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Man refuses to reconnect with siblings after putting them in foster care. AITA?

Man refuses to reconnect with siblings after putting them in foster care. AITA?

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"AITA for refusing to apologize for my siblings for being the reason we went into foster care?"

SeparatePop7790

So when I (27M) was 14 I had reached a breaking point within my family. My parents had me and my three younger siblings who at the time were 11, 10 and 8. The word parent does not describe them at all.

They were never around, they expected me to "chip in and be the oldest" which in my parents language meant they expected me to be independent and raise my siblings for them.

They did not provide enough food for us, they would go away for days at a time and leave us without anyone looking out for us. My parents would say I could get a job if we wanted more food or clothes or anything.

It started when I was really young and my siblings would have nightmares and our parents would send them to me. It then turned into a young version of me walking my sister to school every day without either parent and we didn't get the bus either.

Around the time I got social workers involved my siblings all became more clingy with me and had more expectations for what they wanted life to be like and they wanted me to take care of them.

That was the dynamic our parents set up for us and the more conscious my siblings got about what we lacked compared to kids our ages, the more they expected me to do more. Most nights were a fight where they wanted to sleep in my room with me and I wanted space.

They didn't want to learn how to do some stuff for themselves, they wanted me to do it. They wanted me to baby them. My youngest sibling called me dad a couple of times and I told them to stop. It upset them but I was already dealing with so much stress.

My best friend's aunt was a social worker at the time and I knew that. So, one day, I didn't go home after school and I went to his house and asked him to help me talk to his aunt.

From there we went to her and I told her everything about my parents lack of care for us and my siblings over attachment to me and how I was starting to hate everyone because I didn't want to be a dad.

I told her to come to our house and she saw the bad conditions for herself. From there, she made some calls and another social worker was called out and we were removed from the home (it wasn't as fast as that but to sum it up).

I was placed with my best friend's family and my siblings went to a different foster home. The separation was seen as being in my best interest and I was so glad for it. We never got placed together after that and our parents never tried to get us back.

I did make contact twice but my siblings still expected me to take over the role our parents should have filled and I wouldn't and couldn't do it. Now we're all adults and we aged out of foster care. We got back in touch recently and they are so angry that I was the one to report our parents.

They said staying together with me looking after them would have been better than foster care and they demanded an apology. I told them I couldn't apologize for something I don't regret. They called me a monster and said I should be ashamed of myself. AITA?

Here were the top rated comments from readers:

Comfortable-Sea-2454

NTA - YOU have nothing to apologize for.

"Now we're all adults and we aged out of foster care.

We got back in touch recently and they are so pissed that I was the one to report our parents. They said staying together with me looking after them would have been better than foster care and they demanded an apology.

I told them I couldn't apologize for something I don't regret. They called me a monster and said I should be ashamed of myself." They either can't, or won't, understand that it would have been impossible for you to continue the way you were going.

The OP responded here:

SeparatePop7790

I think it's a little of both. They can't understand because they had me to fall back on and I had nobody and maybe they won't because our parents twisted them into believing I bore more responsibility for them than I ever actually had. For them, it's like the parent that just chose to give their kids away because they wanted something different. They don't see that I was a kid too.

LimitlessMegan

The thing is: you were all traumatized. All of this comes from trauma. You could maybe say to them: I’m really sorry foster care was hard for you, I never wanted that. The sad reality is that there was no option where we are all happy, well cared for and not traumatized.

They were all bad options, and that’s in our parents not me. I might be the easy scapegoat, but it’s not my fault and I’m not apologizing for doing the best I could as a child.

myBOfuelsmissiles

NTA. Frankly, with your parents being so absent, foster care was inevitable anyway. What would have happened in the event of a medical emergency warranting hospital?

A parent teacher conference being called? Any teacher noticing the kids weren’t eating? They can be angry with your garbage parents. You were a child just like them. It is shockingly selfish of them to demand you sacrifice yourself.

A barely teenage boy cannot sustain a family of 4. Your siblings are grown. They know exactly how young you were and that hasn’t changed their perspective. They don’t care about you.

The OP again responded:

SeparatePop7790

Teachers noticed some stuff but played it off as some parents don't bother showing up to parent teacher conferences. The food stuff was brushed off as us being poor. Other kids in my school suffered so I know it was less obvious. Signs were definitely ignored but boxed in with lots of other families.

infiniteanomaly

The siblings are adults now. If an adult can't look back and realize a 14 y/o shouldn't and can't effectively be the sole provider for 4 people, they need to get therapy not blame another victim in the situation who helped end the situation.

So, do you think the OP is in the wrong here? If you could give them any advice, what would you say?

Sources: Reddit
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