need him in my life. I have family that loves me. I have a good job, great education, I've seen a lot of the world, done things I've only dreamed about, seen the world from the highest points in dozens of states, numerous countries and three continents, swam in every ocean (even the Arctic), and I did that all without him in my life."
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"When I was 10, my father cheated on my mother during a business trip. A year later, he got a call from the woman saying she had a son, but wanted nothing from him seeing as she was financially comfortable. He told my mother right away but kept it from my brother and I until we were in our 20s. My mother managed to forgive him over time and they have a great marriage now. He maintained a relationship with the kid throughout his life, seeing him every couple of months when he traveled for business.
Finding out my straight laced, hard working, never-messed-up-in-his-life father was capable of such a massive secret life was earth-shattering to my brother and I and frankly, I now have some trust issues with people. My mother, brother and I have all met the boy. He's an amazingly bright and sweet kid who I love, and I truly cherish our relationship, but I am now torn between taking it further and potentially hurting my mother, who managed to swallow her pride after finding out and staying with my dad in order to maintain the great life my brother and I had. The whole ordeal has made me closer with her, considering I now know what an incredibly strong and dedicated mother she is. My father wants my brother and I to have a relationship with our brother, but insists we keep his existence a secret from our extended family and friends, for the sake of protecting my mother's pride. This is the big kicker for me. How I am supposed to have a relationship with someone whose existence I'm not supposed to formally acknowledge?
The problem is, the kid is turning 15 this year, and his understanding of his situation is that my dad had temporarily split with my mom, got together with his mom, then got back together with mine. I'm afraid that as he gets older and starts putting things together, the reality of him being a bastard who almost tore a family apart will mess with him psychologically. As of now, he's a normal, bright, sweet 14-year-old. Most of our conversations involve him hounding me for tips on getting girls."
"I grew up in a pretty average family. I had an older sister, mom and dad. I always knew I was adopted. I got gifts at Christmas from my birth mother and her parents, who took care my older biological brother. It didn't really click that I didn't belong with mom and dad until a kid at school found out I was adopted and began making fun of me for not knowing my real parents. I talked to my brother over the phone and he said it was ok 'cause I still had parents that loved me lots, so I didn't really care to get to know my birth mother until I was in my early teens.
I started exchanging emails with her and eventually was invited to go meet the family at her brother's wedding. I clicked with most people. The other teens had similar interests and we had a great time hanging out. Fast forward a few years and just after I graduated (my birth mom and brother came to visit for my graduation), I wanted to know who my father was.
The mother that raised me explained that my birth mother was a bit adventurous before my birth and when asked who my father was for the birth certificate, she had said she didn't know.
My birth mother agreed to help find my father. It was interesting. We went through her list and marked of the ones it most definitely couldn't be. We then sent emails to all the ones we could track down and some agreed to do paternity tests, while others took one look at me and said I wasn't theirs. Finally, we got to the bottom of the list. There was one guy left and no way to contact him, but she knew how to contact his mother. We explained the situation to this woman (her name is Nan) and she was wonderfully kind. Nan arranged for herself and one of her daughters to meet me first. They were great! I loved hanging out with Nan and her daughter. Her daughter brought her kids, and they were very sweet. Nan seemed set in the idea that I was indeed part of the family. So she called her son Mike. He agreed to come over and even agreed to take the test. He was amazing. We sat on Nan's balcony and even at 19, I couldn't help but just stare. I had seen my own features in Nan's daughter and her children, but thought it just wishful thinking. This was just crazy. I had the same eyes, nose, and even our chins were similar. We did the test and stayed in contact. It came back positive. I found out he's a mechanic with a wife (who is very jealous that I found my birth parents) and three step children. I found out i have 14 cousins and four siblings through him and 1 half-brother whose mother put the him up for adoption. Mike is amazing. I talk to him all the time even though I live on the other side of the country. His family is very accepting and I send my 14 little cousins stuff whenever I get the chance."
"Never met my father growing up. My mother's family gave her an ultimatum. Stay with them or be with him. I never really asked much, I used to tell kids he left when he found out my mother was pregnant (fearing the responsibility, etc.).
Right after I turned 20, I got a call from my mom. She told me my father's name wasn't David, it was Joe. And he wasn't Irish and German, he was Sicilian. He'd just been released from being in prison for 12 years and had found her on Facebook. I'm from Bergan County in North Jersey, so surprise, surprise, he was a mobster.
So after a few weeks of her talking to him, she begs me to call him, mostly out of her own guilt. She completely cut this man out of my life because my grandparents knew who his family was and didn't want me to be exposed to that lifestyle AT ALL. I was really reluctant at first, but eventually, I caved. It was fine at first, he told me some crazy stories about his folks and the trouble he used to get in. It was nice finally having the missing piece of my identity filled in, made my anger issues at the time make more sense for sure. It was really weird to me how he was really protective of me after never having met me (little things like being suspicious of my boyfriend of [at the time] five years). I only found this weird because I HAD a dad who was proud of my decisions and supported me and here was this stranger questioning my life choices.
Fast forward to the week before my 21st birthday. I call, we chat like we always do, and I remind him that my birthday was coming up. At this point in time, he was calling me from different cell phones with different area codes. Virginia, North Carolina, etc. I knew for a fact he can't leave the state with his parole so I was getting a sneaking suspicion that he was back to old habits. Day of my birthday, the first one he would know me for, and it's radio silence. No text or email or call, nothing. Meanwhile, my real father, the man who raised me, called and told me how proud he was of the person I had become and told me how much he loved me.
I decided then to stop all contact with Joe. He couldn't be bothered, neither could I. I have a family and a father. It was good to know where I came from finally, but I'm not those people, and I'll never be his daughter."
"My father moved across the country when my mom said she was pregnant. They never dated, just hooked up. When I was 17 (I'm 18 now) I decided to look for him. It wasn't hard, I knew his name and that he had his own contracting business. I wrote a letter, but never mailed it. Instead, my mom called him while I messaged him on Facebook.
It took forever for him to reply. When he did, he acted like he did nothing wrong. I met him, with my mom, and he seemed like a normal guy. Definitely my father, seeing as he kept making really bad puns and jokes, and he was awkward.
All three of us went to lunch, and that was it. He said he wanted to be in my life, however, did not message or call on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or my birthday (he knows my birthday, too). After he realized he forgot, I got a letter explaining he had to work and that's why he forgot. It also had $100 in it.
We haven't had any contact since. According to my mom, he still wants a paternity test done. The guy moved across the country to escape fatherhood, then acted like it was no big deal when we met, wanted a freaking paternity test, and didn't talk to me on major holidays or my birthday.
I made it absolutely clear that I wasn't trying to get money out of him, just wanted him to know who I was. Honestly, I think he only wanted to save face in front of my mom. He wanted all the blame away from him.
Alright, if that's how he wants it, I was fine for 17 years without him, I think I'll be fine for the rest of my life."
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock
"I met my father when I was in grade 7 at school.
I grew up with two half-brothers and my mum in the house. I had never even considered my dad. When I was in primary school, kids would ask, 'Where is your dad?'
I would respond, 'I don't have a dad.' I didn't say, 'Somewhere,' or 'I don't know.' I was so unaware, I didn't even think I had a dad. My mum just didn't want him to get involved in my life. After the death of my granddad (he was my father figure), I became curious and got my father's phone number off my grandma. We arranged over the phone to meet at a nearby Subway for lunch. I took my cousin (he's like my brother), and as we drove in, I was trying to guess which man walking around was my dad. It was weird. I was so unsure, I couldn't even pinpoint which one was my dad. We walked over to Subway, my cousin gave me the heads up that the man sitting down was my dad, and I met him and gave him a mighty good handshake. Four years later, I've seen him about five times. He's so different to how I've grown up, he's more old-fashioned. But I visit him every so-often to catch up with things. The interesting thing is, it feels like a chore rather than fun for me every time I see him."
"My ex-brother-in-law had this happen. He played football at college (was quite the man-on-campus), and went on to become a very respected specialist doctor. He married my sister late in life, and then his fully grown (late 30's or early 40's), completely unknown son contacted him out of the blue.
My sister took it in stride (she got along with the biological son better than his biological father did). Apparently, my ex-brother-in-laws's college girlfriend got pregnant, broke up with him, and disappeared to have the child quietly. At least, that was the story told to me.
I think my ex-brother-in-law was scandalized by the whole thing. Doubly so because his biological son was openly gay.
I never met the son, but I heard he looked a lot like his biological father. When the son went looking for his biological dad, the folks he talked to wouldn't give him a name but told him to 'look at the yearbooks.' Apparently, the family resemblance was strong enough make things clear."
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