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Young aunt refuses to take in orphaned niece; is 'ok with her going into foster care.'

Young aunt refuses to take in orphaned niece; is 'ok with her going into foster care.'


We know that when a person gets married, they're usually marrying their partner's family as well. But how far should one be expected to go for their inherited family?

One couple was faced with a difficult decision of whether or not to take in their recently orphaned niece. The husband, and blood relative to the little girl, wants to take her in but according to his wife, the OP, there are several reasons this isn't a good idea. However, the alternative is foster care. OP went to Reddit to ask:

AITA (am I the a-hole) for not wanting to take in my husbands niece and being ok with her going into foster care?

My husbands sister just died. She was an addict and she od’d. She left behind 2 kids, Rose (almost 17) and Lilly (7).

My (23f) husband (26m) is from California and we live on the east cost. My husbands only other family is his mom, who lives in her boyfriends small house. She’s retired and doesn’t make much. This is to say that they don’t have much room and can’t afford 2 kids.

The older girl Rose plans on sleeping on their couch till she goes off to college next year. That leaves Lilly. She’s staying with them for right now but MIL really can’t care for her long term due to a multitude of reasons, Mils boyfriend also said he wants her out of his house.

My husband and his mom want us to take Lilly so that she doesn’t go into foster care. I’m pretty against this for many reasons.

I don’t think my husband is responsible enough to be a parent. He cooks maybe 2-3 times a year, and when he’s not working he usually just wants to play videogames or relax. He’s in the military and he deploys once a year ish for 6+ months. I’m not willing to care for a child that isn’t even related to me alone for that long, I have other responsibilities.

When he isn’t deployed he often works 12-16 hour days. He also works the Night Shift and sleeps during the day. And he goes out of town for work often. I know that if we took Lilly in I would be the one making sacrifices to care for her, not my husband.

If we took her in I know that I would have to be her sole caretaker. I don’t even want kids and I don’t think it’s fair to expect me to basically adopt a 7 year old I’ve never met and am not even related to. She also has ADHD and some extreme behavioral issues.

AITA (am I the a-hole) for not wanting to take in my husbands niece?

Poor Lilly. But OP clearly has her reasons.

Here's what Reddit users had to say:

StressedBird says:

NTA (not the a-hole).However, I also don't think your husband would be the a-hole if he stepped up and chose her over you.

OP responded:

We talked about it. He doesn’t want to be a single parent, and said he doesn’t want to get divorced. I suggested I leave and he take her and he said no.

Well, that was unexpected.

charly_lenija laid it all out:

Let's be clear about this: your husband wants YOU to take care of his niece. Not you together, as a couple, but you alone. Because he is absolutely not willing to change his lifestyle or career, so absolutely everything would be up to you.

You told him you were ready to end the relationship so he could take care of his niece. He 'forbade' that. He cannot sign you up for a task and responsibility that he is not even willing to take on himself!

NTA (not the a-hole) But your husband is one - it is always easy to volunteer others. You can see true character by whether someone is also willing to do something themselves.

AndSoItGoes24 wants OP to understand how this may affect her marriage:

I understand your point, certainly. But, people divorce for much less than this. (I don't understand you saying you aren't related to this child, though? Your husband's niece is not your niece?)

At any rate, you have very valid concerns, most definitely. But, I know I'd leave my husband if he suggested one of our nieces and nephews go to foster care, rather than our care.

I have broken up with someone who suggested I get rid of my dog, after all. I'm not less devoted to children in our family. So, NTA. You aren't wrong. But, this as a personal decision has the potential to change your marriage.

Unfortuntately, there's not a simple solution to this one. OP and husband might not be the right parental figures for Lilly but is foster care the right choice?

Everyone seems understand where OP is coming from but the consensus is that her husband is the one that should be asking 'AITA'.

Sources: Reddit
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