Dear Barb—Determining a Daughter

Dear Barb:

Hi, I got a strange call from a young lady who was claiming to be my daughter.  She told me her mother’s name and where she lived.  I did not recognize her name, although she did grow up in my old neighborhood.  She wants to meet with me, but I’m reluctant.  When I was younger I had relationships with lots of girls and didn’t always use protection, I trusted them when they said they were on birth control.  I had no indication that any of them had become pregnant and none of my friends from the old neighbourhood is aware of any girl that I had dated becoming pregnant.  This girl told me that her mother passed away, but apparently before she died she named me as the girl’s father.  This girl knew my birthday and the address of my childhood home.  I am married now and have two young children.  I have not told my wife about this phone call.  I’m not sure whether I should ignore this and assume this was just something some woman said on her deathbed, or whether I should tell my wife and try to find out if there is any truth to this.  Thanks, Ryan.

Hey Ryan:

Thanks for writing.  I don’t think it would be possible to ignore something like this.  It will always be in the back of your mind, wondering whether this was your daughter.  This is an important issue and you need to be honest and open with your wife.  You both have to find the best way to handle this situation.  It sounds like you are not ruling out the possibility that this may be your daughter, as no protection is 100%.  My suggestion would be to do DNA testing and I wouldn’t think this girl would be opposed to the testing.  Since we inherit 50% of our DNA from our mother and 50% from our father, paternity testing will determine whether you are the biological father.  The procedure is a simple, it requires the inside of both your mouths to be swabbed for 20 to 30 seconds, and then the swab is sent to a lab.  You do not need a referral from a doctor; you can even request a kit online which will include the swabs for testing and a return addressed envelope.  Once received at the lab, the results will be available in 5 to 7 business days.  The results are 99.999% accurate.  Pricing is around $200 and for an additional cost the results can be expedited.  I feel it is necessary to do this testing for you to have peace of mind.  If it turns out that you are the biological father, then you need to decide how you and your daughter want this relationship to progress.  This could be the beginning of a wonderful relationship! Best of luck Ryan.

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