Teenager may be his child -- now what? - Newsday

Teenager may be his child -- now what?

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Ask Amy Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

DEAR AMY: I am a middle-aged man. An old friend who lives out of state was recently showing me some photos. In one, I saw a teenager in the background and nearly fell off my chair! She looks just like me! My friend told me she had visited my former fiancee, whom she had not seen in years. When meeting her daughter and discovering her age, my friend became convinced I am the teen's father. I haven't seen or spoken to my former fiancee since shortly after we broke off our engagement, primarily because we both moved to other states. We are now both married and have families. I'm quite sure that I am the father of this beautiful teen but am perplexed as to what I should do next. Do I share this with my family? Do I contact my former fiancee? I so want to do what is right.--Confused


DEAR CONFUSED: Share your theory with your wife (but not your children). This situation has an impact on your whole family. Ask for her support. Also see a lawyer. If the teenager is your daughter, what are the legal implications for all of you? If your former fiancee categorically denies you are the child's father, what are your options? Prepare yourself for a wide range of issues and possible reactions. Remember that so far this is nothing more than conjecture. When you feel ready, approach your former fiancee in an attitude of openness.


DEAR AMY: Here is a response to "Hollering Back" and others who don't listen to their voice mail. I work at a school and have to call parents and leave messages. I leave the whole message, and later a parent will call and say, "Somebody called me from this number." This is confusing when the school receptionist has no idea who left the message or why. I'm sure other businesses have this problem too. I can't believe how lazy people are, that they can't push a button and listen to a message!

Vickie in Alaska

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