I promised to keep her secret but I think it should be told

Dear Amy: 52 years ago my sister shared a secret with me on condition that I not tell anyone.

She has five children, two of them with her first husband. The secret is that the other three were conceived with three different men while she was married to this husband.

I feel guilty for keeping this secret and that my adult nieces and nephews have a fundamental right to know their truth.

Her fear of being rejected by her children once they know the truth keeps her calm. Besides, she sees no reason to upset so many families.

Is it her secret to keep from her five grown children?

The letters I read in your column make it clear that with the spread of DNA testing, it is ultimately only a matter of time before it is revealed.

Is it my secret to tell?

Her thoughts?

Not my secret?

Dear distress: Knowing a secret doesn’t make it yours. So you must not share this secret.

Yes, your sister’s adult children have the right to know her DNA heritage. Your sister is the person who should tell them.

She can either tell them herself and hope to control the narrative, or wait for the inevitable DNA search to uncover the truth.

Keep in mind that when one of the three affected siblings (or their children) registers on a DNA site, it confuses it with other DNA relatives out there (e.g. Tangled Web.

You could help your sister if you offer to discuss this with her and reassure her that you will continue to offer emotional support.

Dear Amy: I work for a small spa. Over the past eight years, my family and the owners’ family have become friends. We have small children who play together.