Dear Abby — Man keeps secret from fiance: He has kids from donating sperm

Upset that he never told her about this arrangement with friends, she’s putting the marriage on hold

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DEAR ABBY: My daughter and her fiance are intelligent, successful professionals in their early 30s. Her fiance just informed her he was a sperm donor for a friend and his wife a few years ago, resulting in two biological children with one more on the way.

He never mentioned this to my daughter before. She suspected that something wasn’t right because he would hide his phone (he keeps the children’s pictures on it), and she finally confronted him last week.

He bonded with the children during the first year of their lives with frequent visits, then tapered off because the friends had become uncomfortable with his being around (the children both closely resemble him).

Her fiance says he hasn’t seen the children since my daughter began dating him two years ago. He says he tried to put the situation behind him, but confessed that he misses them and didn’t realize he would feel this way at the time he donated. Neither he nor the children’s parents have legal documents in place, and they skipped getting professional advice, believing it would all be fine because they are good friends.

My daughter says she could have accepted that he was a donor and has children, but she is very upset that he hid it from her all this time. They are still engaged, but she has put the wedding plans on hold until they can get through this. They are now talking about counseling. She says her world has been turned upside down. My heart is hurting for her, and we are supportive of any decision she makes. Your opinion is very appreciated. — SUPPORTIVE IN THE EAST

DEAR SUPPORTIVE: Your daughter is a smart woman to want counseling before she makes any visits to the altar. The man she’s engaged to kept her in the dark for two years! I can’t help but wonder what else he may be hiding. It may take time for her to trust him again — if ever.

P.S. Her fiance and those friends should have consulted an attorney about his role as a sperm donor while it was still in the planning stages, if only to avoid any confusion in the future. It’s not too late to do that now, and I strongly recommend it.

DEAR ABBY: As a baby boomer, I have filled out a DNR (do not resuscitate) order. I have been wondering, if something were to happen in public, how would first responders know? Strokes run in my family. How does a person make certain that this information is available? It’s on file with my doctor, but he’s not always available. — PLANNER IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR PLANNER: Emergency first responders are trained to look for certain information when they arrive. You should have “In Case of Emergency” numbers (I.C.E.) in your cellphone as well as in your wallet. There are also medical I.D. bracelets and necklaces available. Because of your family history, you may want to talk with your doctor about getting one.

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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

To receive a collection of Abby’s most memorable — and most frequently requested — poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby — Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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