The best ways to prepare yourself before you try to find your biological father
Part 1, Part 2 - What happens when you find your biological father
Out of every 10 people, one isn’t fathered by the man they think is their father *
You know you’re that one person. You found out and now you’re looking for your biological father. Perhaps you discovered by accident that the person you thought was your biological father isn’t (or wasn’t). Or you may have been told the truth - recently or some time ago. Perhaps you even grew up feeling (or knowing) that you were somehow 'different' from your (half) siblings.
Chances are, you’ve been pulled between curiosity, the need to know and the fear of finding out. You’ll have tons of questions - anything from: “Have I inherited my nose from him, or the colour of my skin?” to “Does he also like this music, or that food?”
But, how come you don’t know who your biological father is?
Maybe your mother doesn't know (or says she doesn’t know) who he is
Perhaps your mother does know who your father is, but refuses to cooperate with your wish to get to know him
Maybe the identity of your father has been a mystery for as long as you can remember
Perhaps you’ve always known that you were adopted and you know who he is, but not where he is
Maybe your father was a sperm donor, which you may or may not have known (if this is the case for you - watch the video at the end of this page, then hop over to Part 2)
Whatever the reason - it’s likely to come with a desperate longing to feel 'whole'. You want to find that ‘missing piece’ of yourself. You long to know who you really are. The ‘not knowing’ gnaws at you and consumes you. You’ve faced disappointments and frustration - and you’re too often confronted with what you’ve been missing. You may also have had to deal with betrayal, mistrust, lies and secrecy.
I also suspect that you’re feeling pretty ‘miffed’, disappointed and hurt that your father never seems to have bothered to try and find you or contact you.
Doesn’t he want you? Doesn’t he care? Is he embarrassed or even ashamed about your existence? Does he even know about you? So many questions, so few answers.
I want you to know that you're not alone with all those feelings. There are soooo many other people just like you. They too - for their own reasons - ask themselves: "Who is my father?" - and many do all they can to trace him.
In part 2 of this article...
the positives and potential downfall of finding your father
how to manage your expectations
how to prepare yourself before meeting him
A fillable PDF to help with your research
Just in case you needed further encouragement! :-)
What difference does finding your biological father make?
You may have been fortunate enough to have grown up with a loving ‘dad’. You may not need another dad - you just need to know about him.
You may have grown up fatherless.
Or you might have had a stepdad who wasn’t all that loving - or wasn’t a father-figure at all.
Either way, not knowing who your real father is may have left its mark...
6 Consequences of feeling abandoned by your father
You may be...
feeling betrayed by your mother (and other family members) who may have kept the secret or lied
feeling like you don't belong or 'fit in' anywhere
feeling alone and lonely, even when you’re in company
struggling to make and maintain strong (intimate) relationships
finding it difficult to trust, particularly in an intimate relationship
seeking validation by ‘pleasing’ men in intimate relationships and/or authority, and accepting or not seeing the damage those relationships cause you
There is something you can do for yourself right now if you would like some help in strengthening your identity.
HypnosisDownloads has a superb download to help you do just that.
To learn more about about how hypnosis can help - see my page on hypnosis FAQ and downloads (when you're ready, type "identity" in the search box).
OR CLICK HERE to go straight to the download page.
Of course, these problems may not be what originally led you to land on this page. Nevertheless, you can see why I would want to write about this topic on my relationship advice site. All of the above can have an impact on an intimate couple relationship.
So, let’s have a look at what all of that means for you and your loved ones.
I’m going to start by letting you in on what the situation may be from your parents’ perspective. It might help you to ask the right questions of the right people. It will also prepare you to be able to deal with any of their objections.
Why your mother may be reluctant to cooperate or not be totally honest
Your mother or your adoptive parents is/are pivotal in your search. Their support and willingness to cooperate will to some extent depend on the quality of the relationship you have with them. To prepare you for some eventualities, let's look at what could possibly have happened. (Although I suspect you may have already come up with a list of potential scenarios on your own).
In any case - make yourself a hot, comforting drink. When you’re ready, take a deep breath in and slowly breathe out. This is going to be the tough part...
11 Reasons why your mother might want the identity of your father to remain a secret
Your father may have been mentally, physically and/or sexually abusive
Your mother may have been raped by a stranger, or by someone in her own circle of friends or family (I know... this one too is really tough to consider :-( )
Your mother may feel guilty and ashamed about the circumstances of your conception
Your father may be or have been in prison
You may have been abducted (it happens more and more these days)
You may have been conceived in a ‘forbidden’ relationship (e.g. an affair, an intercultural relationship, a student-teacher relationship) - you are their 'love child'
You mother may simply be protecting your step- or adoptive father (if indeed you have one) in honour of his contribution to your upbringing (if, of course, it was a positive one)
Your biological dad may have been having an affair with your mum, without her knowing he was already spoken for
Your ‘birth’ father may have had a secret love affair with your mum and he may have lied about his ability to conceive - for example, he could have told your mother he’d had a vasectomy
He may have wanted your mother to have an abortion
You may have been conceived with the help of a sperm donor
Why am I confronting you with all this?
Well, I’m hoping that thinking about all of these possibilities will help you suspend any judgements about your mum’s decisions. If you’re not ‘on the attack’, she’s more likely to drop her guard and be willing to talk to you about your dad.
Instead of blaming her, approach your mum from a position of empathy and understanding for her situation at that time. You’ll be less likely to set off all kinds of unhelpful defensive responses - and more likely to be successful in winning her support and cooperation.
If you were conceived with the help of a sperm donor...
The following video is for you. The young woman talks to her sperm donor biological father by way of a poem she wrote, and then talks about the dad who raised her...
Why was he never there?
The following are possible reasons for his absence, not excuses! I’m merely aiming to help you to fill in the ‘blanks’.
You father may be, or have been, convinced that he did the right thing and that you were better off without him. When you were conceived (or born) he was possibly blinded by emotions and unable to think rationally
He may have thought he’d have a chance to see you again soon, but found that the longer he stayed away, the more difficult it became to make contact
He may not have known about the pregnancy
Your mother may have thwarted his attempts to stay in touch with you
He may have worried that contact with you would have threatened the stability of his present family (remember the difference between reason and excuse!)
I realise that all the above can have a profound impact on your emotional well-being, now that you're confronted with it in black and white. You may find it hugely helpful to talk it over with a professional counsellor. You can now do so - completely free of charge for a week and connect with your counsellor as often as you like!
Whatever the reason was, it's time now to think about your needs. You need to know what happened. You need to know what your DNA is. And of course time is of the essence if you're dealing with an ageing parent. Your parents’ needs are now secondary to yours. However, you can be considerate of them in your search. Be sensitive of the fact that they may find this situation difficult. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for your father - it just means you might need to tread more carefully so as not to cause any unnecessary pain. If you're at all in doubt, then do discuss it with a counsellor from BetterHelp (see further down).
So here are some tips to keep in mind, and to help you stay strong:
You have the right to find your father, and discover who you really are, what other family you have and get some closure
A loving family would want you to have some peace of mind
You need to know about your parents’ health problems
You have the right to know if you have any other family, such as half-brothers and sisters
Your search doesn’t mean you’re being disloyal to your carers, be they adoptive or step parents. But I understand your dilemma, especially if you’re asking probing questions of elderly and/or fragile parents.
Remember, your situation, just like anyone else’s, is unique. So listen to your instincts. Accept that the reactions of those around you may not be exactly what you want them to be.
More essential information and further resources
Hop over now to Part 2 where you'll find a free downloadable PDF of this article. You'll also find a fillable PDF to help you collect the essential info during your research. Oh, and there are some extra tips for your partner too.
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Part 1, Part 2 - What happens when you find your biological father
Disinfo.com - One out of 10 people weren't fathered by the man they believe is dad
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