So, You Just Found Out You Have a Child. Now What?
Life tends to throw curveballs when you are least expecting it, and there may be no bigger surprise than finding out you have a child. Tracking down extended family members or unknown biological relatives is easier now than it has ever been. Family lineage websites such as 23andMe and Family Tree have made it possible to identify people in your family that you don’t know. The original intention of these sites was to build a historical family tree, but the technology has been put to use tracking down long-lost family members. This has been felt significantly in the world of adoption. And it may now be something you are dealing with personally. Many birth parents choose to move on with their lives after adoption, and some birth fathers are unaware that they ever had a child in the first place. When you receive an email, phone call or knock on the door from someone saying they are your child, what are you supposed to do? Can anything be more jarring or unexpected? This is a challenging situation. Here are some things to consider if you just learned that you have a child.
You’re Probably Feeling a Lot of EmotionsYou might not be comfortable talking about emotions. Many men aren’t keen on this subject. But let’s be honest: You’re feeling a lot right now. Fear, confusion and maybe even anger are swirling around, mixed with surprise, happiness and love. All of these emotions are supercharged, which makes processing them even more difficult. The first thing to do (as uncomfortable as it may be) is to acknowledge your feelings. You may even consider finding a counseling service. This is a monumental life event, and professional help could be a great support for you. If you don’t address what this surprise encounter has made you feel, you’ll never be able to respond appropriately.
Don’t Rush ThingsThere are most likely so many questions flying through your head.
- How did this happen?
- Who is the mother?
- Why was I never told?
- What has your life been like?
- Do you have a good family?