My 7-year-old daughter's bio father went to prison when she was 3 months old. My son's dad came into our lives when my daughter was like 14 months old and has been here and been dad ever since!

I have not told my daughter anything mostly because, well she just turned 7 and I'm pretty sure she is now at a good age to understand when I tell her and also I wasn't sure how long bio dad would stay out. He just got out after almost 7 years! Also, I'm scared and I want to go about this the right way.

So when bio dad was in jail, I was still in contact with him bleh bleh I wrote him, all that... Once he was getting transferred to prison and I was informed he'd be gone for 6+ years, I knew I had to move on with mine and my daughter's life... We did and our life is way better now.

Anyways, when bio dad got out, I found out and wasn't sure what to do but I reached out to him just to acknowledge him being out. I told him his daughter doesn't know who he is and that once I knew he was working and on a better path I'd tell her and we'd go from there as far as them meeting if that's what she wanted. He was good with all that and things were fine for a couple of months, but something changed and we're doing this all the legal way now (which is honestly probably better even though I really was trying to avoid the whole court procedure), we're in the process of mediation and whatnot but now I know I really have to talk to her about it.

I have pretty good ideas of how to tell her... I want to keep it light and be open to answer any questions... I don't know, like I said I have a few good ideas of telling her but I really would appreciate any advice!

  • 1
    Did you tell this man you were pregnant before you met your husband? Did you share her birth information with him or take her to visit him as an infant? Is his name on her birth certificate? Did he sign away his parental rights? Is the pending legal battle over custody? And, she has no idea that "Dad" is actually "Step-Dad"?
    – elbrant
    Mar 9, 2019 at 23:36
  • Does your daughter know that Dad is not her biological father?
    – arp
    Jul 31, 2019 at 17:22

1 Answer 1


my son is 7 years old and I just tried to imagine how he would react if my wife would tell him I am not the bio dad.

First of all the kid need to understand what may be the difference between dad and bio dad. My son has some theoretical understanding where children come from. So he would understand the situation.

Second step is then to tell the story. Just the facts.

As I said, my oldest son is 7. My experience is that young children accept facts just as they are. With my 7 y/o this slowly shifts to asking questions about why and how to understand a bigger context.

With my son I have the strong feeling that telling earlier would be better than postponing. Especially with his current shift to asking for context. Telling later increases the probability that he would ask why we did not tell him before.

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