DNA test could reveal decades-old family secret

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Dear Abby: In my junior year of high school, my girlfriend got pregnant. We married and had a son. Although our marriage was very rocky, two years later we had a daughter. I knew from the beginning she was not my biological child because of her blood type, but I loved her all the same. I never told my daughter or my ex-wife (now deceased) what I knew. Four years after her birth we divorced, and I retained custody of my two children.

I later remarried and had one more child. Fifty years have now passed. With DNA testing being so prevalent, I’m at a loss. Most of my family (my parents, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren) have been tested and show up linked to me.

My daughter, her children and grandchildren do not show up anywhere on my DNA chart. They live 2,000 miles away, but we communicate weekly. I am sure that she and some of her family have been tested and “suspect” but are saying nothing to spare my feelings. I feel I need to clear the air with my daughter, but my wife says to let sleeping dogs lie. Advice?

— Old Dog in the West

Dear Old Dog: I agree with your wife. You raised your daughter, and she is as much your child as if she had “come from your loins.” You ARE her dad. IF she or one of her family members has been DNA tested and she hasn’t broached the subject with you, it may be because she has no questions she wants to ask you. I see nothing to be gained by raising the subject now.

Dear Abby: I’m writing in response to “Paying Respects in California” (Feb. 19), the married man who wondered if it was weird for him to attend the funeral of an old school friend (female) and to go alone.

At my mother’s funeral (our father had passed years before), a few of my mom’s old school friends, male and female, showed up and stopped to tell us how they had gone to school with her and wanted to pay their respects. One gentleman said he went on a few dates with her. Another confessed he had the biggest crush on her in school.

Whether they had wives at home or not never crossed our minds at the time. We were just so touched that they came, and that after all these years she still meant something to them. And we loved hearing about the crush. We were so happy and tickled to hear these stories about our school-aged mom at a time when our hearts were broken because of her loss.

Yes, “Paying Respects” should go to the funeral. I am sure her family will appreciate it.

— Billie Jo in New Jersey

Dear Billie Jo: Thank you for your letter. Your sentiments were echoed by many other readers. One commented that she attended the viewing of a former co-worker she wasn’t close to ONLY out of respect for his mother who was still alive. Others expressed experiencing a sense of closure from reconnecting with the family and friends of someone they knew in the past.

Dear Readers: Along with the millions of Americans who are observing this Memorial Day, I am adding my prayer of thanks for those courageous men and women who have sacrificed their lives in service to our country. May they rest in peace.

— Love, Abby


Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com.



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