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Family Relations/13 year old step-son want to meet real father


Hi Bruce,

'm asking this question on behalf of my wife.  She just recently was given the phone number to her son's Dad, who has not been in the picture since day one.  My Wife and I have been married for 2 years now.  She only has one Son, who is now 14 years old and is about to start high school.  Recently, he has been curious to the whereabouts of his Real Dad.  He wants to meet him and has been asking about him.  There has been no communication between the Father and my wife and stepson.  But, just about 3 years ago, my wife decided to take him to court for Child Support.  He did not show up to any appointments, but signed off on the order to get child support taken from him.  Now that my wife has his contact information, she doesn't know if she should call him to see if he would like to meet his son, or just leave it alone.  But, she is worried that when our son gets a little older, he will go out on his own and look for him.  She would like to contact him first, before our son gets to him, because she is afraid that the father might say something mean to him that will damage him emotionally.
We are writing you to get your opinion on this matter.  What should she do?

Thanks for your time and opinion on this matter.


Hi, Dan, I thought I had answered this..... guess not, sorry for the delay.

You stated that you are "afraid that the father might say something mean to him that will damage him emotionally". But your son is 14, living with 2 parents who love and care for him, and this is a person he doesn't even know. What permanent damage could he do?

IMO, managing your son's expectations is called for. He should not have unrealistic expectations, so that his hopes won't be dashed.

If you try to prevent your son from having contact, then he will eventually find out, and resent you for having done that.

I will ask around to see if there are some books that might help, and amend this post. stay tuned

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Bruce Borkosky, Psy.D.


questions framed similarly to 'what are some ways to respond when someone does/says X' are best. Questions posed in the form of 'why does my father do/say Y', or 'how would you diagnose my mother when she does/says Z' are difficult, if not impossible, to answer. I will probably reframe your question to fit the first question (what do I do). Nay question regarding any family member is fair game. Some of the most difficult are in the area of step-parenting and divorcing families.


I've been a licensed psychologist in Florida since 1994. I've evaluated and/or treated thousands of patients.

American Psychological Association Florida Psychological association National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology


Psy.D., Miami Institute of Psychology, 1993 M.CS., U. of Dayton, 1984 B.A., Ohio Wesleyan U., 1978

Awards and Honors
Award for Years of Dedicated Service, Palm Beach County Legal Aid Society, 1999

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