Several years ago I met my wife. She had a one year old daughter named Anna from a previous relationship. The bio-dad was still in the picture somewhat, taking Anna for a few hours here and a few hours there. He never kept her overnight, or for more than 4 hours at a time. He said he could not commit to any type of regular visitation either.
BTW, we are all professionals in our 30s. This isn’t a high school situation where someone is not capable of being a parent.
Well my wife and I were married the next year. The visitation ended up being about 3 or 4 hours every 3rd or 4th Sunday afternoon, by his choice. We were not limiting his access at all.
Then one day he called and asked if I wanted to adopt Anna. Well my wife and I had been praying over how to ask HIM to allow me to adopt her. I told him that I would be proud and honored to be Anna’s dad. I went to his house and we talked about the situation and it was obvious that this guy was itchin’ to be free of daddyhood. I was itchin’ to get the title! We went to a lawyer and the deal was legal and done in 6 weeks. He has no legal tie to Anna at all. We have not heard a word from him since the adoption, and he has not seen Anna in about 17 months. Since she has been able to speak, I have been Daddy. In my heart, she is my daughter.
But tugging at the back of my mind is this…when do we tell her she is adopted? Do we tell her? I think she deserves to know. But her bio-dad lives about 5 minutes from here. He simply did not want her. That will be devastating for her to hear. He is a successful, well-to-do man who chose to give her up. Won’t that scar her? I know that is balanced by that fact that I DID want her, but nonetheless I think it going to be hurtful to her.
Some people advocate letting the word “adopted” be part of regualr conversation as they grow up. Some say you should wait until they can really understand. Some people never tell at all.
I think she deserves to know her true history, I just want to tell her in a way and at a time that will be least damaging to her, without her feeling I have been less than honest.
What is YOUR opinion?