I started writing my epic fantasy trilogy never having really read (epic) fantasy before. Two paragraphs into the prologue I realized I would have to research a lot of medieval fantasy things, so without a second thought I decided to make my world technologically modern (smartphones, internet, maglev trains, etc) using the Pokémon world as a guide and kept all the basic story elements the same.
The underlying conflict is basically R+L=J from ASOIAF. There was a rebellion against the empire and a (gay) rebel soldier rescued the baby prince and raised him as his son. Twelve years later there are loyalists trying to restore the fallen empire.
The original plan was for the soldier to rescue and raise the baby prince because he’s gay and wouldn’t be having kids the old fashion way, and because of the historical setting he wouldn’t be out and it would be assumed he had his son with some random woman or she died in childbirth or something (same “who’s Jon Snow’s mother” question). But over the years I’ve been writing the story without much thought as to how the modern setting changes the original plan. I’ve written about 140k words so far (projected 300k+) and the dad is out to his son and anyone who asks because their local region is basically my world’s Southern California, but I’m unsure what to do about the mother’s (and biological father’s) identity. The son definitely wants to know about his mother, but since he knows his dad’s gay, I don’t know if he’ll assume he’s adopted and biologically related, conceived through a donor/surrogate, or his dad had him with some unknown (to him) woman.
I would prefer the son to believe they’re biologically related until the end, making adoption (i.e. non-biological guardianship) the least preferred option—but perhaps the most likely knowing his “dad” is gay. Since it’s my world, I know technically I can make it any way I want and not have adoption be “a thing,” but that seems like a cop-out explanation and I would like to have a better/more plausible explanation, if possible.
Any ideas as how/why I could have the son not consider adoption? Or a non-handwavy reason why adoption (legal or otherwise) doesn’t exist such as ancestry being very important even among the commoners in my “modern” world? If there doesn’t seem to be a good way, I’ll probably have to go with the son assuming his dad slept with some woman despite being gay (which is its own can of worms). “I’ll tell you about your mom when I come back” has already been done, so I’ll have to figure out my own explanation. Stephen King has said he gets “the big bucks” because he’s able to figure out how to get his characters out of seemingly impossible situations, but I’m no Stephen King and won’t get paid a penny for this.