After years of unanswered questions about his parentage, Grammy-winning gospel singer Kirk Franklin has been joyfully reunited with his biological father, Richard Hubbard, after a remarkable 53-year separation.
Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Franklin was adopted by a woman from his church at the age of four. He believes that his birth mother was a teenager who lacked the means to raise him, thus, the decision to abandon him. This emotional reunion, according to Franklin, marks a significant chapter in his life.
Though appreciative of what his adoptive mother did for him while growing up, he felt there was a gap at some point in his upbringing. Despite her best efforts as a widow, Franklin recalled how she struggled to provide for him and even made sacrifices for his piano lessons while relying on government aid, according to People.
He continued that as he turned 12 to 13 years old, he began to feel abandoned, sensing that he had become more of a burden to her. His desire for independence like many teenagers who went on dates played on him, deepening his sense of displacement during that time.
Franklin learned of a man he thought was his real father when he was six years old. The introduction was made by his biological mother. He claimed the encounter left him feeling angry and conflicted because he had grown up without a father. “I didn’t see him again until I was 13 and then he started showing up at concerts after my first album came out,” he said to People. “I was angry at the fact that I did not have a father and he would dare show up once my life seemed to have some sense of order. Same for my biological mother.”
The man he thought was his biological father passed away some years ago. It was while working on his new album that he found his actual biological dad. Franklin said one of his singers said she had a conversation at a funeral with a man who claimed to have dated Franklin’s mother in the past. Subsequently, Franklin reached out to this man and a paternity test confirmed a 99% chance that Hubbard was indeed his biological father, who also resided in Fort Worth.
He said he still gets mixed feelings knowing that all these years he craved parental guidance, his father lived in the same city as him. He explained that he struggled with parental love, intimacy, faith, and identity, all of which were significantly impacted by his search for his biological father, Hubbard. He expressed relief that the answer to his identity was found so close to him.
But, the same relief hasn’t been expressed by his adoptive mother. She remains adamant that Hubbard is not Franklin’s real father and, as a result, Franklin has not had any contact with her since the second paternity test confirmed Hubbard’s relationship with him.