Child is born of a one night stand - would you tell him?

I need help with a scenario for a piece of fiction I’m writing (and yes, it’s definitely fiction, god forbid this ever actually happen to me!)

My main character, in a moment of weakness, sleeps with a sexy guy from a rock band, despite the fact that she has a boyfriend. She confesses, and the two of them decide to work their relationship out, though it isn’t easy. Soon she finds out that she has gotten pregnant from her one night stand, and she and her boyfriend decide to keep the baby.

There are a million tough decisions to be made in this scenario but I have already decided what happens with all but one: what do they tell the kid when he gets older? Do they lie to him and say his Dad is his real father? Do they go halfway and say he was adopted, child of a sperm donor, child of Mom’s previous boyfriend, etc? I’m not only looking for the ‘ideal’ choice, I’m also looking for ‘realistic’ choices - what do people generally do in this situation?

Thanks. And no, I do not Need Answer Fast, thankfully. :o

Question: how do they know it’s from the one-nighter, and not from all the other times she did it with her boyfriend? Hmm thread idea…

I didn’t want to complicate the thread, but she and her boyfriend were not planning to have children, and used condoms, which she did not use with the rocker guy (didn’t have any available). Like I said, moment of weakness.

Realistically, you put it off. You don’t tend to talk to your kids about the details of their conceptions, particularly if they might be embarrassing to you. You put the person who will act as father on the birth certificate and while you might have the best intentions of telling your kid that his father is not his bio father, there is seldom a good time. When they are young, they won’t understand, when they are older, they will judge, when they are teens, they are screwed up enough without THAT, if you wait to long, they will hold it against you. And it tends to come out eventually - maybe.

No. What’s the point? What purpose can be served by telling somebody something like that? I have no desire to know about the details surrounding my conception. This falls under the heading of random useless factoid.

Regarding my son Rover, I don’t see how the subject of details on how he was conceived could ever possibly come up.

You could do some serious Maury Povich research.

Not sure if you would consider it enjoyable research, but an excuse to watch stupid tv for at least an hour a day…

To those who wouldn’t tell - do you mean you wouldn’t say “hey, I slept with this guy and cheated on your dad, so this other dude is your bio-dad”, or do you mean you’d never reveal that there was someone else who “donated” sperm at all?

Because if you don’t tell anything, stuff like blood type and other things can reveal an unpleasant truth to an unsuspecting kid/teen/young adult and pretty much destroy any trust they might have had in you.

I agree Patty O’Furniture- I can’t really see a scenario where the kid would need to be told.

Just today, I happened to watch Maury Povich for the first time in years- another moment of weakness- and it was the same old ‘you’re my baby’s daddy!’ type show. Is that all he does now? You have to feel for some of the guys- I’m not sure I would be able to keep my composure with a big woman dancing around in my face, screaming, “I told you! I told you!”, over and over.

I’d tell. I think you need a *very *good reason to keep someone in the dark as to who their biological parents are, it can be very important information, medically if for no other reason. Also, these things have a way of coming out, so I’d prefer to make sure it comes from me.

But how would you tell him? At 3, would you say, “Now, son, when a separated mommy and a fellow clubgoer like each other very much…” Or do you wait until he’s 10 and when he starts asking about the birds and the bees, explain one night stands and then say, “Oh, and by the way…” For those of you that would tell, how and when do you think you would do it?

Sorry, OP- I didn’t mean to take over your thread.

I wouldn’t say a word about it unless and until I was forced to; no good will come of it so why precipitate it?

Definitely not a thread takeover! I was thinking about these things as well. Thanks for all your responses so far, keep 'em coming!

I’ve never been in this situation, but I think I would tell the child as soon as he’s old enough to understand the birds and the bees. Maybe it’s no big deal, but it’s the child’s decision at least as much as the parents’ to decide that it’s no big deal. And it might become medically relevant, too (if nothing else, it’s good to know what sorts of things to keep an eye out for, if you know one of your parents or other relatives had it).

You aren’t going to throw in some genetics/blood type based subplot into the story are you?

I think I’d be inclined to wait until the kid was 18, then give a kind of “now that you’re an adult” sort of speech. There is so much strife in high school I don’t think I’d want to introduce a “you’re not my real father and you’re a cheating whore…you can’t tell me what to do” element, but I do think the kid has a right to know. Might be good to mention it to the bio father at the same time, if you can remember his name.

I’m a big advice column junkie and every advice column I’ve read, that’s one of those, don’t-ask-don’t-tell kind of questions. Don’t lie to the kid, but don’t be telling them every chance you get that “your Dad isn’t your real Dad!!”

I wouldn’t hide it, but I wouldn’t go searching for times to tell him, either. Looking back at my own personal history, a good time could have been when we studied that bit about genetics in Biology. That was 9th grade (previous books had the info but it wasn’t taught in class), which is old enough to understand it, and the subject prompted questions at home about blood type and eye color and so forth. My brothers came asking “hey, what’s y’all’s blood type?” too, after their own Mendel class. And it wasn’t a class assignment, so it’s not like they’d have to stand up in front of the class and say “well, my Mom has no idea what my biodad’s blood type is.”

You don’t need to throw in a medical emergency, to have something like that come up. I’m sure the story of when was I made and how come my mother was so sure of the timing wasn’t caused by any kind of medical emergency…

Hrm, I could research by asking my brother whether they told their oldest he was a once-off mistake. I haven’t seen any signs from my nephew that he doesn’t consider everyone family, but I have dated a handful of adoptees, and the reactions, even to that, are SO varied, that I think you could write whatever fit and it would be as realistic as anything that would actually happen. S/he might not care, might prefer not to know, might really NEED to know later on for medical reasons…yeah, they’d have to know, for medical reasons if nothing else. The ‘when’ is never gonna be easy. Personally…well, crap, yah. It’s never a good time.

I’d tell my child if I wasn’t his or her biological father. I’d want to be the one to tell him or her, though, with the mother present. I wouldn’t tell them until I thought they were mature enough to handle the information, and from my experience with children-to-young adults, that range might be from 8 to 18, but certainly at the age of 18 (when they have full medical independence), they should know.