Dear Abby: During break in the marriage, man fathers a child

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DEAR ABBY: My husband and I separated last year and reconciled several months later. When we decided to get back together, he broke it off with his girlfriend. A month later she contacted him to inform him that she’s pregnant with his child. She’s due in a few months.

My husband and I disagree about how things should be handled when the child arrives. She says I’m not allowed to come to the hospital with him and meet the baby. I say that going without me is absurd, and any child that belongs to my husband is a part of my life, too. However, he says she is in charge of the situation.

I’m worried that when the baby is born I’ll be at home alone with a broken heart. Where should I draw the line with my husband? — WORRIED WIFE IN THE SOUTH

DEAR WORRIED WIFE: Forgive me if this seems cynical, but is your husband ABSOLUTELY SURE that the baby is his? And, if it is, to what extent does he plan to be involved in the child’s life?

If he participates in raising him/her, then you are right, his child WILL become a part of your life. If he decides to do no more than write support checks, the impact on you will be much less.

Frankly, I don’t blame you for feeling worried. If a paternity test hasn’t proved he’s the father of the baby, he should discuss this with a lawyer to insist there be one.

DEAR ABBY: When I was 19, I lost custody of my three children to the state. They were adopted out, and I have had no contact since. Over the years I tried to find them without success. Recently, I found their names and addresses using to search their birth records. My son, the oldest, is 18 now, but his sisters are only 15 and 16.

I want to write a letter to the adoptive mother, let her know my side of the story and offer to open a line of communication for her and the kids. Would that be selfish? What’s the right thing to do here?

I was very young and stupid when I lost my children. I’m now in my 30s and much wiser. I have lived with this heartbreak for 15 years. I don’t want to disrupt their lives, but I do want them to have my contact information if they would like to have it.

I know this situation is delicate. I desperately want to avoid doing the wrong thing. Please advise. — HEARTBROKEN IN FLORIDA

DEAR HEARTBROKEN: Your instincts are on target. The best way to accomplish what you have in mind would be to write to the adoptive mother and allow her to decide what to do with the information you give her. Most adopted children at some point want to know who their birth parents were, if only so they can get a complete medical history.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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