Regret and the absentee father

Filed under: Just For Dads, Divorce & Custody

A friend of mine recently confided that she's in an emotional quandary about how to deal with the man she refers to as her "sperm donor." This man is her biological father but she has not seen him since the age of five. Her mother divorced him after suffering years of abuse and went on to marry a wonderful man who adopted my friend and raised her as his own.

Another family member has remained in contact with the "sperm donor" over the years and recently called with the news that he is dying. After years of alcohol abuse, his liver is in bad shape and he is now hospitalized. Of course, after ignoring his daughter's existence for 30 years, he now wants to make amends. He would like her to travel across the country to see him before he dies.

My friend's first instinct is to ignore his request and go on with her life. She doesn't feel she needs any closure with him and that any suffering he is enduring now is of his own making. I tend to agree with her and advised her that she shouldn't do anything she doesn't feel comfortable doing. She certainly doesn't owe him anything. But she and I both wonder how she will feel about her decision somewhere down the road, after he is gone. Regret can be emotionally devastating and the time will come when she cannot change her mind. Have any of you ever been in a similar situation? How did you deal with it and do you feel you made the right decision?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.