Every family has its quirks – but they’re not usually anything to worry about. However, one woman has caused a stir after revealing her daughter’s older ‘half-brother’ is actually her biological father.
Taking to The Atlantic’s Dear Therapist column, the woman explained how her husband had two children with another woman before they met. After tying the knot, the couple started trying for their own child together – but this didn’t work out as her husband’s vasectomy could no longer be reversed.
To make sure their child looked like them, they came up with an unorthodox solution and kept their daughter’s true conception a secret for three decades. In a letter to the Atlantic, the anonymous woman wrote: “We didn’t want to use a sperm bank, so we asked my husband’s son to be the donor.
“We felt that was the best decision: Our child would have my husband’s genes, and we knew my stepson’s health, personality, and intelligence. He agreed to help.
“Our daughter is 30 now. How do we tell her that her “father” is her grandfather, her “brother” is her father, her “sister” is her aunt, and her “nephew” is her half-brother?”
She explained how she and her husband are “anxious, confused, and worried” about telling their daughter, not knowing how she’ll react to the truth.
“This is also hard on my husband, because he wants our daughter to know that he will always and forever be her father,” she added.
In response, columnist Lori Gottlieb, who is a qualified psychotherapist told the mum to quietly sit her daughter down and “state the facts as simply and clearly as possible” before apologising.
Urging her to “take full responsibility” for keeping the truth from her for 30 years, Gottlieb says she should allow her daughter to dominate the conversation.
She also urged her to speak to the ‘brother’ beforehand so he isn’t blindsided by her reaction.
Gottlieb reminded her that it’s not an easy conversation for anybody involved – but it is important she knows the truth.