The Child is His

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
My boyfriend and I have been together for about a two years. We have a 6 month old together. I am white and my boyfriend is black, but has some white heritage in his blood line. His family keeps telling him that think his son is not is. I am very hurt by this. My son isnt dark skinned and he looks just like me. He dosent look mixed..alot of people tell me he looks hispanic. The other day he told me he hoped his son was his. I am not a cheater. I begged him to take a paternity test. He wont. I told him I would get a lawyer to force the test. He says I cant because he acknowledges him as his son, and he is legitamized already. But I dont want him doubting our son. Its runing our relationship. Help me. Advice
First, I know many couples like yours, and you are completely right, the kid can turn out all sorts of ways. The child can be really dark, or pretty light, or all sorts of things in between. For his family to be harassing you like this is way out of line. They should be supporting the child, the child that your boyfriend loves, and be happy to have a grandchild.

It sounds like your boyfriend does have doubts himself because of the paternity test refusal - he's afraid to have his family proven right. He'd rather just love the child and you and his new family. But the fact that he refuses to take the test, and says things like he "hopes" the child is his means that he does have doubts. And doubts eat away at a relationship. They don't just go away magically. So they have to be resolved.

I would take two approaches to this. First, avoid ANY fighting between you and your boyfriend on the issue. You have to build a common goal, a gommon front. Thanksgiving is a GREAT time to get into this because of the whole emphasis on family. Explain to him that this doubt of his *family's* is harming their relationship with their grandson. It is causing them to treat their grandson badly because of a lie. And while it's tolerable while the son is young, this is going to be HUGELY harmful to your son when he gets older and can understand what they're saying. Just imagine how he's going to feel during his entire childhood, with his family spreading these lies!

For your son's sake, you really need your boyfriend's FAMILY to stop doing this, right now. And the ONLY way the family is going to shut up is by having proof stuffed in their face. It is you and your boyfriend, the parents of this innocent child, who must take this stand to protect your child from serious harm.

If you discuss the situation like this, you're showing your boyfriend that it's not you against him. It is you two, standing shoulder to shoulder, standing against his family to protect your child. There is a real threat of harm to your child if he grows up with that family actively harassing him. You need to put a stop to it now. Hopefully if you phrase it that way, your boyfriend will stop feeling like you're against him, realize you two are *together* in this, and agree to help put a stop to the family's badmouthing. He can overcome his fear of testing, because it is *key* to protecting your child in the near future.

I really can't imagine him refusing to protect his own son, but let's say that he simply refuses even knowing his son's welfare is at risk here. I just checked and they can do paternity testing with a hair, so you don't need blood. If he refuses (which again would seem very strange if you phrase it right) then just acquiesce and say that you'll do the testing anyway, for your own peace of mind and for your child's, so if he is ever faced with questions when he's older, he can say for certain what the answer is. Then order the test, and have the test run with you and your child's blood, and use a hair from your boyfriend.

I feel sort of uncomfortable with that second choice, but if you *tell* him you're going to do the testing anyway, and you do it, that seems pretty clear to me. And you're doing it to protect your child from being lied about for his entire life. And I think once the test comes back and proves your boyfriend IS the father, that he'll be thrilled and go sticking the test results in everybody's face. So I think it's the fear of the results that is holding him back. He has to realize that for his son's sake, he has to deal with that fear. Because it's his son that is going to be hurt in the long run, not him. Your boyfriend can choose to just deal with the lies, but is it fair to force a toddler to do that?

Good luck with this, I hope it all works out well!

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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