I wish I had my father's name

April 25, 2018

Dear Pastor,

I read your column every week, and I like the way you give advice. I am 25 years old and I am working. I do not carry my father's name because when my mother got pregnant with me, my father was married. He told my

mother that he would take care of me, and he has always done that.

I have two sisters and two brothers. They have his name. They got to know me recently, and I met my father's wife officially a few months ago. She looked me up and down, and even examined my fingers, and told her children, "Yes, she is your father's child." This lady was forced to recognise me because my father left something for me in his will. I didn't expect anything from him. He supported me through school, from prep to university, and now I have a good education and a good job.

My father has always loved my mother. He assisted my mother to purchase a home, and he told her that the house belongs to me. At my father's funeral, my brothers and sisters and I sat together. Only my name was not called in the tributes, but I did not expect them to call my name.

The problem I am having is this; I do not know whether I will get married. I have had two boyfriends in my life. I told my first boyfriend what my real name is, and he threw it back in my face, when we had a disagreement, by making a rude remark about my mother, so we broke up. I don't know if my present boyfriend will marry me, but I have not told him anything about my father, although he asked me.

When I first told my mother that I would like to add my father's last name on my birth certificate, she told me that I would be embarrassing her. I don't see it that way, but I would love to hear what you think about it. I just want to add my father's name to mine.

N.L.

Dear N.L,

Your father and mother got together and produced you. They kept it under wraps. Perhaps very few people knew who impregnated your mother, but your father knew. Your mother was wise enough to be quiet about it, and the good thing about that whole episode is that your father supported you very well, even through to university level, and now you have a good job. As they say in Jamaica, he never disowned you.

Now that your siblings know that you are their sister, they have accepted you. Darling, you have a good father. You are mentioned in his will. Not many fathers who have outside children will honour them that way. You said your former boyfriend was disrespectful in a remark he made about your mother. You were right to leave him.

I am sure that what you would like to do can be done without causing any embarrassment to your mother. So I suggest that you do so with the help of an attorney. A deed poll would do the trick. I wish you well. Let me hear from you again.

Pastor

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