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Gospel artist Kirk Franklin reunites with biological father after 53 years of separation

Grammy-winning gospel singer Kirk Franklin has joyfully reunited with his biological father, Richard Hubbard, after a remarkable 53-year separation, putting an end to years of unanswered questions about his parentage.

Franklin was adopted at the age of four by a woman from his church. He was born in Fort Worth, Texas. He thinks that because his birth mother was a young woman with no support system, she chose to abandon him. Franklin says that this poignant reunion opens a new chapter in his life.

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Although he was grateful for the things his adoptive mother did for him as a child, he felt there was a gap in his upbringing at some point. Franklin reportedly recalled how, despite her best efforts, she struggled to care for him as a widow and even made sacrifices for his piano lessons while depending on government assistance, per People.

He continued, feeling that he had grown more of a burden to her as he approached the ages of 12 to 13, he started to feel abandoned. Like many other teenagers who went on dates, his desire for independence played on him at the time, intensifying his feeling of displacement.

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When Franklin was six years old, he discovered a man whom he believed to be his real father. His biological mother made the introduction. He claimed that because he had grown up without a father, the encounter had made him feel angry and conflicted. “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.

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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.

His adoptive mother, however, has not shown the same expression of relief. Franklin has not spoken to her since the second paternity test confirmed Hubbard’s relationship with him because she is adamant that he is not Franklin’s real father.

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