"Yup

I Screwed Up": Sarah and Randy'"
Sarah and Randy's two kids were born using a sperm donor and in vitro fertilization. Now, Sarah wants to tell the kids about where they came from, and Randy does not.


"There is a fear that I could lose their love when they find out I am not their biological father," Randy says. "The one thing that my children need to know is that I love them very much."


Sarah and Randy recognize that they made a mistake by not discussing this issue earlier, and while Dr. Phil hopes to help them make a responsible decision, he makes it clear that he can not make it for them.


Sarah feels that Randy, who initially did not want children, should have been more involved in the process, including picking out a sperm donor. She says, "These are my children, and they should know."

Randy recognizes that he was not as involved as he could have been, partly because he was struggling with his own infertility and its impact on his manhood.


Dr. Phil says that whether or not they tell the kids is not the major issue at hand. "We have bigger problems here," he tells Sarah, "if your attitude is that he isn't even part of this equation." Pointing out that they can't change the past, Dr. Phil asks, "Isn't it true that you have said to him, 'Why do you care? These aren't your children.'"


They can't change the past, Dr. Phil tells them, and they need to focus on moving beyond their pain to make the best decision for their 4- and 5-year-old kids.

 

Sarah contradicts herself, saying that Randy's opinion on the issue matters to her, but that she will tell the kids regardless.

Rather than go against her husband's wishes, Dr. Phil tells Sarah, "Make it a goal to persuade your husband that this is in fact a good thing to do, a healthy thing to do, a proper thing to do."


In any negotiation, Dr. Phil says, "my number one goal is to get the other side as much of what they want as I possibly can. Because the happier I make them, the better it is going to be for me, right?"


If Sarah tells the kids against Randy's will, she could destroy her marriage. "If you really care about those children, you will work hard to preserve your relationship with their father," Dr. Phil tells her. "I don't want you to alienate him in the process and make him feel even less involved in this than he was to begin with." She should not be putting her own needs and frustrations ahead of her kids.


Dr. Phil points out that both Randy and Sarah are in agreement that their two children are a huge blessing in their life. They are also in agreement that the children's interests need to come first.

Dr. Phil addresses Randy's concern that the children will take a step back from him if they find out he's not their biological father. "Your fear is so unfounded you cannot imagine," Dr. Phil says, explaining that fatherhood is far more than biology. "It's the fact that you're there. It's the fact that you feed them, you clothe them, you love them, you play with them, you pick them up, you hold them, you listen to them. Those are the things that cause that bond between the children and their parents."


In fact, telling the kids can help strengthen their bond. "They can feel a special love, a special bond by knowing that this was on purpose. It was purposeful and you worked hard at it, and that they are such a blessing and such a gift," Dr. Phil says.


Dr. Phil emphasizes that they need to be in agreement before they talk to their children. "The greatest gift you can give these children is a unified family that's built on love and caring instead of threats and hostility," Dr. Phil says.