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Discovery of Genetic Disorder Forces Confession of Affair

DEAR ABBY: Ten years ago, I had an affair with a married man that resulted in a pregnancy and then a miscarriage. I was also married at the time. Pathology testing revealed that the child had a rare genetic disorder inherited on the paternal side. My husband's genetic test indicated that he was not a carrier. The revelation led to my admission of the affair and our divorce.

I didn't tell the other man. His wife was unable to have children, so I didn't think it would impact him. I recently found out he is divorced and remarried to a younger woman. I have no idea whether they plan to have children, but I'm torn about telling him he is a carrier for that life-threatening disorder.

Selfishly, I do not want to reopen this shameful period of my life, so my instinct is to leave it alone, but I feel morally obligated to let him know. Should I contact him and tell him he was the father of the child and that he is a carrier of this genetic abnormality? -- TORN IN MISSISSIPPI

DEAR TORN: The kind thing to do would be to contact your former lover privately. Explain that you do not mean to intrude, but he needs to know something important. Then inform him that it could save him and his wife a world of heartache if they have genetic testing done before planning to have a child, and why. You would be doing them both an enormous favor if you disclose it.

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