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In his new book Shotgun Angels: My Story of Broken Roads and Unshakable Hope, Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts reveals that when he was in his early 20s, his then-girlfriend of one month, Maggie, got pregnant the first time they slept together. She placed the baby girl for adoption, even though DeMarcus wanted to be part of his child’s life.

Jay wrote, “We’d had sex one time, but I knew it. I knew she was pregnant. Maggie and I discussed many options, including getting married and raising the child ourselves, but we quickly determined we’d be making that decision for the wrong reason. Abortion was never an option, so we began to discuss adoption.”

He adds: “It became evident that Maggie wanted nothing to do with me. There was no interest in the two of us somehow working things out so we might raise our child together.”

As reported in People, Demarcus wrote in the book, “From the very beginning, I wanted to be in [my baby’s] life. But her mother, Maggie, didn’t want either one of us in her life. That was a hard pill to swallow. I understand that sometimes life sends us reeling because of unexpected situations. But my heart in that moment, though scared, still desired to be in this beautiful child’s life.”

He admits that he thinks about his daughter, now in her 20s, every day and wonders if she knows his identity.

“My heart finds satisfaction in knowing that she ended up with a wonderful family, but I’ve had to live with this my entire life,” Jay writes. “The adoptive family was supposed to give her a letter when she turned 14, explaining that I loved her, did not abandon her, and have tried several ways to make it possible to be in her life.”

DeMarcus married Allison Alderson in 2004. The couple have two kids: Madeline Leigh, who is nine, and Dylan Jay, who is seven.

Hanging with my friends on the @todayshow this morning to talk about my new book, #ShotgunAngels! Tune in at 10:30AM CT. Pre-order it now at shotgunangelsbook.com

1,497 Likes, 43 Comments - Jay DeMarcus (@jaydemarcus) on Instagram: "Hanging with my friends on the @todayshow this morning to talk about my new book, #ShotgunAngels!..."

Jay’s book Shotgun Angels: My Story of Broken Roads and Unshakable Hope is out today.

-Nancy Brooks