Hi Achokis. When I got married, I was a single mother. My husband agreed to take me in with my son and we have lived as one family since then. Recently, my son’s biological father showed up and is now claiming him back.
I have shared the same with my husband and he is not willing to let go the boy who is now 18 years. I have never disclosed to him about his biological father or even the fact that the person he thinks is his father is not actually his father.
On the other hand, my mother-in-law has been pressurising my husband to let the boy go to his real father. I’m afraid this issue might affect our marriage and also destroy my son and our family. What should I do? Please help!
Blended families have their own challenges. But those challenges can be overcome if handled well. The fact that you husband agreed to take you and your baggage and has actually raised the boy like his own is both commendable and also gives him a right as a father.
However, there are certain communities in Kenya where a child belongs to the man and no matter what happens one day the boy must return to his father. This could be what is prompting your son’s father to act thus.
On the other hand your mother-in-law may be aware of this and thus the pressure. Another cultural practice by some communities prevent a son born out of wedlock inheriting land in his other ‘father’s’ land and this could be what is informing your mother-in-law’s actions.
One might not be a father biologically, but through one situation or another, you become a father. Your husband has played the role of a father in your son’s life and this should be respected.
Decorum dictates that if the real father wants anything to do with him, he should approach your husband and request, not demand for that. Let him call him and they discuss the issue as two mature men.
Yours should be to facilitate that process and to stand by your husband. Have a common stand as husband and wife and stand by each other as you deal with both parties. The same unity is also required when dealing with your son.
The boy should know the truth as hearing it from a third party might greatly destroy him and his relationship with you. They say the truth sets us free and this information may just be so liberating for the boy and to you as well as his parents.
After knowing and dealing with this truth, allow him to make an informed choice whether to go or not. Your husband should also be comfortable with the fact that should the boy choose to go to his biological father; he has done his best in bringing him up and that fact will never be changed.