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Accepting child/children from a previous marriage

Marie and Livi’s marriage is a year and 6 months old and Marie is expecting her first child with Livi. However, they live with two other children from Livi’s first marriage. His first wife left him with two kids, aged eight and five, and got married to another man.

Livi thought he could take care of these children and raise them alone but at some point, he realized he couldn’t. Then he met Marie, whom the children later became fond of and started addressing as ‘Mummy’. A few months into their relationship, Marie got used to the children, and Livi was happy that he had gotten another ‘mum’ for his kids.

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Marie treats the kids with love despite side talks and bad advice from friends and family who warned against it. She is determined to nurture and shower them with all the love they deserved.

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In this part of the world, especially in Nigeria, raising children that are not biologically yours can be a very daunting task. As such, it needs time, patience, understanding, and sometimes their trust.

LifeXtra sought some people’s opinion on the issue.

Mercy Edeh, married with two kids, said “It’s not easy accepting another woman’s children at all. What I’d do is to take my time and study them for a while; then I’ll reach out to them fully but I will welcome them as soon as they enter my house.

“I’ll also try to treat them the way I’d treat my biological children because it’s not their fault that they are in the situation they find themselves,” she added.

Jonathan Edor, single, says if his wife tells him before they get married that she had a child before they met, he will accept the child.

“What I would hate is when she tells me after we’ve gotten married that she has a son or a daughter. It will make me lose the trust I had in her.”

“It is a very sensitive issue; as such it should be discussed before tying the knot. So before we get married, she has to tell me all that I need to know including having a child or not.”

When LifeXtra asked him if he would do the same, he said “If I expect her to reveal things to me; especially matters as sensitive as this, I’ll also do the same because it’s a two way thing.”

The article “Becoming a stepparent” by Maia Noeder on kidshealth.com stated “Start Slow – The initial role of a stepparent is that of another caring adult in a child’s life, similar to a loving family member or mentor. You may desire a closer bond right away, and might wonder what you’re doing wrong if your new stepchild doesn’t warm up to you or your kids as quickly as you’d like. But relationships need time to grow.”

“Start out slow and try not to rush into things. Let things develop naturally – kids can tell when adults are being fake or insincere. Over time, you can develop a deeper, more meaningful relationship with your stepchildren, which doesn’t necessarily have to resemble the one they share with their birth parents,” the article added.

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