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by Abigail Van Buren

Secret of Child's Parentage Will Likely Be Uncovered

DEAR ABBY: My son (I'll call him Michael) was very ill with cancer at age 15, and as a result he became sterile from his chemotherapy treatments. Thank the good Lord he has made a complete recovery. However, when he married eight years ago, he and his wife wanted a family. My nephew Edmund (his cousin) agreed to be a sperm donor.

Michael and Edmund have always been very close -- more like brothers. Edmund is divorced and has two children. A year ago, my daughter-in-law gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

Abby, they have decided that they will never tell the child who his real father is. I'm afraid someone else might tell him, as a few members of the family are aware of this.

My husband says it's their decision and that we should stay out of it, but I'm worried about my grandchild's future, should he find out.

Please give us your thoughts on this. -- LOVING GRANDMOTHER IN THE U.S.A.

DEAR GRANDMOTHER: I agree with you. Family secrets such as this have a way of leaking, which could cause a flood of embarrassment. Your husband makes a good point, however. Give your son and daughter-in-law some "motherly" advice -- and then say no more.