DEAR ABBY: I have a half-sister who is 14 years younger, and there is a sensitive genealogical matter I have never shared with her. Her "father" married our mother while she was pregnant with another man's child. That man lied to her about being single and wanting to marry her. My stepfather came on the scene, fell in love with Mom (knowing she was pregnant) and married her before she gave birth to my half-sister, which is why her birth records show him as the father.
I had urged both of them to tell her, but they kept saying it "wasn't time," and now they have both passed away. I'm in my 70s now and not sure about how (or if) I should approach her. I'd appreciate your advice in this delicate matter. -- SIBLING SITUATION
DEAR SIBLING: I advise readers to disclose this kind of information so relevant medical data can be accessed, if necessary. If you know the identity of your half-sister's birth father and where his family is located, you should reveal this family secret so that, should the need arise, she can find out whether there is a genetic predisposition toward cancer, heart problems, etc. Her life or the lives of her children could benefit from having that information.