Sun | Dec 9, 2018

I was given to the wrong father Pt 2

Published:Sunday | February 7, 2016 | 12:00 AMCathy Risden

Last week we told you the story of Ahon* Forbes who, after 27 years, found out that the man he thought was his biological father wasn't.

Although it has been five years since he found out, Forbes is still hurting and feels betrayed for being robbed of the chance to bond with his biological father and family.

No Easy way

According to Clinical Psychologist Calvin Young, there is no easy way to tell someone the man they thought was their biological father isn't.

But according to Dr Young, Forbes is not the only one who is hurting in this situation - there is also the man who raised him as his own, and his mother who had to figure out what was best for her son.

Dr Young notes that although he understands Forbes' hurt and feeling of betrayal, he also understands that his mother did what she thought was the best decision at the time. "I think she thought if she didn't do what she did, she would have had to raise the child by

herself. But instead, she made a decision that ended up having both parents raising him and we know that psychologically and sociologically, growing up with two parents is much healthier than growing up with one."

He continued, "Forbes should spend some time working with a good therapist to try to come to terms and get some of these feelings out. And also try to untangle the psychological knot he has been placed in as a result of the bad decision that the father and mother made. Then they both need to sit down and have a series of conversations with each other so they can heal and try to move forward," Dr Young advised.

Making the right choices

Dr Young notes that there is no benefit to having a man raise a child that is not biologically his without his knowledge (though that was not the case with them). He notes that

it is dishonest and potentially dangerous and there are serious psychological consequences for any child not knowing their biological family. "He could have ended up being with his sisters or cousins. There are some severe potential consequences, but it appears that none of those things happened," Dr Young stated.

Dr Young advised that mothers who are in this situation can't just look at the short term but also long-term effects because clearly there are going to be sociological and possibly socio-economical consequences on their children when they make these decisions.

"So you have to be careful," he advised.


He ended by noting that women need to make better choices in terms of who they are getting intimately involved with.

"If you not having a strong,

stable relationship with your partner, you should not be having unprotected sex with them. You open yourself up to issues of paternity, diseases, and your future children to bear the consequences, and damaged relationships with your children, which is happening now," said Dr Young.

"Fathers, if you know a woman is pregnant, it is your responsibility once that is done to support your child no matter what. The bad decisions were made all around and there is consequence for all of them," he added.