Had a child for my distant cousin

November 22, 2022

Dear Pastor,

I am 20 and I have a one-year-old daughter. I have kept the father's identity a secret because he is a distant cousin on my mother's side.

Before we got involved, I used to admire him when we went to the country. He was the first man who put his hand on my breasts. I always wanted to return to the country so that I could see him, and when I was almost 19, I went with him to the bush and we kissed. We put banana trash on the ground and that is where I lost my virginity. It happened again another time, but I had a boyfriend in Kingston and we were having sex too. When I missed my period, I told my boyfriend that it seemed as if he got me pregnant. When it was confirmed that I was pregnant, he accepted paternity. My mother told me that I should have been more careful. She thought that I was speaking the truth and that it was my boyfriend who got me pregnant. My boyfriend is 25. But I knew that it was my cousin who impregnated me because the doctor told me the timeline, and I knew I had sex with him at that time.

My son resembles his father; he has nothing for my boyfriend. But my boyfriend has accepted him as his own. He and I have been talking about marriage. I am now a university student. He already has his degree and he plans to help me. I told him I would be glad for his help. He is the type of man I would marry, but I am very afraid of what he may do when he realises that the child is not his. His real father sends me money for him occasionally. I have been saving that money in a special account. What I did was wrong, but I was young and my cousin took advantage of me. He doesn't see it that way, but when I look back that is what he did. I have thought of telling my mother the truth, but I am afraid of what she would say. I remember when I had sex for the first time, we burned up the trash we were lying down on.

Pastor, I still love my cousin and I wish I could marry him. I love him more than my boyfriend. So he might be right when he disagrees with me that he took advantage of me. He is still single. When I asked him why he is not married, he said he is waiting on me, but if I go ahead and get married, he may have to do so too. I now have $200,000 in the bank from him. I would like my son to know the truth when he gets older, but I am still afraid to talk about it. This is the first time I am mentioning it to anyone.

S.T.

Dear S.T.,

You know for sure that the man who accepted paternity is not your son's biological father. He has been supporting him and you have been living a lie. You and your cousin know the truth. Your mother is in darkness. However, you should not just think about yourself and freeing up your conscience; you have to think about your son.

I cannot encourage you to marry your boyfriend unless he fully knows the truth. But I do not believe that the time is right for you to tell him that he is not the biological father. On the other hand, telling him that he is not the child's father may cause him to lose every confidence in you and in women. He may not want to see you or to have anything to do with the child. I repeat, you should not marry him because you do not love him. You love your cousin more. If this man should know the truth, he would be devastated.

Perhaps you should tell your mother that your boyfriend has been talking about marrying you, but you do not love him enough to marry him. Of course your mother would like to know why. She may prompt you to talk and perhaps at that stage you may tell her about your son. I am not recommending that that is what you all should do, but it is surely in your hands and I do not want anything to cause you and your boyfriend to break up. He may not forgive you if you tell him the truth right now.

Pastor

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