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  #1  
Old Mar 28, '14, 5:40 am
Thomasbelby27 Thomasbelby27 is offline
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Default Can I raise this child if I'm not the father?

This is somewhat of a difficult time for me. My wife and I have been together for five years. I'm truly blessed to have her in my life and we love each other wholeheartedly. Regrettably, several months ago, we were at a low point in our marriage. I was always busy with work and didn't spend enough time with her. She felt that we were becoming distant. Many arguments arose and our love in one another felt like it was dwindling. At this time, I had to go away on a business trip for the weekend. My wife was alone at home, with our problems unresolved, and felt empty. She sought to ease the pain with alcohol at a local bar. In a moment of weakness, she had an affair with one of the patrons. Immediately, the next morning, she called me in tears and told me what happened. I felt anger, betrayal, and sorrow, and found myself unable to deal with the situation. I couldn't talk my precious wife for days. It was only until I got on my knees and prayed to God for his strength that I received the courage to try and mend our relationship. We went to marriage counseling and prayed together constantly. Through time, I understood that what happened was a product of my faults as well as hers. I had no right to judge, and forgave her with open arms. At this point, our marriage was greater than it's ever been. However, a life changing issue has arisen in past two weeks. My wife had been feeling sick and no common medicine seemed to help. As time went by, she began to question if perhaps her ills were a result of a pregnancy. Sure enough, we went to her doctor and he confirmed that my wife was now 9 weeks pregnant. A realization hit the both of us that given the timing, there was no chance that I could be the father. Therefore the pregnancy was the result of my wife's affair. The news broke her heart, and has left me in a state of depression. Once again, the feelings of anger and betrayal arose, leaving me distant from my wife. At this point, I'm not sure what to do. Horrible thoughts of divorce and abortion enter my mind every day, and I'm trying my best to suppress them. I have fears that if we have this child together, I might resent him/her. The man my wife had the affair with was African American, while she and I are both Caucasian. This presents another fear as it would be clear to the child that I'm not the true father. How would I explain this to him/her? How would I explain this to others? Many thoughts keep passing through my mind, and I don't know what to do. I feel alone, both emotionally and spiritually, and am questioning why God has allowed this to happen.
  #2  
Old Mar 28, '14, 6:07 am
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: Can I raise this child if I'm not the father?

Whatever the two of you do, it needs to be in the best interest of the child, the most innocent all. That question in your title is something only you and she can answer with prayer and discussion.

Can you and she do it? Maybe. Will it be difficult? Yes. Might adoption be an option? Yes. If you two do not or cannot love this child with all your heart, then it is better to make arrangements for the child to be part of a home with parents that can. Before you make any decisions, you need to really think if it "isn't possible" that you are the father-- you were only gone 2 days,were you not having relations at all during that time?

What will others think? Who gives a flying cr*p.
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ke's universal disclaimer: In my posts, when I post about marriage, canon law, or sacraments I am talking about Latin Rite only, not the Orthodox and Eastern Rites. These are exceptions that confuse the issue and I am not talking about those.
  #3  
Old Mar 28, '14, 6:26 am
Kal2012 Kal2012 is offline
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Default Re: Can I raise this child if I'm not the father?

Honestly, I think that Joesph had that same questions when he found out that Mary was pregnant and he had never been with her.

I think you can raise this child.

I can understand your fears, but the thing is that this child didn't ask to be created. It was created by our Lord.

You love your wife. This baby is part of your wife.

Let me tell you something. In the 1970's my white mom was raped by a black man. She got pregnant. Her husband at the time left her, even after she had an abortion. I'm her child from her second marriage. I still wonder if that little baby would be an older brother or sister to me. I really don't care if my "older" brother or sister would have been all white or all black. I just wish I would have met him/her because they would have been a part of my mom and my family.

Making things more broken because you are broken up isn't the way to go in this situation.

In the end, it's time to do what Jesus would do, even though it's hard and scary. Jesus wouldn't run out and get a divorce at the first sign of trouble. Jesus wouldn't encourage your wife to have an abortion because it's convenient and people want to forget their emotional trauma. An abortion will only add to the emotional trauma, not lessen it.

You'll tell the child the truth when it's time and let the child know that despite your fears, you choose to be his or her dad anyway because that's what the child needed and that's what a real husband does. He doesn't leave his wife, even if she makes a horrible one-time mistake. (It was a one time thing, right? There isn't a pattern, is there?)

Of course, the child will have questions about bio-dad, that's human.

I can't imagine how heartbreaking all of this is for you, but I think you need to talk to a priest. (I know, don't all CAF threads eventually say, 'talk to your priest'? But it's true. Priests are there to help us through times of crises.)

Good luck to you.
  #4  
Old Mar 28, '14, 7:10 am
anonymous in fl anonymous in fl is offline
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Default Re: Can I raise this child if I'm not the father?

Please dont assume the child is not yours---- discuss the pros and cons of a paternity test with your spouse.
  #5  
Old Mar 28, '14, 7:13 am
PaulGH PaulGH is offline
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Default Re: Can I raise this child if I'm not the father?

My father has cousins who (he is pretty sure) were conceived through infidelity, and thus are no blood relation to my father. Yet they are considered to be just as much a part of our extended family as anyone else. This situation is probably more common than you realize. That doesn't make it easy, but yes, you can do this. Your wife is pregnant, and no matter how it happened, this child is your responsibility now. With God's help, and remembering how much love you and your wife have for each other, you both can do this together.
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Old Mar 28, '14, 7:14 am
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Cricket2 Cricket2 is offline
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Default Re: Can I raise this child if I'm not the father?

Your wife has made a serious error, but it seems you are both trying to deal with this honestly. Please do remember that the child in question is innocent of any wrong doing and deserves the best response out of this.

That you are not the biological father does not mean you do not have the capacity to raise the child. But this is a mutual choice you will both have too make. If you decide to raise the child you need to be honest with him/her when the time is right. For the most part that is easy if you have truly loved the child while he/she grows up.

If you decide to adopt the child out, perhaps you can look into a private adoption with a family you believe will be good for the child. But again, that is your choice and the interests of the child have to come first. I will pray for you both, that this is a time you can mend your marriage and grow in faith, as well as put the interests of a child before your own sense of hurt, anger or blame. Each of you have healing to endure.
  #7  
Old Mar 28, '14, 7:23 am
Thomasbelby27 Thomasbelby27 is offline
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Default Re: Can I raise this child if I'm not the father?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ke View Post
Whatever the two of you do, it needs to be in the best interest of the child, the most innocent all.
You're absolutely right.

Quote:
Can you and she do it? Maybe. Will it be difficult? Yes. Might adoption be an option? Yes. If you two do not or cannot love this child with all your heart, then it is better to make arrangements for the child to be part of a home with parents that can.
I honestly hadn't considered adoption. To carry a child for 9 months and then give him/her away seems like a devastating ordeal. I can't image how that would hurt my wife. However, I am considering what's best for the child. I don't know if I would be the best father.

Quote:
Before you make any decisions, you need to really think if it "isn't possible" that you are the father-- you were only gone 2 days,were you not having relations at all during that time?
I wish that weren't the case, but my wife and I were at a low time in our marriage, and we rarely have relations due to my problems with fertility.

Quote:
What will others think? Who gives a flying cr*p.
I don't know how I'd be able to explain this to my family.
  #8  
Old Mar 28, '14, 7:25 am
Thomasbelby27 Thomasbelby27 is offline
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Default Re: Can I raise this child if I'm not the father?

Thank you for your support, Kal2012. I'm sorry for the struggles you and your family have had to go through in their lifetime. Your mother is a truly strong individual.

I've thought about having an abortion, but I would never pressure my wife into it. She is firmly against it, and as a Catholic man, so am I. But the thoughts still linger, and I'm ashamed of them.

You are right in saying that this baby is part of my wife. I have to keep remembering that because she and I are one in God's eyes. I love her so much and can't imagine my life without her.

To answer one of your questions, the affair was indeed a one time occurrence.

I'll take your advice and try to speak to a Priest at my church. I'm at no loss of a need for guidance.
  #9  
Old Mar 28, '14, 7:27 am
marymary1975 marymary1975 is online now
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Default Re: Can I raise this child if I'm not the father?

The first thing you need to get into your brain is: the child is an innocent victim of this entire situation! The child has NO fault, zero, Nada! Again the child is merely a victim and it would be very unfair for you to see the child as a reminder of anything, because the child is not a reminder of anything. The child is a human being who deserves dignity and respect.

Now, unfortunately sin has consequences. While our sins can be forgiven they (all sins) have consequences and what you have to do when you sin is accept that there will be consequences and face them as best as you can. This is why the church insist sooo much in matters of sex, family and marriage because there are going to be consequences and you will have to deal with them. In this situation you and your wife have to face the consequences the christian way. As 1ke said, have you thought about adoption? If neither you nor your wife are going to love that child the way the child deserves and you are going to shame the child, maybe adoption is the way to go.

If you and your wife decide to keep the child, it is perfectly possible to love and raise that child despite not being the bio dad. There are many men out there who have raised not biologically related to them so it is perfectly doable. I have a current husband who is raising my child as his despite her being from my previous marriage. Now I may not be the best example because I have never had sex outside of marriage but it goes to the point that you can raise the child despite not being biologically relayed to the child.

As to the child being half African american...he is not going to be the first child of mixed race raised by Caucasian parents. My cousin is raising two children (adopted) who are of Indian origin and both she and her husband and her other three biological children are Caucasian. Are there challenges, of course. Are there hard moments, yes. But if you know how to handle the situation, are truthful and put God first, you can do it and in the end the child would be grateful for your effort. Also most people today are pretty good about this...seeing a child of a different race than the parents so it may not be as bad as you think. So far my cousin has not encounter one person making an negative comment about racial difference and she does live in a heavily caucasic area. Yes some people make faces when they see the families but no one so far has made cments in a negative way.

Finally, if you are mentioning resenting the child that means you have not truly forgotten. The reason why you think you may resent the child is because you still have an emotional attachment to the affair memory and you are trying to place it on someone else. This situation is only reflection. Something you may have not realized...inside of you you haven't given true forgiveness. You need to truly forgive and break the emotional attachment to that memory. Holding grudges and keeping emotional attachments to a painful memory only affects you in the long run. I really would recommend you to talk to your priest. Pray to Jesus so he can help you to forgive. Forgiveness is hard and breaking emotional attachments is even harder but is doable. It is a decision you have to make which requites fighting against your own self. Pray a lot and ask Jesus to grant you his forgiveness to break that attachment. Repeat to yourself that you are willing to forgive her and not look at the past. I will be praying also for you so you can find strength to go through this and take the best decisions for all of you.
  #10  
Old Mar 28, '14, 7:27 am
marbleartist marbleartist is online now
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Default Re: Can I raise this child if I'm not the father?

If you SHOULD decide that the presence of the child would be a continued burden on your relationship (and I'm not saying that it will!) then please consider Catholic Charities and allowing this child to be adopted into a home of a loving couple anxiously awaiting a baby! Catholic Charities has separate counseling for the birth mother, monthly updates with pictures (if you desire to see them) and many visits to the adopting family to assure that the baby is placed in a loving home. My well-loved, precious and happy grandson joined our family through Catholic Charities- and is a wonderful blessing for which we all give daily thanks! Adoption is a loving choice, and certainly an excellent option- if you choose not to raise the baby in your family.
  #11  
Old Mar 28, '14, 7:32 am
Burt Macklin Burt Macklin is offline
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Default Re: Can I raise this child if I'm not the father?

You should consult a lawyer and find out how remaining married and accepting a child that isn't your own will affect you financially. It is always doubtful in these kind of circumstances that this was her first affair, and it is even more doubtful that it will be her last. Child support payments will not go away even if your wife eventually does. If you don't have any other children with her then now is the easiest time for you to leave.
  #12  
Old Mar 28, '14, 7:34 am
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tawny tawny is offline
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Default Re: Can I raise this child if I'm not the father?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ke View Post
Whatever the two of you do, it needs to be in the best interest of the child, the most innocent all. That question in your title is something only you and she can answer with prayer and discussion.

Can you and she do it? Maybe. Will it be difficult? Yes. Might adoption be an option? Yes. If you two do not or cannot love this child with all your heart, then it is better to make arrangements for the child to be part of a home with parents that can. Before you make any decisions, you need to really think if it "isn't possible" that you are the father-- you were only gone 2 days,were you not having relations at all during that time?

What will others think? Who gives a flying cr*p.
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  #13  
Old Mar 28, '14, 7:48 am
Thomasbelby27 Thomasbelby27 is offline
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Default Re: Can I raise this child if I'm not the father?

Quote:
Finally, if you are mentioning resenting the child that means you have not truly forgotten. The reason why you think you may resent the child is because you still have an emotional attachment to the affair memory and you are trying to place it on someone else. This situation is only reflection. Something you may have not realized...inside of you you haven't given true forgiveness.
Unfortunately, I think you may be right. I really thought I had gotten over the affair. Before finding out about the pregnancy, I'm convinced I had. But this revelation has opened up those wounds again, which means they may not have been fully healed in the first place. I realize I have to completely forgive my wife If i'm going to get through this with her.
  #14  
Old Mar 28, '14, 7:50 am
Thomasbelby27 Thomasbelby27 is offline
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Default Re: Can I raise this child if I'm not the father?

Quote:
With God's help, and remembering how much love you and your wife have for each other, you both can do this together.
I truly hope so, thank you.
  #15  
Old Mar 28, '14, 7:55 am
marymary1975 marymary1975 is online now
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Default Re: Can I raise this child if I'm not the father?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Burt Macklin View Post
You should consult a lawyer and find out how remaining married and accepting a child that isn't your own will affect you financially. It is always doubtful in these kind of circumstances that this was her first affair, and it is even more doubtful that it will be her last. Child support payments will not go away even if your wife eventually does. If you don't have any other children with her then now is the easiest time for you to leave.
I can give an answer to that. There is a legal presumtption that the childnof a married woman is the husband's child. Legally speaking he is the father and he is obligated to that child. To rebute the presumption either the putative father would have to initiate a lawsuit to rebut that presumption, or the wife must get divorced and seek the rebuttal of that presumption. What you are suggesting to him is not as easy as you think.
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