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In-laws pressure 19yo to adopt 5yo; he says, 'she's not my responsibility.'

In-laws pressure 19yo to adopt 5yo; he says, 'she's not my responsibility.'

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After a family was struck by tragedy, a custody dispute ensued, and a young man at the center of it came to Reddit for advice:

"AITA (Am I the A-hole) for telling my late dad's in-laws that their granddaughter is not my responsibility?"

Automatic-Smile2051 writes:

I'm 19m and my younger sister Calla 15f lives with me. Our dad and his wife died three months ago. Mine and Calla's mom died when we were younger, dad and his wife had been married for 4 years. His wife had a daughter, Lacey, who is now 5.

When CPS became involved because both were left orphans, I stepped up to take my sister. I was already working full time since I skipped college and I just about had what I needed to take care of my sister. They asked me about Lacey and I told them I just wanted to take my sister.

Lacey was placed with her grandparents, my dad's in-laws. They became aware of the fact Calla came to live with me and that I had been offered the chance to take their granddaughter and refused. Once they learned this they asked me why, and then pestered me about it for weeks.

Finally they told me they were older and she could use as much family as possible and that she misses Calla (she wouldn't really remember me). I asked Calla if she wanted to see her and she said not really. So I told them we were not interested in staying in their granddaughter's life.

They told me she's our little sister, that my dad would have wanted us to stick together. I told them I didn't care what my dad wanted. They said not to punish a child for the sins of my parent.

I blocked them and continued on with things until they sought me out on social media via one of their older grandkids and told me that I should be ashamed of myself and their granddaughter deserves to be with her siblings and be raised by me since I'm young, fit and healthy and could run around after her like they can't, and will be around a lot longer than them.

I replied once that their granddaughter is not my responsibility and that I wanted them to leave me and my sister alone, because we have no reason to be in touch ever again.

That wasn't the end and they called me selfish and cruel a few times via another account. So I had to set my account to private to stop them. AITA?

Larter, he added:

Lacey was my dad's stepdaughter, not his daughter.

Some info that keeps being asked: The bio dad is not on the scene. He could be dead but I really don't know. He never seemed to be in the picture though. He could also be unknown or something but there is no bio father involved.

I also was not close to my dad. Neither was my sister. There was a lot of stuff involved there but I was no contact with him and everyone but my sister for more than a year before he and his wife died. So I had nothing to do with Lacey for more than a year.

What do you think? Is OP being too harsh, or are his in-laws asking wayyyyyy too much of him?

Reddit ruled NTA (not the a-hole), though not everyone was in total agreement.

Enough-Process9773 says:

Wait, what, you're 19 and looking after your 15-year-old sister and they wanted you to take care of their 5-year-old granddaughter too? NTA. They need to figure out how to provide care for their granddaughter.

LittleFairyOfDeath writes:

That’s your prerogative for sure, but I can’t comprehend how cold you and your sister are. You both lived with that little girl. That innocent little girl. She has nothing to do with the s$#%ty relationship with your dad. And neither one of you have even an ounce of compassion for her?

How can you live with a child for years and not even have a slight relationship? Not straight up sister but at least a kid you know and hope will be happy? That’s the baffling thing to me. That your sister is so self absorbed she didn’t even slightly bond with the kid she lived with for years.

OP responded:

We were focused on not being there. I can honestly say I never spent any time with her. I hardly saw her most days. I was focused on making sure my sister was okay and getting through school and saving money so I could get by, since dad made sure we wouldn't be taken care of. She was no more important to me than the neighbors kid.

To which LittleFairyOfDeath countered:

And neighbors kid would still be important? Like if you see someone everyday for years, you‘ll learn things about them. I am sorry you has s%$t lives but you are both still cold hearted that you never bonded to any extent. But that is how it is and you can’t change that now. I just hope you get therapy because that's a f%$#@d up way to live.

OP's answer:

I mean, I might say hi to them if I see them but we wouldn't be close and it wouldn't bother me if they moved away and I didn't see them anymore. I wouldn't think to stay in touch.

thaliagorgon comments:

Definitely NTA! For so so many reasons. You’re only 19 and a 15 year old is already enough responsibility. Also a 15 year old can handle a lot on her own and is not going to be the same kind of work that a 5 year old is. And the biggest problem imo is the Lacy hardly knows you! Putting her with you would likely be scary and uncomfortable for her even if you were related by blood!

I understand where her grandparents are coming from but they need to get help somewhere else, preferably from someone the child already has a relationship with. Try not to let them get to you, they’re grieving and feeling incapable of caring for their granddaughter and it’s making them behave poorly.

None of that is on you. Do your best for yourself and Calla, that’s already enough to handle and already makes you a great brother.

EllieMacAus19 has less sympathy for the grandparents:

NTA. Your dad’s in-laws are awful, trying to pressure you when you’re 19, you’ve just lost your father and you’re already taking care of a 15yo. You’re completely right, you’re not responsible for the child and she’s no longer any relation to you. You need to be able to get on with your life and taking care of someone else‘s 5yo would really restrict you. Stay strong and stand your ground. Best of luck.

Sources: Reddit
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