Ask Amy: Insta Father May Not Be So Eager

By Amy Dickinson | July 16th, 2021

His 25-year-old daughter is ready for a relationship, but he's not so receptive

Young woman waiting for response from her biological father Image

Dear Amy: My daughter recently located her biological father on Instagram. She is 25 years old.

She has reached out to him multiple times over the last several months to try and have a relationship with him and to meet her siblings.

He doesn’t seem very interested and doesn’t even keep in touch with her unless she makes contact first and sometimes even then he doesn’t respond.

Should she continue to try and have a relationship with him?

I have encouraged it just because of the sadness and loss that has occurred over the past year. I figured this is a great time to try to reconnect with family and form special bonds and relationships, but is it really worth it?

– A Concerned Mom

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Dear Concerned Mom: I agree with you that this is a great time to “reconnect with family and form special bonds and relationships.”

The kink in the plan, however, is to assume that a DNA parent who did not know of a child’s existence or has never had a reason to seek a relationship, might choose to do so now.

You don’t say if her biological father had any knowledge of her before these recent contacts, but I do wonder about your own judgment regarding the hopes you seem to have placed on her ability to quickly form a positive relationship with him.

Dads who father children and either don’t know about them or don’t claim and help to support and raise them, aren’t always eager to become an instant parent once they are found through DNA matching or on social media.

This man has other children (and perhaps a spouse), and it is possible that he is keeping this daughter’s existence under wraps until he can figure out how to tell his other family members. Or his other family members already know, and they are discouraging contact because your daughter’s presence in their lives is disruptive.

Your daughter knows how to contact her father. You should neither encourage nor discourage this contact – but you must be there to patiently pick up the pieces when things don’t go the way she hopes.

In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068

© 2021 by Amy Dickinson

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