If you don’t know who your biological father is, is it a good idea to find out?
A surprising number of people grow up not knowing who their biological father is. There are many reasons why this may be the case. Some women use sperm from a donor, perhaps because their partner or husband is infertile, because they are in a lesbian relationship, or because they are single and worry that if they leave it too long, they might not have a chance to be a mother. Other women might have a baby following a short relationship or a one-night stand, and others could even have a baby after a sexual assault.
Many people who grow up not knowing about their father are perfectly happy with the situation as it is. If they have had a loving, supportive relationship with their mother or other family friends, they may not feel the need to know their biological father. Some people, however, feel strongly that they want to know who their biological father is. They might have some pragmatic reasons for this, like wanting to know what medical conditions run in his family. Others describe having always felt different. Perhaps they have no physical resemblance to the family on their mother’s side and just want to know more about their heritage.
If you decide to start a quest for your biological father, you need to be prepared for a range of possible outcomes. Your mother (and stepfather if you have one) might feel rejected and hurt. Your biological father, if you manage to track him down, may not be as welcoming as you hoped. He might be delighted to discover that he has a child, and open his family to you, but he is also likely to experience a range of competing emotions: if he never knew about you, he could be angry, or he might be reluctant to tell his wife and family about you in case it causes problems.
If you decide to go down this track, it is important to be emotionally prepared for all the possible outcomes of an encounter with your biological father. It is essential to be realistic. While you share a biological bond, if you have never met before, it may take some time for a meaningful relationship to grow. If you manage to track him down, it is a good idea to give him some time to get used to the idea before you try to arrange an actual meeting, face to face. After all, if you are searching for him, you have already personally taken some time to get used to the idea, which he may initially experience as a bombshell.
Because so many complex emotions and situations are involved in a quest of this sort, it may be a good idea to have therapy before you become too enmired in the process. Family therapy with your mother and other close family members is one possibility, but individual therapy could be useful too.
We are all on a quest to learn more about ourselves. For some, the journey is more complicated than for others. Wherever your journey takes you, be emotionally and practically prepared, and it will be easier and more rewarding.
WHO CAN I SPEAK TO FURTHER ABOUT THE ISSUES IN THIS ARTICLE?
For help with the issues discussed in this article speak to one of our therapists here at Private Therapy Clinic for a free initial chat or to make an appointment.