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"A step parent refers to a person who has married ones parent after the death or divorce of the other parent. A spouse of the parent becomes a step parent to the child when the child is not biologically related to the person."


A definition when back in the day when true parentage was never discussed openly with the OC, and DNA was not available.


"While my H meets the 2nd criteria for being a step parent (he isn't biologically related to our OC of course) he clearly does not meet the first, since he did not marry me after a death or divorce from the other parent. I was in fact married to my H when our OC was conceived and when she was born."


Legally your BH is the "dad" and not the step dad. And, always will be unless the OM challenges this in court.

Reality your BH is not the "dad" That title will always be the OM's whether there will be NC for now or forever.

What you have and are using definitions that were developed when parentage could never be proven. Definintions back then that willingly and only cited examples of legitimacy of birth. Definitions from a time that society would not recognize OC birth or openly discuss OC parentage. A time when the courts could not settle this issue.

I see you only trying to justify your BH's role as the OC's dad as one would see a WS trying to justify an affair.

The cork was pulled from the bottle
The contents spilled on the ground
and they can never be put back in the bottle

The OM will always be her father.
The OM fathered her.
The OM traits, good and bad will always be part of who see is.
Even if the OM never parents the OC or never sees OC.

Legally your BH only has his name on the BC.
Which if the OM pursued there is a good chance it can be changed.
His DNA will never replace the OM's DNA.

Your BH can do his best to be the best parent he can for the OC, and he will, and the OC will love him for that. They will bond the BH and OC. Be happy and content in that.


"To me, it's much more similar to a child who is born through the use of a sperm donor in a case where the H might be sterile. He isn't biologically related to the child, but in every other sense of the word, he is the child's father. He has legal rights to the child that a step parent would not have. My H has all legal rights to our OC. He did not have those rights with my 3 older kids. That's why I think the situation with an OC is very different from a step parent situation."

Siting sperm donation is comparing apples to oranges. There was no intent on your part to use the OM as a sperm donor.

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Quote:
Legally your BH only has his name on the BC.
Which if the OM pursued there is a good chance it can be changed.
His DNA will never replace the OM's DNA.
NOPE, not here in California. LEGALLY her H is the father, dad, daddy whatever you call it LEGALLY he is the guy because in CA only the H can challenge DNA not the interloper. Once OC turns 2 he will be the dad for LIFE because the time will have run out for her H to challenge paternity. He will then forever be the daddy LEGALLY. OM is nothing more than a sperm donor in writer's case.


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ooops OC is two already, so writer's H is officially and legally forever her dad.


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I think fled had a really interesting point here. I don't tell people I am a stepmom unless they already know my situation. Why? Because then I have to go into the awkward and long explanation of my H having a child outside of our marriage during our long marriage. I didn't sign on to be a step parent, he did when he married me because I had a son already. I think I prefer what OW calls me "OC's other mommy". Yes, she has gained enough respect for my role in her son's life to give me the honorary title.


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Writer 1:
I have mixed feelings about this. In some respects I think your H is her father although he is not connected to her biologically but he is her father and is caring for her everyday. I am not sure I would want to tell my child while they are young. I am not sure what time is the right time but 7-8 seems a bit young to me. In addition, how does your H feel about the situation. Some parents never tell? My God Mother found out 2 years ago that her dad is not her biological dad and she is 63. Nothing has changed in her life and the only reason it came out was because she had a medical condition. She has no interest in seeking out her BIO_DAD or any family. Her dad is the one that raised her whom she has known all of her life.

Should you tell your child and she acts different toward your H that may hurt his feelings? How would he feel having her seek out her BIO DAD??

Tough call. My H and I discuss that as well. When do we tell my COM. I am not sure if we will tell him while is young but only time will tell. We may change our mind but in my COM's case it does not really change his life at all.

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Originally Posted By: faithful follower
ooops OC is two already, so writer's H is officially and legally forever her dad.



Oooops, OC can be 22 she will always have the OM DNA. Signatures on paper will never change that.

You fail to see the difference between legal verses the truth. Legal will not make or stop the OC from loving BH as her dad. And she will is my guess.

There is no reason for W1 or her BH to make sure everyone outside of their family knows the truth. No need to mention OM, DNA.

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You said OM could contest and be on BC, I said NO HE CANNOT not in this state. You fail to see my point, TR. LEGALLY the child is writer and her BH's. Of course OM's DNA is there. Of course they should tell OC the truth eventually.


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Originally Posted By: TheRoad

I see you only trying to justify your BH's role as the OC's dad as one would see a WS trying to justify an affair.


There are so many things wrong with this statement that I don't even know where to start.

The thing is, it isn't ME trying to justify anything. I am simply relating here what my H has said to me. In fact, we discussed this just last night. He says that he sees himself as her dad in every way other than the DNA. He does NOT see himself as her step-father. I am not trying to justify anything. I am simply attempting (obviously not successfully) to relate what our day to day reality is.

I just find this statement so utterly offensive.


Me: BS/FWW: 48
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Originally Posted By: faithful follower
ooops OC is two already, so writer's H is officially and legally forever her dad.


This is true. I've researched the law. Here in CA, my BH had two years to contest paternity. That never concerned me at all. I don't think it ever once crossed his mind to do so. He has loved this little girl from the moment she was born and he had no desire to change his legal status as her father.

OM would have had few options in my state if he'd chosen to contest paternity, which he didn't.

Few people would dare tell an adopted child that their parents weren't their real "mommy" and "daddy" because they don't share DNA. I know plenty of people who were raised by someone other than their bio parents, and they all consider the parents who raised them to be their true family in every sense of the word (in spite of the lack of shared DNA).

At this point, I'm done defending my H's role in our child's life. He has earned the right to be her dad in every way. And that wasn't the point of this thread in the first place. I started this thread to get guidance in regards to when and how to explain the situation to our OC, not to try and figure out if my H is really her father. I already knew the answer to that one. I've known it all along.


Me: BS/FWW: 48
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Writer1: I understand your points. I am not sure what I would do if I found myself in your situation but because it worked out where you have an H that has been her dad and was there from birth, I would feel comfortable telling her when she is in high school or an adult. At that point he/she is able to understand relationships a little better. Let your child enjoy her childhood. I'm just concerned that by telling her when he/she is 7-8 it may cause difficulty in her teenage years w/ acceptance.

In addition, should the child want to seek the other party out it may catch him off guard and he may not want to meet the child. You have to be prepared for that as well. That happens so often with adopted children when they learn of their true bio make up.

There is no right or wrong answer to any of the questions. You will know when the time is appropriate to share that information should you chose to share.

Hang in there!

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Originally Posted By: Bethesda
Writer1: I understand your points. I am not sure what I would do if I found myself in your situation but because it worked out where you have an H that has been her dad and was there from birth, I would feel comfortable telling her when she is in high school or an adult. At that point he/she is able to understand relationships a little better. Let your child enjoy her childhood. I'm just concerned that by telling her when he/she is 7-8 it may cause difficulty in her teenage years w/ acceptance.

In addition, should the child want to seek the other party out it may catch him off guard and he may not want to meet the child. You have to be prepared for that as well. That happens so often with adopted children when they learn of their true bio make up.

There is no right or wrong answer to any of the questions. You will know when the time is appropriate to share that information should you chose to share.

Hang in there!


Thanks Bethesda.

It really is a difficult call as to when to broach the subject. I know Dr. Harley has stated that it's better to tell them the truth at a very young age, but there are issues with both choices of course.

As far as OC wanting to meet OM, I'm going to leave that up to her once she's an adult. I have no idea if she will want to meet him. I have adopted friends who chose to search for their bio parents and adopted friends who have no desire to meet their bio families, so it could go either way. That really will be up to her to decide after she turns 18.


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I think you are getting caught up in titles.

by that definition a single woman has a child and the father is no where to be found. she meets a great guy and they marry 1 year later.

He is not the step parent because there was no divorce or death involved?

sure he is technically the step dad. he is the guy holding, nurtuing, caring for and providing for the child

but more importantly in my off beat world he is the "daddy" to the child. no other adjectives are needed

i am not sure what is involved in legal rights. for us when oc is sick at school they call my w or me to pick her up. not om

if she is sick my w or i take her to the doctor. not om

i am sure that when she is older if she gets into trouble they will call me at 2 am and not om.

hey maybe i should keep his phone number handy for those nights so i can give it to the caller and go back to bed. just kidding.

so i guess my questions is what is the difference between your h's role with your little dd and your 3 olders?


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Originally Posted By: pops

so i guess my questions is what is the difference between your h's role with your little dd and your 3 olders?


In most ways, no difference, since our situation was similar to your example. Bio father of my 3 older kids wasn't in the picture. My H was the only "dad" they knew. They all consider him their dad.

Legally, there were some differences. They didn't have my H's last name (OC does). I had to list him as a step-parent on school and medical forms (with OC, we just list him as her dad since he's on the BC). My H could still pick my older kids up from school and take them to the doctor and everything. When our son had his legal problems last year, the judge had to specifically put my H (as the step-father) on the list of approved visitors, but my H wasn't allowed to sign any of the paper work for the courts. That had to be me, since I was the "legal" parent and my H was not.


Me: BS/FWW: 48
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""""""""""They all consider him their dad""""""""""

and that is the most important thing

just as it will be for your dd

well at least the judge did the right thing

can i ask why your h didn't adopt you olders when they were younger?


me-59 ww-55
married 1979 - together since 1974
6 kids together 15,19,21,23,29,30
my oldest son 37
d-day (confession day) memorial day 2001
oc born 12/20/01
now 8 grandchildren
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Originally Posted By: pops

can i ask why your h didn't adopt you olders when they were younger?


He wanted to, but we never had the money. Because their bio dad was MIA, it would have been more expensive because we would have had to placed ads in newspapers trying to locate him and then gone through the process of trying to prove abandonment, as well as the normal adoption fees. We've always gotten by financially (up until this last year at least) but we've never had much extra. It's always been sort of paycheck to paycheck for us. Most of the attorneys we spoke with wanted at least $5000 just to get the ball rolling. And to us, he was always their dad anyway and since their bio dad was nowhere to be found, not much would have changed in our day to day lives if he'd adopted them.

Looking back on it now though, I wished we'd saved up the money and done the adoption.


Me: BS/FWW: 48
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interesting and i certainly understand the paycheck to paycheck life style.

well at least the most important part was a reality. him being their dad


me-59 ww-55
married 1979 - together since 1974
6 kids together 15,19,21,23,29,30
my oldest son 37
d-day (confession day) memorial day 2001
oc born 12/20/01
now 8 grandchildren
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Pops,

what a shame your mother and father carried that quilt all those years.

i wonder if unlike today, that society's thought process at that time to keep all adoption information secret played a part in them keeping it all pent up for so long.


I think it certainly did, as did the attitude of respect, gravity and compliance for everything legal at that time. When he spoke of the proceedings he mentioned details like the judges name, sidebars my biological father had with the judge, the inheritance implications of adoption, the only thing missing was dramatic court room music from Perry Mason.

Funny part is that although my adoptive father was the one who told my adoptive mother to keep quiet about my background and details, he was the one who first told me a small bit about my origins. I think he regretted doing so later as I turned into a bit of a Chillingworth. For myself more data is better data.

God Bless
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Hi writer!

Ok. and 8.

Thanks for asking.

I wish you well with your decision making.

It's not easy.... I know.

hugs....

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Writer1 and others,

It seems to me that there used to be a term that more adequately described some of the situation here. It was said that a man "fathered" a child. Meaning he provided the sperm for insemination.

That is far different than a man being a "dad" for a child.

On a legal basis, many states have the two year limitation and some even shorter. After that the "legal" aspects of this become clear. Your H is the legal father/dad/ etc. This has nothing to do with biology.

It seems to me that while he has not "fathered" any of your children, he has been all of their "dad's". He sounds like a very good man to me.

God Bless,

JL

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I am not sure why I read the thread. I rarely peek at this part of the forum but wanted to add my, so far no OC and hopefully never one, perspective. (That is a complicated sentence!)

Ideally you do tell OC from the start that she has a Dad and a bio-dad.

That can later be explained in more and more age appropriate detail as life goes on.

She isn't too young at any point to know her truth. (I am a early childhood development person by profession)

You wouldn't need to make a big deal out of it until she is cognitively wanting to get into it in detail.

Yes, she would tell friends but there are so many variations of families these days, it wouldn't be so strange. It is sad that it is embarassing and might make Dad feel sad but it is the facts of OC's life.

I may be missing a logical connection.

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