He doesn’t want his daughters to know

Dear Suzie, i am pregnant at 31 with my boyfriends baby. he is 60. The pregnancy was not planned, we had only been seeing each other for about 4 months when i fell pregnant and our relationship was a secret. initially he wanted me to have it terminated but I couldnt do so and was pleased when he seemed ok about it and said that he wanted to see our baby and I.

I was never expecting us to move in together or anything but was upset to discover last week with 11 wks of pregnancy left that he is hoping our relationship and baby will stay a secret. he is single but has two daughters age 34 and 38 and says he does not want to upset them or embaress them as i am younger than they are. i do understand this, but he says that means he cant even have his name on the birth certificate. it also means we can never go out together outside as his daughters live locally. do i have the right to be upset that my baby has 2 be secret but he wants to see it? or do you think circumstances being taken into account this is a reasonable request he has made?

No, his is not a reasonable request. Yes, you have every right to be upset. Actually, I would have said blazing mad, disgusted and downright contemptuous. But this is your baby’s father so you have to swallow some of your own understandable ire and accept some compromises in order to ensure your child has contact with the Dad – contact that really is vital for your baby’s sake. But by that I mean compromise on the desire to read him the riot act in favour of an assertive statement of your and your baby’s needs and rights.

It doesn’t matter whether you were let down by your contraception, made a silly mistake or intended to get pregnant. The fact is it takes two to tango and if he hadn’t wanted to be a father again he should have used condoms or tied a knot in it. Once a baby is on the way, he has a responsibility to it and that’s that. It’s his child, and if he feels shy or uneasy about ‘fessing up to his other kids, he should have thought about that before having his sexual fling with you.

And he’s an idiot if he thinks he can keep it secret, and will be storing up far, far more trouble up for himself if he tries to do so. Sooner or later someone will tell tales. Sooner or later, his child by you is going to ask questions about Dad, and may go looking for him if he runs away. Sooner or later, his daughters will find out and if he’s reneged on his responsibilities they’re likely to be far more upset with him than if he came out and was mature about it. They may feel he’s been a silly old fool, going with a woman younger than them, or they may think the age difference is far less important than they fact he might be happy with you. They may well rather enjoy having a baby brother or sister – plenty of stepsiblings do welcome a younger child. Whatever, coming clean would be the best tack but that’s up to him.

As far as the birth certificate stands, at present you can’t register him as the father unless he consents. But…the mother of the child can give the child any first and surname she chooses. She may give the child the father’s surname if she wants and she does not need the father’s consent to do this. And a father who refuses to have his name on the certificate can change his mind and have it added later. All in all, it sounds to me as if you need to sit down with him and have a proper talk about all this. Whether you and he continue to be an item the fact is you have a joint baby to consider, and that’s both of yours for life. Good luck!

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