A young man found out that his sister-in-law was going to prison. His wife wants to take in her niece and nephews, but he only wants the young boys!
The Future Is Bright
OP (Original Poster) is a young man in his late 20s and has been married to his wife, also in her late 20s, for the past two years. He had just finished his advanced degree, and they were discussing having children as they got into their 30s.
That was when OP found out that his wife’s sister was going to prison for selling drugs to “support her habit.” His wife sat him down and told him that they would be adopting her three children, a girl who was 14 and two boys, aged 4 and 5.
His sister-in-law was looking at a “lot of time” because this wasn’t her first time dealing drugs. Unfortunately, no one else in his wife’s family was in a situation where they could afford to take in any of the three children.
OP admitted that he was in shock when this all happened. He didn’t know anything about CPS or adoption laws or anything to do with raising children, “much less troubled children.”
Not Entirely Opposed
OP said that he wanted two conditions before agreeing to take in any of the children. The first is that if OP and his wife were legally responsible, they would adopt the children so they could parent them as they saw fit.
The Other Condition
OP didn’t want “50 people looking over his shoulder, telling him what to do” regarding the kids. His final condition was that they wouldn’t take in the older child, the 14-year-old girl.
A Reason for Everything
OP didn’t want to take the older girl because of her age. He felt the two boys were young enough for OP and his wife to help them.
He said, “The two boys have not had any rules in their lives and are terrors, but they’re still young and can be taught right from wrong.”
Not Just Older
Age wasn’t the only problem that OP had with the niece. She was also trouble.
He wrote, “The girl has gone past the point of no return. She’s been suspended from school several times for things like fighting and smoking illegal substances on school grounds.”
The Company You Keep
Another issue the girl had was dating a known gang member. So, in addition to stealing from her entire family, her boyfriend was also a criminal who had committed a home invasion.
He had gotten out of jail due to his age and the fact it was his first offense. Another point that OP clarified in a different post was that the boyfriend was 22, and the girl was 14.
There was more to the story, but OP said he couldn’t post it. He had posted before and added more details about the boyfriend, and his post had been taken down by the moderators because it was so bad.
An Inkling of What’s Going On
OP wanted to make it clear that he knew what had been going on and what was happening with the kids’ mother. He had also been under the impression that his wife’s parents were going to be the ones to take the kids in.
Someone Has to Help
When OP’s wife’s parents decided they were too old to care for the children, that’s when OP’s wife stepped in. He and her were the only two in her family in a financial situation, allowing them to take on the added expense.
OP’s wife didn’t ask him about the situation; she had already said yes. When OP realized that it didn’t matter if he said no, he decided that they could only take care of the two boys, which started the latest round of arguments.
A Marriage in Crisis
The problem had been going on for a week, with OP and his wife not even “sleeping in the same bed.” He didn’t want the risk to their financial and physical safety, and his wife argued that not taking her would be the same as throwing her away, which she couldn’t do.
A Serious Concern
OP didn’t want to “throw the girl away” either, but he also didn’t want to open his home to her problems and lifestyle. His wife had countered that by saying if they didn’t take her in, she would go to foster care, and he reminded her that they would all go if they didn’t take the boys.
Not a Father
He had never raised kids and didn’t think he could handle the baggage the teenager would bring. He said the situation made him feel like he was “outside looking in on his whole life as it spun out of control.”
OP also made it clear he was very thankful that social workers and people with experience on the legal side had commented and offered advice.
What Reddit Has to Say
A lot of the commenters thought the OP was an a**hole because of the terminology he used, saying the girl was “past the point of no return,” and accused him of being biased.
The top comment was from a social worker, and it shed a lot more light on the situation, “As a social worker for CPS, a cautious not the a**hole. But you must tread carefully because your ‘demands’ may not align with reality. Four and five-year-olds raised in a chaotic and traumatizing environment will have some behavioral problems, which you are relating to ‘running wild.’ That may not be as easy to fix. They will need extensive therapy. Whether you adopt them or not will not be up to you. You can ask it. But you won’t be able to demand it or expect it. It will be the choice of a judge. Based on how much or little the parents comply with CPS requirements, how long the prison term is, etc. I would expect that you will be fostering the kids for at least 12 months before you are allowed to start adoption procedures—depending on where you live. And yes, the courts and social workers will be up your a** during that time. And six months after the adoption takes place.”
Another Redditor noted how detached some of the community was, saying, “Not the a**hole. Reddit users love living in a fancy fantasy bubble without considering real life. Taking two extra kids would already be a back-breaking struggle for all regular folks—assuming you’re not some daddy millionaire. Realistically speaking, you won’t be able to do anything for the teenager—simply because she won’t want to and because you won’t have the time and resources. Also, last time I checked, you didn’t sign up for any of this, nor did you decide to make your wife’s sister sell drugs, so it’s already more than nice and understanding of you to take in two five-year-olds.”
The Other Side
Still, many Redditors had a big problem with OP and what he was saying and wrote page-length comments detailing how horrible of a person they thought he was.
One of the shorter comments was, “You’re the a**hole. You are not the right one to care for these kids.”
However, another user countered, saying, “A 14-year-old with gang affiliation, substance use, major trauma, and behavioral concerns is not something most people with good intentions are equipped for. You can’t just ‘love and therapy’ all of those issues away. This kid sounds like she needs a higher level of care than you are equipped for, so you aren’t wrong for recognizing that you can’t give her what she needs. She needs an experienced parent with trauma-informed skills and a ton of one-on-one attention. You aren’t an a**hole for having this boundary and understanding your limitations. And any social worker would tell you that. But do be prepared that taking the boys will not be as easy as you imagine. And you will not be able to demand adoption. If you take them, it will be a trial run. Heavily supervised. And maybe adoption will happen later. Reconsider your plans based on that knowledge, and decide if you are still willing. And call your social worker! You may not be interested at all once you see what the plan will look like.”
Do you think OP was wrong for not wanting to take the niece? Should he have said it differently, or was it his position in totality that was to blame?
More From Quote Ambition
This Redditor turned to the community for advice after being called out for being a horrible woman for not wanting to raise a baby born from her ex-husband’s affair. Was she wrong to refuse?
An Entitled Woman Refused to Vacate His Assigned Seat on a Five-Hour Flight. So, He Kicked and Yanked the Chair Every Two Minutes, Ensuring There’s “Extra Turbulence” All Flight Long!
He got annoyed when a woman wouldn’t budge and get off his assigned plane seat, saying she was “already comfortable.” So, he devised a plan to make sure she’d regret every second of it!
She Left Her Cousin’s Wedding and Took Her $1,000 Gift Back After the Groom’s Family Ruined Her Dress for Being “Inappropriate.” They Want the Money Back, but It’s Too Late
OP (Original Poster) was stoked to attend her favorite cousin’s wedding. However, little did she know it would become one of the worst experiences of her life yet!
A Woman Noticed Their Security Cameras Glitched Only When Her Husband Was Home Alone. He Flipped Out After Being Confronted, but She Wants to Get to the Bottom of Things!
This Redditor’s home security cameras kept on glitching whenever her husband was home alone. Suspicious of what was causing this, she asked her husband, but instead of remaining calm, he got defensive!
He Begged His Neighbors to Extinguish Their Fire So His Dying Dog Could Spend One Last Day Outdoors, but They Showed No Sympathy. So, He Ensured They Learned Their Lesson!
He only wanted to give his dog a day in his backyard before putting her down. However, things didn’t go as planned when his neighbors decided to light a fire so close to them!
This post first appeared as He’s Adopting His Wife’s Nephews but Refuses to Do the Same for Her 14-Year-Old Troubled Niece. She’s “Past the Point of No Return” and Is a Disaster Waiting to Happen! on Quote Ambition.