Hi there. I'm so glad you are here on our forum. I can feel the pain you are feeling in your words. You sound like a mother sincerely wanting the very best for your children. Both of them. This is really hard with some complicating factors. Your daughter would likely have mixed emotions about this which would be only natural. Things in her life are not as they seem. Admitting that we lied to them is a hard thing. She's going to feel betrayed by that. I would not feel pressured by the bio dad of your daughter. Remember, he also had suspicions this was his child and you haven't felt any help coming you way, have you? While maybe it was nagging at him, his need to be responsible didn't make him check in with you for over a decade or help financially support his daughter. I understand it is very complicated on both of your ends but you need to make all decisions strictly on behalf of your daughter. When she turns 18 though, he may contact her regardless of your thoughts. So . . . what do you do now?
How do you think she will handle it? Will she be upset about being lied to but excited at the prospect of a dad in her life? Speaking of which . . . would be cruel for him to meet with her and then NOT be in her life. What is his intention for the relationship? Is he going to visit her? Pay child support? All important things to discuss with him.
My gut says that you have to tell her.
And then with your son. That's really hard. Is he in therapy?
She needs to know the truth. If he wants to visit make sure it is done on your turf, with you there.
I'm really happy to hear this. It sounds like you told them well and they are as understanding as their ages and the situation permit. Please tell your dear son that if someone is on drugs, it is not his child's fault, it's nobody's fault but his own, and that there will be other good men in his life that he can look up to and be friends with. Tell him that many people don't have a wonderful sweetness-and-light relationship with their own biological dads. One thing to keep in reserve in your own head, is that your daughter got a gift -- the news that someone she didn't wish was her father is not her father, and that she might get a re-try on this important relationship with her newly-revealed father. Your son didn't get that gift. Instead, he gets to hear that his sister gets this and he can see he does not. Treat him with care, he deserves every good thing in life too. Maybe her bio-dad could also be in on this kind of discussion. He has no obligation to try to be a good person to your son, but if you were to let him know this (about how your son sees his sister as getting this wonderful thing while knowing he does not), at least he might muster up the kindness to treat your son with decency and some mild amount of (even if feigned) interest in his life.