Should I Tell My Niece I Am Her Biological Father

I am a 50 yr old man, who 33 years ago fathered a child with my brothers wife. Here are the details. I was 16 at the time, she was 18. My brother was in stationed in Europe and gone for 2 years. His wife at the time was staying with us at my parents house. Needless to say, she was lonely, I was 16 and we ended up with her pregnant.  Did not know what to do at the time, so we told my parents, and my brother. The decision was made that as far as anyone was concerned he was the father and no one was ever to find out. I don't remember many of the details from back then, but must have agreed. I have seen her several times over the years(she lives 2000 miles away) and I have thought about her being my daughter almost everyday of my life. But being of my word, I have never told anyone except my wife. I had the occasion of attending her brothers wedding, and now am having a very hard time with this situation. I feel the need to tell her I am her biofather, but do not want to hurt her. As far as my family, they are all pretty much not my concern. I am not close to them, but know if things were to come out, they would probably disown me. So, do i risk everything and tell her? Does she have the right to know the truth? Am I being selfish? What if she has always had a feeling she doesn't belong to her "father"? Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated and helpful. Anyone out there with first hand knowledge please advise. Thanks in advance
crosleydan crosleydan
3 Responses May 15, 2012

I think you should tell her. My cousin is also my brother, and my father didn't tell us until I was 18. Even I was upset over all the time I had missed out with my brother. He was told after his dad, who was elderly, died. He took it well, very excited to know he had 4 sisters all along instead of being an only child. But it still bothers him that he never got to spend time with our grandparents before they died. In the end I think we all would have been better off the earlier we knew, and not the later just to comfort the egos of the people who made the mistake in the first place.

How old is she? I feel like if she's old enough, she needs to know.

she is now 33, married and has 2 children

keep quite