"Dear Carol, should I call my mom's boyfriend dad?"
My biological father left when my mom was four months pregnant with me. She has a boyfriend she expects me to call dad and they have been together for nine years. He just doesn't feel like a dad to me. Plus, I want to meet my real dad, but he wants nothing to do with me. My biological dad has a son he helps take care of, but he won't let me meet my little brother.
Dear Bio Dad,
Ouch. I certainly understand your curiosity, but I’m afraid your biological father has never been there for you, so he may not deserve the title “real dad.” You can try to reach out to him from time to time and see if he ever reaches back. Maybe you and your bio dad or half-bro will have some sort of relationship someday, but do not hold your breath. (He also may not be the person you imagine or hope he is.) In the meantime, if the man you’ve called “Dad” is a pretty nice guy and has been behaving like a dad, and he and your mom are still together, that counts for a lot. If you’d rather call him by his first name instead of Dad, that’s fine. But handle all this with care because if you two get along well, it will make your home life more harmonious for all.
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