“Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Drew Sidora dreams of the day her husband, Ralph Pittman, legally adopts her son, Josiah — aka “Jojo” — from a previous relationship.
But the 11-year-old is cool with the current situation, according to his stepdad.
“I took Jojo to the side and I asked him the question. I was like, ‘Do you want me to adopt you?’ And he said, ‘What would change?’ And I said, ‘Nothing would change.’” Pittman, 39, tells Page Six in an exclusive joint interview with Sidora, 37.
“And he said, ‘So why are we doing it then?’” the entrepreneur recounts.
“There’s no reason for us to do it. He already has my last name, so for Jojo, there’s no benefit that would actually come about adopting him — because he’s already mine.”
Pittman reversed his previous plan to adopt Josiah after discussing the matter with the preteen’s biological father, who seemed open to developing a deeper relationship with his son in the future.
This decision came after Sidora expressed on “RHOA” her ardent desire for the adoption to take place as her ex doesn’t play an active role in co-parenting.
“In a perfect world, I would love for Ralph just to come in and make that commitment. But I want it to be Ralph’s decision. I would never want to force him to do it and … then he ends up having resentment,” explains the “Winner” singer, who wed Pittman in 2014.
“I don’t want that to be the case. So I have tabled that conversation. Of course, in the future, I would love for that to happen,” she adds. “I do understand to an extent what Ralph is saying. And I’ve just chosen to accept that and see where we end up.”
However, Sidora can’t help but worry about what might happen to Josiah if, “God forbid, something happens to me,” she says.
“Legally, what happens?” Sidora then asks, turning to her husband: “I would want you to be able to have that custody of him.”
Pittman asserts that Josiah will “always” be his son regardless of circumstance. “I don’t need to go and adopt him legally in order to show that he’s my son,” he says confidently. “He’s already my son. He calls me dad.”
The handsome “Househusband” — who also shares two young children, Machai and Aniya, with Sidora — doesn’t want to jeopardize his relationship with Josiah by making a decision without the middle schooler’s participation.
“One thing I would hate the most is for Jojo to get older and have that come-to-Jesus talk with his father and say, ‘Why weren’t you in my life?’ And then the father says, ‘Well, because they actually stripped me away from you,’” he says.
“I always say this. I can teach Jojo a lot. But where he is, who he is, biologically, I can’t teach him that. I can’t teach him where his roots are.”
But he can “love him,” Pittman points out — and is open to revisiting adoption conversations when Josiah is ready.
“Jojo’s 11 and he’s extremely bright and intelligent. He’s at the point where he knows exactly what he likes and what he doesn’t like. So if Jojo came and said, ‘Dad, I want you to adopt me because I understand what adoption means and this is exactly why I want to do it,’ then we can go ahead and have that conversation,” he tells us.
“But that should be Jojo’s decision 100 percent,” Pittman continues, Sidora nodding in agreement. “And it should be something that’s well thought out, that’s not influenced by anybody else, but something that he genuinely wants considering all the different dynamics — also considering his biological father.”
Pittman details the triumphs and challenges of his step-parenting journey in his forthcoming book, “The Step in Parenting,” in stores Jan. 31, 2023.
“I’m married to a woman who has a child who’s not biologically mine. That’s challenging,” he admits. “When you have a biological kid together, typically it’s 50/50, right? When you are a stepparent, you don’t have a voice. You’ve got to earn the right to have a voice and that voice, a lot of the times, will never be equal to your mate.”
The new author elaborates, “You have to prepare yourself because there’s not an instruction manual that can teach you how to be a stepparent — and I’m just trying to help by sharing my experiences.”
For more from Pittman and Sidora, check out this week’s episode of Page Six’s “Virtual Reali-Tea” podcast.
“The Real Housewives of Atlanta” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.