Dear Abby: Brother can't handle the truth a paternity test may reveal

Posted: August 03, 2012

DEAR ABBY: My younger brother confided that he got a girl pregnant. I'm the only one he has told and it's killing me. The baby is about 2 months old, and my folks still don't know they could possibly be grandparents. My brother doesn't want to tell them right now, and he also doesn't want a paternity test to see if the baby is his because he doesn't want to face the reality that he could really be a father.

Abby, knowing that I could have a niece out there is killing me because there are so many children who harbor resentment toward their absentee fathers. I really want to do the right thing and get my parents involved, but if I do I'll lose my brother's trust. If I don't tell, I will have to live with the fact that I am abetting my brother being another stereotypical deadbeat dad. Please help.

— Aunt in Disguise

DEAR AUNT IN DISGUISE: How old is your brother? From your description, he is acting like a 14-year-old. Have another talk with him and tell him that because he is old enough to father a child, he's also old enough to accept responsibility for his actions. The time to tell his parents everything and start supporting his child in every way he can is now.

Of course, before making any announcements, he should be sure the baby is actually his. A paternity test will let him off the hook if he isn't the father. So give him a deadline to have the test done, and if it shows he is the baby daddy, set another one for him to inform your parents or you will. The longer the delay, the harder it will be. n

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