Dear Dr. Laura,
While I have a lot of things to do at this time, I wanted to take time to write to you. You took a call recently that has been on my mind. The call was from the lady who got married in July to a guy who does not claim his child.
Sixteen years ago when I was 25 years old, I was engaged to a guy who also did not claim a child that was a result of a one night drunken stand prior to us getting together. I knew it going into the relationship, but I was going to change him. I did, somewhat. I encouraged my fiancée to reach out to this 5 year old and arranged for some visitation. Prior to that, there was none despite a paternity test and he was paying child support. I remember that little boy coming over for a few afternoon visits looking just like his father. There was no denying this kid belonged to this guy.
After the few visits I initiated, my fiancée didn't want anymore to do with this child. He was too embarrassed.
Invitations were out, engagement announcement with picture was in all the papers, and I had 2 bridal showers thrown for me, I called the wedding off. Do you know how hard it was to make all those phone calls and return all those gifts to people? The hardest, yet smartest decision I have ever made in my life!
So to your caller and others in the wrong relationship, a man is not A Man if he is willing to deny his own child. And it is possible to survive breaking off an engagement at the last second. Those who are true to you will understand. Those who aren't, are not worth keeping around.
I'm a stay at home mom and my husband's girlfriend. I have been married for 12 years and have an 8 year old and 2 year old. I was helping my 2 year old daughter take her bath tonight (thinking about that call) and looked into her eyes and wondered, who would not claim you?
I know very little about that boy from 16 years ago, but I do know this. His father went on to marry and have 5 other children with his wife. That little 5 year old is now a United States Marine. His father still does not claim him.