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Wife lies about giving up daughter for adoption, wants to introduce her as a 'family friend.' AITA?

Wife lies about giving up daughter for adoption, wants to introduce her as a 'family friend.' AITA?


"AITA for not wanting my wife's daughter to be introduced as a family friend?"


A few years ago, my wife and I got a letter from a woman claiming to be my wife's daughter, Laurel, who wanted to meet with her. She'd told me that she'd given up a child for adoption when she was young, so I was expecting that this might happen. What I didn't expect was that the truth was there was never any adoption. She just left the baby with the father and bailed.

The worst thing about this is that when Laurel was 12, she wrote my wife begging for help. Her response was to write her the nastiest reply imaginable (I've since had a chance to read it) that basically blamed her for her problems and threatened her against contacting her again and "ruining her family".

I couldn't believe it. Not only has she been lying this whole time, but she actively had contact and chose to abandon her a second time while we were married. This has all been an emotional dumpster fire, but that's an issue of its own.

We've been in contact and building a relationship for the last few years. So much therapy. So far, we've kept this all away from our kids. At this point, it's been a few years, and there's interest in having everyone meet.

Thing is, between my wife and Laurel, they've come to an 'agreement' to tell the kids and everyone else in the family that Laurel is a family friend. Absolutely not. I'm sick of the lying.

What they call each other is their own deal and I don't expect that to change, but I'm not lying anymore. I don't like lying to my kids as a policy, but lying to them about who's related to them and who isn't is dangerous.

I only want them meeting if we can tell them the truth. Now I'm getting into it with my wife, Laurel, and my parents (the only outside people who know). They say I should go along with it not for my wife's sake but for Laurel's. I understand why she would want that, but I don't think I care anymore. The kids need to know.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:


NTA. The fallout from lying will be far worse than telling the truth upfront if she's ever found out. And you'll be just as guilty as her in your kids' eyes for lying by omission. If she's that ashamed then she shouldn't be bringing Laurel round the family.


If? They will find out.


To be honest, they probably already know something is up. They've been sneaking around for a few years.


NTA. So your wife wants to continue this lie forever. Your kids are going to find out eventually. It's going to happen no matter how hard your wife protects her lie. Just doing a dna test from Ancestry will uncover it. A relative who knows can slip up. Does she want the kids to find out like that? They might hate her forever for it.

This lie is going to cause an avalanche of issues and your children deserve to know this person is their sister. Their sister also deserves to know her siblings as siblings, not a generic friend.

Hasn't your wife damaged her enough with the abandonment? I can't imagine being the daughter who was treated this way. As for you, I don't think I could stay with a person capable of this. She's been lying to you and that's not forgivable to me.

There is nothing to stop you from being honest with your own children. You don't have to keep the secret. What is your wife going to do...divorce you? She would be doing you a favor. She isn't a good person. She rejected her own daughter twice. She had 30 years to correct this and she didn't. She wants to keep it going.


You're staying with someone like that? Is she the mother of your kids? If not I would reconsider exposing them to her any further.


i was shocked that there was no mention of op rethinking whether or not he should stay married to her bc… i would have been out when the letter was revealed 😭 i can’t imagine a mother treating her child that way.


NTA, I would chew her her ass out for treating her own daughter this way. If it were me, then she would 1. Apologize to the kid and beg her to forgive her for being this horrible 2.

Acknowledge her as "our" daughter, much less hers 3. Give her a place to be a normal kid and do the best we can for her, and if she didn't do all three, then I'd file for divorce and try my best to get full custody of the kids. No one needs someone that toxic in their lives.

The OP responded here:


The letters from 2002 are honestly the worst part of this. I cannot believe she refused to do ANYTHING for her own daughter after what she wrote her, and she tried to hide behind me? I would NEVER have encouraged her to do this. I don't know that Laurel wants to be anyone's daughter at this point. She's in her 30s now. Only one of my wife and I's kids is under 18. Custody isn't really an issue now.


I know people jump to divorce pretty quickly here and I'll get downvoted into oblivion but it sounds like things would be better if it was just you and the kids having a relationship with Laurel without your wife. No matter what you should definitely tell your kids the truth. Anything else would be participating in this insane cover up.


NTA. You shouldn't have to lie to your kids because your wife can't tell the truth about abandoning her daughter.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit
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