Growing up, Amy Tam lied about her father to her friends.
"My parents are just separated," she'd tell her friends at highschool, embarrassed to admit that she didn't know much at all about the paternal side of her family.
It had always been a no-go topic in her household, so much so her mother would get frustrated and upset when she'd bring up the topic.
It had always just been the two of them, but as soon as she started primary school she realised she was different.
WATCH: Amy Tam will appear on Insight tonight. Post continues after video.
"I remember a teacher told the class 'we don't make judgements about people from different families' and everyone turned to me and I was like 'oh, me?' I thought it wasn't such a big deal, but everyone in the class seemed to be attuned to the fact I was different," Amy told Mamamia.
Amy started to become so aware of her lack of 'dad,' it started consume her thoughts. At least her classmates that were from divorced families still knew who their parents were. Most of them still had some kind of contact as well. How could she not even know who hers was?
When she got to high school, she started off being honest with her peers "but I felt like I got such a negative reaction, and people would pity me," said Amy. "So I made up so many lies. No one probably gave [the stories of my dad] the time of day, but I would think about it constantly."
At home, under constant questioning, Amy's mum had, over time, finally given her some bare minimum information: Her dad lived in the UK, one of his parents was Chinese and the other was English, he was vegetarian, and he and her mother had had a short-term relationship that didn't work out because he didn't want kids.