This happened before my husband and I were together! My husband was told 11 years ago that he fathered a little boy. The mother told him it was his then the very next day she told him she was just lying to him. She showed my husband a Birth certificate that her husband signed. (Basically to try and prove it wasn't really his). My husband's name is NOT on the Birth certificate. The mother got pregnant and went and got married (her husband's name is on the Birth certificate) before the child was born. Then she came to him (my husband) and told him he was the father of her child, then she changed her mind a day or 2 later and said "never mind I was drunk when I told you that". Her and her husband were going through a rough patch when my husband was told.

We have 2 young kids together and the child in question is now 12 years old and looks identical to my husband and our boys. There has never been a DNA test done but he is really starting to look just like my husband. I believe the guy who is raising him knows (or assumes) that the 12-year-old isn't his biological child.

My question is will it cause more pain for this boy to learn the truth about who is real father is? Should this come out now at 12 or wait for the child to find out when he is older from friends or an adult around town? I have no question that this young boy will find out eventually. It has been out and about with people in town talking about it lately. My husband is concerned that it could do more harm than good if we press the issue now. We are at a loss of what to do now that the mother has lied about who the young boy's father is. Should my husband press the issue or should we just let it go and if the boy finds out down the road just explain to him that (my husband) was told it wasn't his? We live in the same exact town!

We believe our 4 children we have now will be fine either way if they find out the news now or in years down the road. There is one more twist... My husband family has colon cancer that runs in the family. My husband's grandfather died at 32 and his own father died in his 50's. My husband is followed closely by doctors along with my boys who are starting to be followed at 6 and 8 years old. My husband is concerned how the news will affect the young boy being a 12-year-old.

3 Answers 3


From what you write, it sounds like the boy has been living with his mother and father (though possibly not in the biological sense) for the last 12 years in a stable family.

If his parents want him to know he has another biological father, they'll tell him. I don't think it's your place to force anything. If the boy does overhear talk about your husband being his biological father, he'll most likely ask his parents whether it's true. It's their responsibility to handle it. My personal opinion is that since the boy's father looked after him for twelve years, that does make him his father in every sense that matters. Whether they share DNA is secondary.

That's also what you can tell the boy down the road if he is in fact your husband's biological son and later finds out. That his mother lied to your husband wouldn't need to be part of that conversation; it would be enough to tell the boy that his mother and biological father separated before he was born and by the time he knew the boy existed, there was another father already in place.

The colon cancer thing is a problem, however: If the boy's mother doesn't know about it, she should be told, on the chance that the boy really is your husband's biological son. Your husband could also use that as an opportunity to tell the boy's mother how he'd feel about the boy actually being his biological son. If your husband wouldn't mind having the boy know about him, and maybe spend some time together at some later time in the future, he could tell her in the same letter/conversation.

The idea here would be to make sure that the boy's mother knows where your family stands, in case your husband really is the father and it gets to become public knowledge, because she might just be as unsure about how to approach you, and what to tell the boy when he starts overhearing rumors. Imagine her position if she lied: How can she now tell the boy, or your husband, the truth after having made sure that your husband believed the boy wasn't his? Knowing where your your family stands on the matter might make things easier once they come to a head.


There are so many variables that this may be impossible to answer.

  1. Put the boy and your own children first.
  2. Your husband should do nothing (imo) before talking it out with the mother of his possible child. He could tell her that he is open to meeting the boy if she agrees that he's the father.
  3. Your husband would be ethical to inform the mother about the colon cancer issue (whether she admits his parenthood or not). However, he cannot expect her to admit anything or to include your family in her son's life.

IMO, leave well enough alone (once the cancer info has been disclosed). The mother has made choices that might be hurtful to your husband, but disclosing this info may really hurt her partner and most especially the boy. Your husband is handling it emotionally, but you do not know how anyone else will react.

When the son has reached adulthood and the mother has never said anything to her son, if your husband still wants to pursue it -- that's the time to suggest to his then adult son that they get a DNA test. Your husband must be fully prepared for a less than stellar reaction.

My answer has changed due to your added information. This is my opinion only. I doubt there's an 'answer' to your question.

  • Sorry wasn't put in your comments and was left in answers Commented May 12, 2017 at 17:20
  1. You don't know for a fact that this boy is your husband's son.

  2. Claiming fatherhood would likely destabilize the boy's family.

  3. It's not your family.

By telling him that he's your husband's son you'd get involved in another family's business, you'd be telling him something that may not even be true, you'd destabilize his relationship to his parents, and you'd destabilize the relationship between his parents. As for the upside, I don't see one.

I'd recommend against it.

If you want to get involved, your husband could ask the woman he presumably had unprotected sex with 9 months before the boy was born (it's somehow implied by your question) how she'd prefer him to answer should the boy ever ask. In that private conversation he should also mention the colon cancer risk.

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