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by Abigail Van Buren

Man's Effort to Contact His Newfound Family Is Ignored

DEAR ABBY: I recently found out who my biological father is/was. Apparently, my mother and this man had an affair more than 50 years ago. There's only speculation as to why.

What bothers me is, I have always lived no more than 15 miles from this man and his family. I tried reaching out to the one half-sibling I am most knowledgeable about. They have made no attempt to contact me about this elephant in the room. I don't know if it's shame or embarrassment on their part.

I am a respectable man with a great family. Why someone would not want to reach out and at least get to know a brother they supposedly never knew existed is beyond me. We've wasted way too many years kept in the dark about this well-kept secret. My thought is that you can never have too big a family -- even if we are only half-siblings. Should I continue attempting to reach them, or just sweep all of this under the rug and pretend it never happened? -- EXPANDING THE FAMILY IN OHIO

DEAR EXPANDING: Not everyone is as open-hearted or inclusive as you. After half a century, your birth father's family may prefer not to open this chapter of their father's life, and they should not be forced to. Because you have already reached out to them without getting a response, I don't think you should push the issue. You wrote that you are a respectable man with a great family. Count your blessings, because not everyone is so fortunate.

Read more in: Family & Parenting