*El Debarge once opened up about his struggles to reconnect with his 12 children and why he lost one of them.
In an interview with Jet magazine, El discussed his kids (11 biological and one he’s accepted as his own) by 5 different mothers (3 of whom he was married to). After overcoming a 22-year drug habit that largely kept him away from his kids, El revealed:
“I intend to be in their lives forever. God gave me a second chance. I am so very glad with what is going on with my career, but I want to be a success in my relationship with my children”, DeBarge says.
He also recalled how he lost his 3-year-old daughter: “I have one child that I lost to the system when I was on drugs”, he admits to JET over the phone. He believes that the girl has been adopted. “I don’t know where she is.”
El also spoke on two other children he’d never met at that time (2010):
“I know where they are. But so many years have gone by. They know their dad is El DeBarge … I am trying to earn their trust again. I am calling and texting … It’s kind of hard; they got used to me not being around.” He admits, “I lost them. I am trying to reconnect with them. From that point, it is hard on me emotionally.”
According to ILOSM, El reconnected with his oldest daughter, Adris (pictured above on her wedding day), when she was in her late 20’s and he said this about having been a teenage dad: “I was in no way ready when my daughter was born. But I want to be a good father to her.”
Adris on reconnecting with her dad, El:
“It is brand new and I am enjoying it to the fullest”, she says. “What gives me so much joy and so much pride right now at this point in our lives is to just watch him and be able to see him sober and happy, so happy and whole. It really is such a gift to have him around.”
El’s brother, singer Chico Debarge, said he admires El for owning up to his wrongs and making genuine efforts to do right by his children.
“He [El] is very attentive, he is on it. He is reaching out to them and communicating with them on all levels. If they are angry, he lets them vent that out. I’ve seen him do that. He lets them get it out. He is trying to catch up on all the years he missed. He is trying to make up for what he didn’t do and give them what he can right now,” Chico told Jet Magazine.