Five years ago I was going with a married man and we had a son. Four years later I met the man who is now my husband, and I love him with all my heart. He wants to adopt my son…. He says he wants us to be a family, and he wants to be my son’s only father, since the real father of my son doesn’t see him much….

I don’t know what to do. On the one hand, my son has the right to see his father and, on the other hand, I don’t want to disappoint my husband.

Dear Friend,

You have come to the right place for advice! In our own family, we have experience with three adopted children and two birth fathers.

First of all, let us highlight something you said that is not correct. You said that the biological father is the real father. That is not true. The real father is the one who tucks the child in bed at night. The real father wipes away the child’s tears and cleans his dirty face. The real father works to provide a safe home for the child and the child’s mother. And the real father gives hugs and says “I love you” to the child.

In your case, your husband is obviously the boy’s real father. The biological father is the one who contributed his DNA, but that doesn’t make him a real father. Ask yourself: “Which of these men has shown love toward my son? Which of them wants a future with my son? And which of them wants to provide a home and love for my son?” That man is the real father.

You are worried that your son needs to know his biological father. Maybe someday, when he is an adult, he will. But for now, his real father will do just fine. We can tell you from experience that an adopted child can grow up healthy and happy without ever knowing his biological parents. And many adopted children, even after they are adults, don’t care about finding their biological parents because they are wise enough to know that they had real parents all along.

We advise you to completely support your husband in his desire to adopt your son legally. Ask the biological father to sign papers terminating his parental rights. He will probably agree; but if he doesn’t, he needs to begin supporting the boy financially every paycheck, and he needs to spend time with your son every week on a regular basis. If he is not willing to do those two things, you should speak to an attorney about having the court terminate his parental rights against his will.

God has blessed you with a loving husband who wants to be a real dad to your son.

We wish you a happy family!

Linda and Charles