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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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kissfromarose Offline
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Question Tracking Down My Birth Dad? - February 26th 2012, 10:27 PM

I have been carefully considering this and I think when I turn 18 in a month I would like to track down my birth father. There are a few issues:

- Firstly my Mum hates him and refuses to have anything to do with him. She has told me why and though her reasons are valid they have nothing to do with me having a relationship with my father. She wants to play happy families and never let my two half brothers (the youngest two) know that they are half brothers to me and my other brother.

- Secondly, I do love and get on well with my stepdad and do not want to upset him but we have nothing in common and I find his attitude and personality really bothering me as he is significantly older than my mum.

-Thirdly, my birth father did know where my grandparent live and could have, at any time in the past ten years contacted us through them. I wonder if he would not want to see me. He did have visiting rights after he and my mum divorced but she just upped and left with my stepfather and us one weekend not saying where we were going.

- Fourthly, a couple of years ago I was pressurised into changing my surname by deedpoll so I feel in doing so I completely rejected my birth father and that is what my mum thinks. She knows I am considering contacting him and says she wants nothing to do with it.

So really I'm asking; should I track down my birth father or should I let it go as he hasn't tried to find me? Also if I did choose to try to find him where would I start? (I'm in the UK btw)

Thank you in advance for any advice you can give.


Amy
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Re: Tracking Down My Birth Dad? - February 26th 2012, 11:29 PM

Hi Amy.

I realise you're in a very awkward position considering your Mother dislikes your birth father so much but you have to remember that you do have two parents and the right to know both of them. Your mothers personal feelings should not effect you getting to know your biological father. You have the right to get to know him yourself without any interference from her, especially since you'll soon be old enough to do so at your own free will.

I understand your concerns about your step dad but he will never replace your biological father (unless you want that of course), and I'm sure deep down he knows that's a very hard position to feel. While it might sting his feelings a little at first I am sure he will completely understand you wanting to find your roots.

As for him contacting you through your grandparents, there could be any number of reasons why he hasn't. Try not to build up what if's and why not's. It's a messy business full of empty answers, just bite the bullet and do what YOU want. At least then you'll find some real answers.

And the surname, well... He hasn't been a father to you. At the end of the day, he hasn't earned the right to give his name to you. Maybe if/when you get to know him you can change it back, it'd be a lovely occasion for you both.

If you want to try and find him I 100% think you should go for it. He might want to come and find you but be thinking, oh no... I'm scared she will reject me. Someone needs to make the first move and I think that may as well be you.

If you know your fathers name you should look for him on the electoral roll. 192.com is a great way to look for people, however you do have to pay some money for the service.(If you don't know your fathers full name, get a copy of your birth certificate where it will be written in full. You can get a copy for around 20 if you don't have the original) Facebook is also an obvious port of call although I'm sure you will of searched his name. But yeah, I think 192.com is definitely your best bet.

Try talking to other family members, see if they've heard from him in recent years... They might be able to point you in the right direction.

Good luck with it all, I hope it works out for you.
   
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Re: Tracking Down My Birth Dad? - February 27th 2012, 07:32 AM

Thank you. I have planned to search facebook but every time I type his name in I chicken out and keep thinking how badly it might affect my family. My mum this morning accused me of trying to wreck the family so I'm feeling even more mixed up now. Its like I want to know him but now I'm afraid I'll lose the rest of my family trying to do so.

Its hard to know whether I'm doing the right thing or if I am being 'selfish' and trying to 'ruin things' as my mum claims.


Amy
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Re: Tracking Down My Birth Dad? - February 27th 2012, 07:43 AM

Your mom feels threatened by your dad - that much is clear. She's probably also worried that, even though you'll be forming a relationship with him (assuming that's what he wants as well), he will somehow work his way back into her life, and "threaten" her family. Unfortunately, all I can really suggest is that you address each and every one of her concerns (even if they don't seem to apply to you specifically) and to set some rules.

For example, that may mean your dad doesn't get to know your address (unless you move out of your mom's house). If you only have a home phone number (and not a cell phone number), then he doesn't get to know that, either. Your mom may be afraid that he'll show up unexpectedly one day, so you need to reassure her that he will NEVER be able to do that. If she's worried that you'll want to start inviting him to family functions, you'll have to set her mind at ease for that as well. One event that comes to mind is your wedding - yes, it's a long way away, but she may already be thinking about that, and how she doesn't want to watch him walk you down the aisle, or how she doesn't want to interact with him, or have him in "family photos" at the wedding/reception, and so on.

Basically, even though this is a relationship between you and your dad, it's important to consider your other family members' feelings as well. Address the rational concerns, and gently dismiss the irrational concerns. Hopefully, this is something your mom will learn to deal with, and she won't retaliate against you because of this. Don't expect her to accept it, but do expect her to learn how to deal with it and not treat you any differently because of it.






   
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Re: Tracking Down My Birth Dad? - February 27th 2012, 08:55 AM

I have tried to speak to her about setting some rules already but she ended up screaming at me and I had to walk away. She sees it as she got away and got to keep both me and my brother as sort of winning. Emotionally she blackmails me saying that I am rejecting her and the rest of my family which is untrue. I don't understand why having a different father to two of my brothers should be a dirty little secret. And I don't see why I should sacrafice a chance to know my father to keep everyone else happy.

I do care about my family and I would never want to hurt them but the not knowing is hurting me. I would never give out my home address or home phone number because my father would not need to know them.

My mum is so controlling and refuses to let us have anything like facebook in case he tries to contact us through them. I understand her fears and try to work something out regarding protecting my family but how do I get her to let me make my own choice and support me in it or at the very least accept it and stop trying to blackmail and talk me out of it?


Amy
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Re: Tracking Down My Birth Dad? - February 29th 2012, 03:27 AM

If she won't stay calm enough to listen, then try writing a letter and giving it to her. You know your mother best, so it's your call... but if I were in your position, I'd point out what she's doing and how it's affecting you. Make it clear that you understand her reasons and that you empathize, but explain that what she's doing isn't protecting the family - it's tearing it apart. What you do with your life doesn't have to affect her or the family. There is absolutely no reason why you can't remain her loving daughter and maintain contact with your father.

Just because you want to learn more about him doesn't mean you want to abandon your mother. I think, at the end of the day, that's what she's afraid of. She "won" you, but now she's afraid she'll "lose" you. Maybe she thinks you'll want to move in with him and make up for lost time. Invite her to be honest about those concerns, and make it clear that you want to address those concerns... but in return, she needs to address YOUR concerns, which is that you'll be disowned if you don't obey her every wish and command. You shouldn't have to feel like you're going to be abandoned because of this one thing - your mom fought very hard to keep you, but now she's at risk of throwing it all away because of her own fears.

Reassure, reassure, reassure, and point out how these fears aren't productive and are ultimately getting in the way of your relationship with your mom. If she keeps acting this way, she very well COULD push you to seek solace with your father. If she wants to ensure you won't leave her, then she needs to have the strongest and healthiest relationship possible with you.






   
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