Hunter Biden’s daughter out of wedlock could be at risk of severe psychological harm due to the Biden family’s rejection of her, experts tell Fox News Digital.
Hunter’s daughter with ex-stripper Lunden Roberts has been an ongoing source of controversy for the first family, but the way they have handled it has drawn criticism.
President Biden refuses to acknowledge his seventh grandchild’s existence, consistently saying publicly that he has six grandchildren, not seven. The president has reportedly gone so far as to instruct his staffers to repeat that.
Hunter, for his part, has refused to let his daughter take his last name and has gone to court to lower his child support payments to Roberts. He has reportedly never met his daughter with Roberts.
Fox News Digital asked several child psychologists about the psychological and emotional impact of a child being rejected by a family.
“If a birth parent or family member does not respond to, or denies, their child’s existence, this can trigger feelings of abandonment and grief,” clinical psychologist Dr. Staci Weiner told Fox News Digital.
“Children, in their natural and developmentally age-appropriate narcissism, believe what happens in the world is about them,” Weiner continued. “For example, ‘Why would my family reject me or not allow me to take the name unless I was bad?’
“The child may feel shame and insecurity due to the rejection, thinking it was their fault in some way,” she added. “This can result in poor self-worth, leading to difficulties in forming attachments, specifically, when deciding when to trust others in relationships.”
Dr. Roy Lubit, a former child psychiatry resident supervisor at the NYU School of Medicine’s department of psychiatry, told Fox News Digital the “impact on a child of a father (and his family) not wanting contact with a child and not wanting to recognize the connection to a child depends upon how the mother handles it.”
“If the mother says that the child’s father did not know the child existed until recently and the mother and father agreed it was in the best interests of the child for the child to have one home, and when the child is an adult he can approach the father if the child wishes, it is not likely to cause any significant harm, or even any harm,” Lubit added.
“If the mother tells a young child and makes it widely known publicly that the child is the biological child of a member of a prominent family and they are rejecting to the child, the child is at risk for dysphoric emotions and suffering damage to self-esteem and fears of rejection and abandonment in the future.”
While dating his brother’s widow in 2017, Hunter briefly shacked up with Washington D.C.-area stripper Roberts, who was then operating under the stage name “Dallas.”
Roberts become pregnant shortly after her encounter with the younger Biden and gave birth to their daughter in August 2018.
In May 2019, Roberts filed a paternity suit against Hunter Biden that was resolved in June of this year. As part of the deal, the younger Biden’s daughter will receive several pieces of art and a reduced monthly child support payment but will not get to take the Biden family name.
The president has gotten flak for the decision to not publicly acknowledge his granddaughter amid the highly-publicized custody battle, especially as he talks about his other grandchildren.
White House Christmas decorations included stockings for all the president’s other grandchildren, as well as his pets, but none for Hunter’s daughter with Roberts.
Additionally, White House aides have been told during strategy meetings that the president and first lady Jill Biden have six, not seven, grandchildren, two people familiar with the discussions told The New York Times earlier this month.
The White House once again refused to respond to questions about the president’s seventh grandchild during Wednesday’s press conference, earning more backlash from social media.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked specifically about a Saturday New York Times story about 4-year-old Navy Joan Roberts and whether the president considers her his granddaughter.
“There was a story in The New York Times over the weekend about Hunter Biden’s daughter in Arkansas. Does the president acknowledge this little girl as his granddaughter?” Wall Street Journal’s Catherine Lucey asked.
“I don’t have anything to share from here,” Jean-Pierre replied.
This interaction marked the second time Jean-Pierre refused to answer a question about Biden’s grandchild, and she faced intense pushback on Twitter.
Hunter Biden’s daughter is living in rural Arkansas with her mother and that side of the family.
Fox News Digital’s Jessica Chasmar and Lindsay Kornick contributed reporting.