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Dr Miriam: Runaway dad is back for son; LETTER OF THE DAY.

Byline: Miriam Stoppard

Dear Miriam

WHEN I was 18, I had a son.

My baby's father had no interest in having a child and he disappeared when I told him I was pregnant.

A year later, I met the man I was to marry. He instantly bonded with my son and they have a really great relationship.

My son believes my husband is his biological dad. I've never told him he isn't because I didn't expect to have any contact with his real dad ever again.

Then two weeks ago, out of the blue, I got a phone call from him. He'd managed to track me down through a girl we both know where I used to work. He's dropped the bombshell that he wants to see his son.

My son is six and I don't know what to do. My husband is feeling very threatened as well.

YOU have no choice now but to bite the bullet and let your son in on the secret. I expect, in your heart of hearts, you knew the day had to come some time. Now your ex-boyfriend has taken the decision out of your hands.

Most experts agree it's best to give a child this type of information when they're young so they can grow up knowing and accept that's the way it is. This helps to avoid confusion and the potential for it to be a traumatic shock if they find out later that they've been deceived.

There's no right or wrong way to tell him but I strongly recommend you and your husband do it together.

Telling a story like "how mummy met daddy" could be the way to begin. Keep in mind that, if you make a big deal out of it, your son will too.

Your husband shouldn't feel threatened. He's very real to your son and he is his daddy.

Biology doesn't mean much - it's the time and effort that people put into the relationship that counts and your husband has a huge headstart on being a dad to your son. The natural father has a lot of ground to make up.

I know he ran a mile from his responsibilities but he's had time to grow up and reflect and it must be to his credit that he's had a change of heart. Having two men in his life could be a bonus for your son.

CAPTION(S):

SECRET'S OUT: Time to tell son the facts
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 30, 2005
Words:410
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