Internet Split Over Mom's Idea to Hide Half-Sibling From Kids: 'Disturbing'

A mom's idea to not tell her children about the existence of her ex-husband's child has split opinions online, after she shared her thoughts.

Taking to popular forum Mumsnet, the anonymous mother-of-two explained her tricky situation and asked for help in deciding her next move.

Like many across the world, her children are set to become half-siblings when her ex-husband soon welcomes a baby girl with his new partner. In the U.S., one in six children have half-siblings aged under 18 that they live with.

Unlike those however, these siblings are separated by thousands of miles. The English woman's ex-husband is from Washington, DC and moved back after they broke up. Until recently, he continued to visit his children every other month for weeks at a time.

Kid kissing a baby's head
Stock image of a son kissing a baby's head. A mom's half sibling dilemma has gained attention online. Getty Images

"However, he has been acting differently for the past months and has not visited for seven months, his phone contact has also decreased. The children are missing him, they think the world of their dad," she revealed in the post.

Finally, he informed his ex-wife of his new situation and explained that he is "making a go of it with her in his home country."

"My children will be devastated. I don't know how I am going to tell them that their father is having another baby. My daughter especially, who is six, is going to be heartbroken. I don't think she will be able to process it and I'm worried that with her dad not being around as much as he was, that she will be thinking he is with his new baby who is also a girl," she wrote.

The mom added that they do not visit him in the U.S. and he only visits alone, so pondered: "Should I tell the children about his new baby or wait until they are older? I don't want to cause them any pain/sadness when they may not ever meet this other child."

Respondents to the popular post were left split on whether or not her idea is a good one. While some raged that hiding a half-sibling could cause long-term damage, others were adamant that it's solely the father's responsibility.

"Of course you should tell them. If they find out you knew and didn't they will never be able to trust you again," wrote one user.

"Please don't not tell them," begged another. "Fine to figure out how best to tell them or if he should do it, but don't wait years then inform them a half sibling exists. Shielding them from reality is extremely emotionally damaging and they could, quite rightly, feel more betrayed by you for not telling them about a half sister in future years."

"It will be much easier to explain now that Daddy is giving them a new sister than to explain later on why you didn't TELL them when it happened. Trust me on this one," wrote one user.

Others however argued that she shouldn't tell her children, and should instead leave it to when her ex-husband takes that step.

"Nope, not your job. He should tell them himself, and you be around afterwards," explained a Mumsnet user.

"I agree with you, how can they be excited about a baby they will not be able to see and a baby that gets to live with the father they miss," agreed another.