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'AITA for refusing to allow my husband to adopt my son?' UPDATED

'AITA for refusing to allow my husband to adopt my son?' UPDATED


"AITA for saying no when my husband asked to adopt my son?"

I'm (26F) married to my husband of two years, Devon (30M), I have a son named Levi (5M) from a previous relationship. Devon has known him his whole life, Levi's father and I were together until he went missing before our son was born. Devon loves Levi with all of his heart, and Levi loves him too, I know it. Levi looks a lot like his father and while I'll always love him, I've moved on from the relationship.

He was a big adventurer and I often talk about him with Levi, I show him photos and he visits his dad's family pretty frequently, he knows he's ''daddy'' while Devon is ''papa'' or ''Devon'' depending on his mood, either way, he's his father figure. We do receive money from my ex's side, his father takes care of some of Levi's expenses, but that's not the issue here.

Three days ago, Devon asked me about adopting Levi, he wants to give him his surname and become his legal parent. I said no. He was devastated by this, but I don't think I'm ready or that it's even fair.

We can legally do it but I don't wanna. I said he could hyphenate Levi's last name with his, but he wants to fully adopt him, he said my ex's parents can still be a part of his life, he doesn't have any problem but I said he could ask when Levi was older and that if he says yes, then I'm okay with it, but in the meantime my answer is no.

He's been distant ever since and now and I might be wondering if I was an AH for crushing his hopes, I called my sister to ask her opinion and she said I was because this is the only father Levi has known all of his life and I'm taking something big from him.

Edit for clarification: My ex went missing. MISSING. he didn't abandoned me, he didn't walked out, he went missing. I don't care about your theories or if you think he did so save it. That's not what I'm asking here. Be respectful at least.

What do you think? AITA for not letting her husband adopt her son, until her son is old enough to make that decision himself?

This is what top commenters had to say about it:


NTA your son should decide when he is older.


NAH. This is not a textbook situation where a path is clear-cut to provide a straight up answer. The main point is there is a lot of love in this relationship, which is key. But OP right to maintain the status-quo until the child can decide for themselves. Personally, it would be impolite to change the child’s name when his dads family is active in his life. It should ultimately be a decision for Levi to make


NTA, it something that you son should have a say in, and waiting until he's older so that he understand that it's means is a kind thing to do. I understand your husband's intentions, but this is something that need input from your son.


NAH though I’m actually leaning slightly towards Y T A. Might get downvoted for this rating but I stand by it because the very first reason that you gave was that you’re “not ready”. You decided against the adoption and didn’t actually talk to the people that this might be unfair towards (Levi, his bio grandparents).

You only vaguely said “when Levi is older” that this can be revisited, and I get it. But why can’t it be now? He’s too young? Is he really? Also from the way Devon is reacting (which is very fair in my honest opinion, he clearly loves Levi as his own and his concerns about how he might feel left out is valid and comes from a genuine place), it seems the way you communicated that decision went badly as well.

As all the others have pointed out, your husband is all that Levi has ever known. This might sound harsh but “Daddy” lives in pictures and in your retellings of him. “Daddy” only exists in abstract. “Papa” is what is actually real to Levi. You are denying making this relationship one that is legally recognised on what basis?

On you. On your perception of whether it’s fair to Levi’s father’s memory. On the grandparents. On the past. Not what is fair to Levi. Not what is fair to Devon. You didn’t think Levi’s father would disappear. Anything can happen.

What if that “anything” is that something were to happen to you? Because Devon has no legal responsibility to Levi, will Levi be ripped from the family he knows because it “isn’t fair”?

Do some soul-searching. Talk to the Levi’s grandparents. Talk to your son. He is 5. Even if you don’t agree for the adoption to happen right this minute, doesn’t mean the topic cannot open now.

Commenters are divided, although more people are leaning towards NTA.

OP later responded with this update and to answer some questions:

1.) In the case that I die or something happens to me (at the moment) Levi goes to my family, most likely my sister and my ex's family and Devon can keep contact.

2.) I won't ask my son right now if he wants to be adopted because he'll say no. Devon knows this too and that's why he asked ME. I said we should wait until he's 9 or 10 so he can fully understand. Either way, I'm willing to slowly introduce him to what adoption is what mean so he can make the best decision in a few years.

3.) Even if Devon adopts him, his last name won't be changed. My ex's family is deeply involved with Levi to the point of financial aid and having him 2 days per week. So removing my ex's last name is not an option, if Devon wants to truly adopt him out of love, he has to respect this.

4.) In the meantime I'll talk with Devon about legal guardianship so he can have legal rights about Levi, either way this will have to be discussed with my ex's family too.

5.) I can love my ex and still be able to move on. That's all I'll say. I love my husband with all my heart, my ex was my first love but Devon is the love of my life and I can't imagine leaving him for someone else.

Sources: Reddit
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