I wonder if any of you could help. My brother fathered a baby girl 17 years ago. The mother left him when the baby was 4 weeks old and went to live back with her parents in Wales. We live near London. All contact was cut, and my brother was for a few years not in a good place. The mother did not want any of us to contact her. I could not talk to my brother about it as he was too upset. Fast Forward to yesterday and I received a message out of the blue from the mother. Her daughter, my niece thinks that the dad who bought her up is her biological dad, everything has been kept a secret for nearly 18 years. She now wants to tell the daughter about my brother and wants me to tell my brother......
How do I do it...? I am so scared of his reaction as I am so wanting to have a relationship with her in the future.... Should the mother tell the daughter regardless of the outcome of my brothers reaction? Should the mother contact him although she is too scared? I have not told anyone about this no family or friends, I just want some advice first if any of you can help
thanks in advance
This is a really tough one, has the mother said why she wants to tell her daughter about her real dad? seems strange after all of these years.
I think if it was me in your shoes I would tell him, imagine if you didn't and he later found out that he could have started to build a relationship with his daughter but didn't get the chance.
Thank you for your message, she is telling her daughter as she will be 18 in a few months. Her mother said that she is not getting on with her dad, also. She said she will be telling her daughter regardless of the outcome from my brother. I am having another chat with her over the weekend, but really appreciate your comments. The mother is also waiting till after the daughters exams to tell her, which is where my problem is.... If I tell him now, I am not sure if he will blow up and try to contact her before her exams and her birthday. This is my issue.
I can understand your hesitancy in telling your brother but he has a right to know. It is always best to tell the truth! It may upset your brother and he may be angry in the beginning but your relationship with him will not be put in jeopardy. He has lived with the fact he "lost" his daughter many years ago but now, it would appear, there is a good possibility for father and daughter to be reunited.
My concern is for your niece.
When her Mother tells her, she is going to have an enormous shock.
The Mother and the man (who she thinks is her Father) have never revealed the truth to her. How will this make your niece feel towards them, betrayed, distrustful, angry at being denied access to her biological Father for all those years, insecure, unloved?
We do not know what her reaction will be.
The one thing I am sure of is that she will need love, security and her questions answered with honesty, from you, her uncle and your brother, her Father.
Encourage your brother to look forward in being reunited with his daughter and helping her.
The injustice was done to your brother many years ago and cannot be undone. If he dwells on the past it will be a hindrance to a happier future.
It is time now, to concentrate on the injustice your niece, in my opinion, will feel. She is about to take her exams which will most likely determine which path in life she chooses to walk, consequently I believe, it would be best for her to be told after these have taken place.
In the meantime, I personally would tell your brother so that he has time to emotionally readjust before his daughter is told. If he should, quote, "..... blow up and try to contact her before her exams....." he will not be helping himself and I believe, cause his daughter more heartache which she should not have to endure as she is the innocent party in all of this.
I believe you and your brother (her Father) and your extended family can help enormously in softening the reality of the truth she is about to be told.
I can understand your concerns for your brother, however your niece has the right to know who her real father is, and will come as a shock to her. The sooner you tell your brother any problems can be dealt with before she is told, hopefully.
You haven't said what the mother plans to tell her daughter about her real father, or why he has never bothered to get in touch. If she has fair enough, if not I would suggest finding out. Also your brother obviously had a hard time when it happened. He also needs to give some thought if he does meet her what he is going to tell her about her mother if he does want to see her.
While your concern is for your brother it should not be forgotten this is a young person who is about to get the shock of her life and is likely to be confused and full of questions.. It does sound like there are problems at home currently and there is a potential for this to get a lot worse for her.
Thank you all dads for your very valid and extremely helpful comments. They are very much on par with what I was thinking. I never knew the reasons that the mother cut ties with us ( Aunty / my mum and dad. With my brother he has never been able to speak about it. Her exams are finishing in June / July and I know that she is being told about her real dad and us after this period and she will also be 18. I know that she may reject me, but at the worst I may at least be able to know what she is doing and how her life is through her mother. I am hoping this is not the case as I have so much love to give. I never had my own children and just hitting the menopause ( too much information!) Would you ask the mother if she is going to get counsellors in place? I would be happy to pay for one if needed. I am definitely telling my brother, that was never in question, but it is more about when / or should I see if I can get the mother to write a letter to my brother and giver her my address to post to? I don't need to see it. I think she is too scared to call him... ( He is a good man and has told his current partner that he had a daughter, he also has two step girls 17 and 18) I really want to get excited, but I feel for this young lady, and try to put myself in her shoes. Sorry to ramble, but I guess this is really helping me too
I do apologize, you are your niece's Aunt not Uncle as I had previously referred to you as being.
It has and probably still is very upsetting for your brother this is why I think he should be told now so that he has time to readjust emotionally before his daughter is told the truth about her Father. He will then be more prepared when it happens
You sound a very caring person and of course you want to know all about your niece but I think it would be better to eventually meet her and for her to tell you personally how she feels and what her life has been like. When she is aware of your existence you could write to her.
No, I would not ask her Mother, quote, ....."if she is going to get counsellors in place?" She may not need any counselling and if this were arranged, she could feel she was not consulted on the matter and also feel undermined. She could also misinterpret your concern and generosity in offering to pay as you being in collusion with her Mother in keeping the truth from her all these years, she may not but she could. At this stage it is not possible to know how she will react.
I do not believe it would be a good idea to get the Mother to write to your brother, she has chosen you to contact. Whatever the reason is, she does not appear to want to contact your brother, this needs to be respected. He may, understandably be very upset if she did contact him after all these years and that has to be taken into account also.
You have been placed in a difficult position, in effect the Mother has chosen you to be an intermediary. In which case, I believe you need to be impartial, non judgemental or critical of those involved and neither say nor write anything which could be misinterpreted.
Obviously the care and love you show to those involved should have no limitations.
Please do not apologize for what you call a "ramble," it is a very important time in the life of your family.
I do hope you keep in contact on here whenever you feel the need.
The opinions I have expressed may vary from others on here but hopefully you will be able to come to a conclusion as to which is the most appropriate course of action for you, your niece and brother.