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by Abigail Van Buren

Son's Pregnant Girlfriend Has Dad Expecting Trouble

DEAR ABBY: My son's girlfriend is pregnant. I think there is a chance it may not be his, although she claims it is. "Ben" met "Christy," and a little over a week later she announced she was pregnant. She's now 34 weeks into the pregnancy.

I have asked him repeatedly if he is sure the baby is his and he says yes, but the math doesn't seem right to me. I have suggested Ben seek a paternity test, but I don't think he's going to take my advice.

I am not the only person who is questioning this, and I feel terrible for having the doubt. He has asked Christy to marry him and she accepted. I couldn't believe it. They were going to marry that same month, but when Ben mentioned a prenuptial agreement to protect the real estate and other property he owns (and that I'm financially involved in), Christy blew up! She just about kicked Ben to the curb. Now, thankfully, the wedding is postponed. Christy's overboard reaction has added to my suspicion. What do you think, Abby? -- SUSPICIOUS DAD IN RHODE ISLAND

DEAR DAD: I agree that before your son marries Christy, everything should be out in the open. Regardless of whose child she is carrying, your son may be in love with her and it may not matter to him. If the child is indeed his, a paternity test would lay any doubts to rest.

That said, I spoke with my gynecologist and asked how long after conception it would take for a pregnancy to show up in a test, and was told the answer is one week after a woman's period is late. For Ben not to insist on having a prenuptial agreement under these circumstances would be a mistake, and I hope he will reconsider.

DEAR ABBY: My mother died suddenly three years ago and my sister overdosed a year later. I didn't know she was so depressed.

Her son, "Jordan," is the joy of my life. Every time I watch him, all I can think of is "Why?" Why did my sister choose to leave us alone? I don't know how to move on when I look at Jordan and think of my sister. Please help. -- LEFT WITH THE MEMORIES

DEAR LEFT: Please accept my deepest sympathy for the multiple losses you have suffered. Although you feel left alone by your sister's suicide, the truth is you are not alone. In the United States, millions of people's lives have been touched by suicide -- whether it was that of a colleague, friend or a family member. That you are reminded of your sister when you see your nephew is a normal reaction.

When your sister overdosed, she may have been acting on impulse and trying to end what she perceived to be intolerable psychic pain. Please contact the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Among the many programs it offers is a listing of local support groups for survivors. The website is; the phone number is (888) 333-2377.

Author Eric Marcus has written an excellent book on this subject, "Why Suicide?" published by Harper One. He, like you, is a survivor of suicide, and you may find the answers you're looking for by reading it.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)