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by Abigail Van Buren

Brother's Secret Daughter Deserves to Be Revealed

DEAR ABBY: I am in shock. My brother, "Paul," invited me to lunch yesterday and introduced me to an 18-year-old girl, "Amy," whom he says is his daughter from a woman other than his wife. Naturally, she was full of questions about me and the rest of the family.

I don't know why Paul chose to reveal Amy's existence to me -- and only me -- but I told my brother he needs to share his "secret" with all concerned. I don't think it's fair for Amy to be deprived of meeting her father's side of the family.

I also don't want anyone to get hurt, but Amy has been hurt enough by this secret. I am uncomfortable that my brother has included me in this conspiracy, and I'm not sure how to handle this. Any ideas? -- IN THE MIDDLE IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR IN THE MIDDLE: On some level your brother may want the truth to come out, because when a secret is shared it's no longer a secret. So tell your brother that you refuse to be his co-conspirator, and that you feel his keeping Amy isolated from the family is unfair to her. Then give him a deadline to come clean, with the understanding that if he doesn't, you will.