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Woman wants to tell son his dad 'ghosted' her during pregnancy; he calls her a 'liar.'

Woman wants to tell son his dad 'ghosted' her during pregnancy; he calls her a 'liar.'


Co-parenting with someone you're not on good terms with is a massive endeavor. But it's even more complicated when a parent who ghosted reappears and demands parental rights and time with their child.

Figuring out the lines for a young child when it comes to contact with an unreliable parent can be exceedingly complex. On one hand, if you lie or keep them from the other parent, it'll likely come back to bite you when the child is older.

On the other hand, if the child gets attached to an unreliable parent - it can feel painful and irresponsible to watch them get hurt in ways you could predict. There's truly no one-size-fits-all answer in these situations, which is part of the complexity.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a mom asked if she's wrong for not wanting to tell her four-year-old about his bio dad just yet.

She wrote:

AITA for not wanting the biological father of my child to say who he really is? I (30f) have a 'Mike' (4m) who was fathered by my old college boyfriend 'Jason' (31m) who ghosted me before I was able to tell him that I was pregnant.

When I first found out that I was pregnant it was around finals, Jason and I were in grad school, and Jason was so stressed out by exams, work, and family issues that I decided to tell him after his last exam.

Also, because I had a bad habit of procrastinating when I get anxious and a part of me was in denial about being pregnant. I admit that during this time I was acting out of the ordinary and being a little secretive.

Unfortunately, Jason got the wrong idea and (insert a series of curse words) friend 'Amanda' (30f) convinced him I was cheating so when I came back to our apartment he was gone.

He posted an awful message about me on social media and then blocked me, so did most of our mutual friends along with all of his family members. I was devastated and desperate, so desperate that I even swallowed my pride and reached out to Amanda to beg him to talk to me.

She then proceeded to taunt me and then sent me a screenshot of Jason's text calling me a liar and pathetic for trying to pass off another man's baby as his.

I tried reaching out to Jason once during the later half of my pregnancy and another time after Mike was born before giving up. I tried to go the court's way but Jason got a job overseas so it was what it was.

Later I met 'Dan' (36m) he was great, we fell in love, got married, and he was willing to adopt Mike. Shortly after I had my second child Jason reached out to me.

The very first thing he did was offer a sincere and meaningful apology to me saying that he now realized that Amanda lied to him and that the evidence she had against me was false.

Jason also said that Amanda was the one who interceded my attempts to reach out to him and knew that I had had his son. I did not hold back my anger and he took it. He gave me a few days to cool down before reaching out to me and asking to meet Mike.

After discussing it with Dan, we agreed and Jason was introduced to Mike as 'mommy's friend from college' since then he's met Mike in person about four times, I've sent him a few pictures, and even let him video chat a few times.

Recently, Jason reached out to me about wanting to know when we'd tell Mike that he was his 'real' father and I countered that Dan was his real dad as he's the one helping me raise him, and that he could either be 'Uncle Jason' or nothing at all.

Jason got upset and pointed out how it wasn't his fault that he wasn't a part of Mike's life, that he's trying now, and how his family wants to meet him.

I countered that if he hadn't of ghosted me he wouldn't be in this situation right now and in the eyes of the law he doesn't get a say. Dan agrees that Mike may be too young right now but feels it's wrong to keep Jason out all together, so AITA?

Edit: Because someone asked just to be clear Dan is now the legal father of Mike.

I'm not sure about all the legal terms but basically, when Dan and I started the adoption process we had our lawyers send out a notice to Jason's last known legal address (which Amanda intercepted).

Then after no response, we petitioned the court and cited abandonment so that Jason's rights would be terminated since Dan was present and willing to take Mike on.

Edit 2: I don't know why people are thinking this but just to be clear Dan and I would never NOT tell Mike about biological parentage I'm just not willing to do it now.

I don't want to risk my son becoming emotionally attached to a man with a history of ghosting. Dan has proven to be reliable, Jason has not. I'm planning on telling Mike somewhere between 13-18.

Edit 3: Since someone DM me, while Jason's story of Amanda tricking him is plausible with the details he gave me, I honestly don't believe him since it's too convenient of an excuse and he hasn't shown me any indisputable proof.

The thread soon filled up with questions and comments about the situation.

Phyesalis wrote:

NTA. You followed court instructions and your husband's adoption of Mike was approved. Dan is his father legally and in spirit. Mr. Late to the Party should be grateful you're offering up the Uncle option.

That's really more than he is entitled to at this point. You can tell Mike about it more when he's older and he can choose what kind of a relationship he wants with him at that point.

rncikwb wrote:

Do not wait until he’s a teenager. Outcomes for this kind of thing are worse the longer you wait because—on top of experiencing an identity crisis—the child feels they’ve been lied to for years and are more likely to experience a sense of betrayal / loss of trust in their parents.

It’s better to work with a child therapist who specializes in adoption to find an age-appropriate way to let him know as soon as possible.

Please read more about this, u/alternative_disk3168:

aheartthatbends wrote:

NTA. I understand protecting your son. If I was you, I would reach out to a family counselor who can maybe help guide you through this process so it's less confusing for Mike, since he's so young.

He's going to find out the truth at some point. It will be less traumatic for him if you're honest with him now. Jason's also going to have to accept that he made some choices that put him in the situation he's in.

He chose to believe Amanda's lies and it may have cost him his relationship with his kid. He's been MIA for 4 years. That's abandonment. It's not like he never knew about the pregnancy. He's not innocent here.

ChiefTuk wrote:

'Jason reached out to me about wanting to know when we'd tell Mike that he was his 'real' father' Oh, nope. 'Jason got upset and pointed out how it wasn't his fault that he wasn't apart of Mike's life.'

As you point out, that's simply untrue. He decided to believe a lie & go completely no contact for nearly 5 years.

NTA. And while husband is correct that eventually you need to tell Mike who his biological father is, Jason needs some major attitude adjustment before he should be allowed any role in Mike's life.

frumperbell wrote:

NTA. If Dan legally adopted Mike, then you are well within your rights to tell Jason to pound sand. That said there are age-appropriate ways to tell your son he's adopted and it's much better for him if do it now.

Especially since Jason's back and could potentially tell him in a way that will be confusing and damaging.

There are far too many stories about adoptees finding out and then resenting their parents for lying to them or completely cutting off their adoptive parents in favor of their bio families.

Clearly, OP and Dan are not TAs, Jason is. The main question is when and how they should tell Mike the truth about his dad.

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