DNA Testing Reveals Truth About Son

By Amy Dickinson | September 9th, 2022

But Mom refuses to discuss the matter

Father and adult son. Image by Fizkes, Dreamstime. Through DNA testing, Dad discovers his son is not his biological son. Mom refuses to discuss, even with the son. See what “Ask Amy” advises.

Through DNA testing, a father has discovered that his son is not his biological son, but his ex-wife refuses to tell the son. Dad thinks he needs to know the truth. See what Amy Dickinson of “Ask Amy” advises.

Dear Amy:

About five years ago, I found out through DNA testing that my third child (age 31), is not my biological son.

I learned this after divorcing my wife. My ex will not discuss this issue with me and has not been forthright with him, either.

I love my son as much as my other two children, but doesn’t he deserve to know the truth? He lives on the opposite coast, but we have a good relationship and just enjoyed a great week-long visit together.

One concern to me is that he may eventually need to know his medical history that I cannot provide.

Also, he is becoming more inquisitive regarding family ancestry, and I try to avoid such conversations.

His mother does not want to discuss any of this with me, but I am open to having both of us discuss this with him in the future if she is willing.

I have taken the stance that it is up to her to tell him, but she hasn’t since we uncovered this information almost five years ago.

Is there anything I should do, or should I just wait on her?

She may be planning to take the truth to her grave to avoid embarrassment.

Is any action on my part required? Your suggestion?

Determined Dad

Dear Dad:

You should not avoid discussing family ancestry with your son. He is a member of the family and – DNA aside – your family ancestry is also his.

He also has the right to learn the truth about his DNA. This is important information, for obvious reasons. And – even though learning this news would undoubtedly lead to challenges for everyone in the family – it is the truth. It is his truth, and he has the right to it.

Given the ubiquity of DNA testing, your son is likely to discover this on his own at some point. His mother’s issue notwithstanding, imagine how he would feel knowing that you have been in possession of this knowledge for years and have chosen not to tell him?

You should set a ticking clock and let his mother know that if she doesn’t disclose the truth to your son by a reasonable deadline, you will. Yes, definitely offer to join her in a discussion.

Want to get even more life tips from Amy? Read more of her advice columns here!

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 – ranging from relationships to DNA testing surprises. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068

© 2022 by Amy Dickinson

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