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by Abigail Van Buren

'Love Child' Plans Approach to Half-Brother He Never Met

DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Pete," is an only child. His mom, who was married, had an affair with a married man, which resulted in his birth. His mother's husband put his name on the birth certificate, but as a kid, Pete had contact from time to time with his biological father. Both dads have since passed away.

Pete has known for years that his biological father had an older son, but he doesn't know if the son knows he exists. Pete now thinks he may have found his half-brother online and wants to reach out to see if he wants a relationship.

How do we even begin to broach this with the half-brother? Is it worth it? Could it cause more damage than good? If you were my husband or his half-brother, would you want to pursue this? -- FAMILY MATTERS IN TEXAS

DEAR F.M.: The decision about whether to contact a long-lost relative is a very personal one. For some people, the experience is a happy one, but not for others.

Because your husband and his (possible) half-brother are both adults, I can't see how reaching out would be harmful to the man. A way to do it would be for Pete to send him an email or a letter, explain who his biological father was and ask if there is any interest in further contact.

Read more in: Family & Parenting