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Contacting my Father

Cindy wrote:

Hello. I desperately need an unbiased opinion. I am 26 years old, and have never met my father. My mother never told him about me, so he has
no clue I even exist. now that I have two children of my own, I would really
like to know him and for him to know about me...before it's too late.

The thing is, he was married at the time of my conception and went on to have two children to his wife. I don't want to be a homewrecker. What would be the best way to contact this man and what exactly would I say?

And is it selfish of me to risk his family's security in order to fulfill my quest in knowing where I come from?

Dear Louisa

First, be sure of your facts before you do anything. That means you need to discuss the whole thing with your mum - and, if possible, get her blessing. That's the easy bit!

There's nothing selfish about wanting to make contact. But you are right to consider him and his family. For two reasons, first because, whatever the past, he's entitled to his life - as are his family; second, if you get it wrong, your dreams won't come true either!

Then it gets even more difficult. I can't think of any shortcuts to direct contact - and that means writing to him.

What the letter says depends on you, what you know about him, and what 'feels right'.

I suspect you'd be wise to open gently - "I've been given your name, and I think we might be related" - that kind of thing.

I think you'd be wise to be a bit legal, and make it quite clear that you are making no claim, you simply want to find out if you are related.

Give him a contact name and address, and invite him to write back to you if he wishes.

Your priority has to be not to frighten him; he's a human being, you will be a shock to him. His first thought will be that it's not true - a hoax, a lie, a scam ... whatever. So you must avoid starting with potential conflict.

Which means allowing him the option of not replying. You will be feeling lots of weird thoughts - but you must contain all that; be cool, calm and take your time.

And be very sure of your facts!

It won't be easy, and everyone who reads this will be hoping it goes well - best of luck to you.

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30 November 2016  |     |  Contact