My Friend’s Dad is Not Her Biological Father

This article is based on scientific evidence and clinical experience, written by a licensed professional and fact-checked by experts.

Posted: February 9, 2021

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

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Family Teen

My friend is 38 years old and was just told by her Mom that her Dad she has know all her life is not her biological father. Her Mom and Dad had IVF using a sperm donor, but never told her. Her Mom finally told her 2 weeks ago and now my friend is devastated, confused, disconnected, scared, worried, etc… She doesn’t know how to proceed in life right now. She has always been closest to her father, who she now learns is not her biological father.


Hey, welcome to my counselor online. This is asking for a friend.

I’m Cassie and asking for a friend is where you submit your questions and then I tracked down one of our awesome therapists and get them to answer your question, so today I have Josh Spurlock with me.

And he’s going to answer our question that we have from an anonymous friend. So, Josh, thanks for hanging out with me today and answering this question.

Alright, so here’s the question. My friend is 30 YEARS OLD AND WAS JUST TOLD BY HER MOM AND DAD, the dad that she has known all her life. That is, he’s not her biological father

Her mom and dad had IBS using a sperm donor and never told her. Her mom finally told her two weeks ago and now she’s devastated confused disconnected scared worried

She doesn’t know how to proceed in life right now she’s always been closest to her father who she now knows is not her biological father. So, Josh. What, what would you say


Well, it’s a tough situation that takes you by surprise, and definitely don’t see it coming, and yet is a a source of a lot of grief for everybody involved.

A lot of times parents that are in that situation. Don’t know how to handle it, there’s not necessarily a right or wrong answer, and

Many made the decision not to share that information with their kiddos back in a day and age where that information would never come out.

And today we have a DNA testing that’s becoming more and more common.

For health purposes where you can order a kit and do a swab and and have biological parents or have your parents going to send in a swab, so as to direct medical treatment in a way that is

More specific to your biology and so increasingly parents who had decided together that

They were not going to share the information with their kiddo that part of their genetic materials from other biology was not coming from them.

And how to raise a child just like they would any of their other biological children or biological child.

And so now they’re faced with the dilemma of this information coming forward in it creates grief for everybody.

That mom and dad have oftentimes their self doubt involved in wondering, did we make the right decision we made the best decision that we could at the time we felt like that was the right thing to do.

Sometimes there’s grief and shame that’s on the part of just infertility and the struggle and journey of that and so

What I would encourage folks in the situation is really to have a whole lot of grace for everybody involved.

Have grace for yourself as you’re going through this and maybe you’re experiencing the news for the first time and coming to reconcile that things that you thought were true.

Are different than you thought them to be in trying to reconcile what that means for you what it means for the important relationships in your life. It’s really important that you give yourself space to grieve.

No big information like this has grief, even if it’s good information. Even if it’s neutral doesn’t really matter rather not, it’s positive or negative. The nature of it is such that it rocks, our world a little bit

And create some NX in grief and also for the others that are involved siblings parents to extend them. The grace of being able to grieve in the situation as well. And to be able to

Not allow a situation like this to be cause for breach and relationship. Yeah, it can very much become that. But it doesn’t need to

That as mature individuals work through conflict, even if we disagree with the decision on how information was handled when or if it was disclose.

We can be forgiving. We can have grace and we can work through those things so that we can still have a closeness and respect within our family, even if there’s a difference in our thoughts about how things should have been handled. Yeah.


It’s really good. It’s a tough situation.

Josh, thanks for meeting with me appreciate your time and Thank you, anonymous person for submitting this question. If you have a question that you want to be answered by one of our counselors, submit it here!

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This article is based on scientific evidence and clinical experience, written by a licensed professional and fact-checked by experts.

About the Author
Josh Spurlock
Josh Spurlock

Josh Spurlock MA, LPC, CST, has a BA in Biblical Languages and a Masters in Counseling. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), holding licenses in MissouriColorado, and Florida. He is also a Certified Sex Therapist (CST), Level 2 AEDP Therapist, and an Ordained Minister. He is an Advanced Practice Clinician, with over 10,000 hours of clinical experience. He specializes in Marriage Counseling, Sex Therapy, Family Counseling, and works with Executives, Pastors, Business Owners, and Ministry Leaders. Learn more about Josh Spurlock at

Josh is currently unable to take on any new clients.

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