All he wanted was for his family to treat his stepdaughter as if she were his own, but that’s just something his father can’t do. When will he be able to accept her?
The Couple’s Pact
Eight years ago, before sharing this story, OP (Original Poster) married his wife. At that time, they both had a kid from their past relationships, and they swore they would adopt each other’s child and love them like their own.
The couple had two more biological children together.
Her First Real Family
OP described his stepdaughter as a “product” of an unpleasant event that caused his wife to be estranged from her family. That means his side of the family is the only “normal” one that his stepkid has ever had.
Nice to Their Niece
Fortunately, OP’s sisters are supportive and love his stepdaughter like their biological niece. They always make sure to include her in things that involve his biological children.
Way Out of Line
However, his dad is the complete opposite and has been “toxic” about the situation. He told OP that he didn’t need to marry a woman who already had a child, even though he also had one.
OP added, “On top of that, he once secretly DNA tested my oldest son and let me know about it after the fact that I was ‘in the clear.’”
OP explained to his father that his stepchild is his daughter in every way except biologically. But his dad opposed it and showed it by buying his biological grandchildren nicer gifts, not sending any presents to OP’s stepdaughter on her birthday, and other things.
Guilt and Shame
By then, OP’s stepkid was already highly aware of OP’s parents’ attitude toward her. Because of that, OP has apologized to her often and tried to make it up to her.
Is It Finally Over?
Eventually, OP’s parents stopped excluding his stepdaughter, so he thought they’d already come around. But a week before OP posted this story on Reddit, they did it again, only worse.
Funding Their Grandchildren’s Education
They had organized a Zoom meeting for everyone in the family, and OP’s father announced that he and OP’s mom were in possession of some money. They said they would start a college fund, which would be more than enough for their grandkids’ tuition.
With that announcement, OP was shocked because, frankly, they had a lot of grandkids! His sisters had many children between the two of them, and he had four kids alone.
After several minutes, OP’s excitement faded as he came to his senses and asked his father if he was sure he meant “all of his grandkids.” His dad, however, assured OP that he did.
Excluded Once Again
Sadly, when OP went to the bank with his father to sign a few documents for setting up the accounts, he discovered that his stepdaughter didn’t have any paperwork for hers. His dad just shrugged at his realization and reasoned that it was his money, and he wanted to help “his” grandchildren.
So, OP tore up the paperwork and told his father they didn’t need any of his money.
When OP got home, he realized that what he did may have been a mistake and that he might have deprived his three kids of a headstart in life. This was all because he wanted to make things fair for his stepdaughter.
Too Late for That Solution
Aside from that, he also realized that he and his wife could have just saved for his stepchild and matched the amount the other kids had in their accounts as best as they could.
He wrote, “But now I am too angry and proud to go back to ask my dad for the money. Am I the a**hole here?”
Redditors’ Opinions on the Matter
Redditors think that even though OP’s dad’s behavior is unacceptable, he still should have accepted the money for his biological kids since college is expensive. But some believe that since OP already adopted his stepdaughter, she’s already legally part of the family and, therefore, deserves equal treatment.
The top commenter wrote, “Everyone sucks here because you are f****** over your biological kids. Hell, if he was paying for the college funds, you can put your money towards the stepdaughter, and she will have a good college fund. Your biological kids get college funds from him, and you provide a college fund for your stepkid. Everyone has a college fund in the end. Now, you have zero college funds. Everyone is screwed now. Free money is free money. College is so expensive.”
Another person opposed the previous comment, saying, “Money is never free. When a stepchild is adopted, the ‘step’ gets dropped. That’s the whole point. Trades are where it’s at.”
A Terrible Mistake
Some people believe OP is at fault and pointed out the consequences of his actions. One even suggested that he beg his father to get the funds back.
A Redditor wrote, “This is a really difficult one to call, but I’m going to have to say you’re the a**hole. It’s his estate, and he can divide and distribute it as he pleases. You could have allowed them to have that money and then just focused your own efforts on your stepdaughter. If your kids now have to take on student loans because you did this, you have done a real disservice to your family.”
Another one said, “You’re the a**hole. Apologize and get those accounts set up for three of your kids. As a father, you have to do what is right for your kids, and that means swallowing your pride sometimes. You can always help your daughter, and it will be easier now that your other three kids are taken care of.”
Although OP should have accepted the funds in the first place, his father was still unfair to his stepdaughter, and Redditors think his behavior was disgusting. Some suggested OP cut contact with his parents.
One person said, “Not the a**hole. Clearly, your dad is. But you have deprived your other children, so I think if it were possible, just matching for your other daughter yourselves would’ve been a better solution. I wouldn’t associate with your parents anymore anyway. Not only did he do this, but he also assured you that it was for all the grandkids, knowing exactly what you meant, so he was obviously getting some kind of jollies on not telling you and seeing your reaction when you saw. Sick.”
Another commented, “I’m really surprised that there’s so many you’re the a**hole votes. This felt like a very public attempt to get OP to exclude his own daughter. I honestly don’t understand why some people are acting like the money is gone. The grandfather still has the money! He can still make an account for them! Why does he need OP’s approval to still save that money? If it’s really about the grandfather wanting to provide for his biological grandkids, he can still do that. But this was a power play. He wants OP to choose money over his daughter. I’m very proud of him standing up against that s***. And you’re right; this money sure as hell wasn’t free.”
Do you think OP made a mistake? What would you do if you were him?
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This post first appeared as He Refused to Accept Any of His Children’s College Funds After His Dad Excluded His Stepdaughter, Saying She’s Not “His” Grandchild. But They’re Just Screwing All the Kids Over! on Quote Ambition.