Dear Abby: Facts about biological father may come from ailing mom’s Facebook friend

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Dear Abby

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DEAR ABBY: Forty years ago, a neighborhood boy fathered a child with a neighborhood girl. “Billy” was 17 at the time, and “Becky” was 14 or 15. Both were friends of mine. They were not a steady couple. She liked him, but I feel he used her. I heard that she married an older gentleman who accepted the baby, “Matt,” as his own.

Ten years ago, I found Matt on Facebook. I told him I knew his mother, and he shared her contact information with me. When I called Becky, we enjoyed talking about old times, and I let her know that Billy had passed away. She informed me that her husband had also passed away.

I was surprised when she told me she never told Matt who his biological father was. He was raised believing his biological father was Becky’s husband. I have photographs of Billy, and Matt has an aunt he is unaware of. As tempted as I am to inform him who his father was, I know that is not the right thing to do.

We don’t communicate regularly, but Becky and I are friends on Facebook. I believe she’s having health issues now. Abby, If she passes away, do you think I should let Matt know who his father was, share the photographs and let him know about his aunt? I think I’d want to know. -- OLD FRIEND IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR OLD FRIEND: If Becky’s health problems are life-threatening, she’s the person you should consider approaching. The question you should pose is this: Would she want her son to think he’s all alone in the world after she’s gone?

I do not think you should lay this news on Matt after his mother’s death. His parents would not be there to answer his inevitable questions, and he would likely feel hurt and angry that he wasn’t told the truth.

Abigail  Van Buren

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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.

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