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'AITA for telling my sister that my special needs niece is not my responsibility?'

'AITA for telling my sister that my special needs niece is not my responsibility?'


'AITA for telling my sister that my special needs niece is not my responsibility?'

Before I M40 got married to my wife 33 we talked about everything in advance. It was silly stuff at first. How we squeezed toothpaste, which direction the toilet paper roll should face, that sort of thing. But as our relationship progressed we talked about more serious stuff.

How we would discipline our children, living wills, and what we would do if we knew we were having a child with severe special needs. We decided together that we didn't want to do that to a human. To bring them into the world to suffer. We were lucky enough that it wasn't ever something we had to deal with.

I had told my sister this because she is my best friend. She went running to our parents saying that we were terrible people. We had to spend days explaining that we knew what we could handle and what we could deal with. My parents weren't happy.

Well, unfortunately, my sister 36 did not have this talk with her husband. When she was pregnant with their second child the doctor told them that the child would have many health issues. They prayed about it and went forward with the pregnancy.

My niece is nine now. And my sister now has an ex-husband. The medical expenses drained all their savings. And he could not handle knowing that caring for his daughter was going to be something he had to do for the rest of her life.

We just had Thanksgiving and my sister is having a tough time. My niece is in diapers and will be for the rest of her life. My sister can't work because she would need special child care. No day care would do. Prescriptions are hundreds if not thousands every month.

My parents are helping her but my dad has had to postpone his retirement to be able to give her money. My wife and I help with about $500 a month. It's not much but it still puts a hole in our budget.

My sister wants to move in with me so my wife, who works from home, and my MIL who lives with us to help with our children, can help her with my niece. We don't have room for three more people. Or the budget to make our house accessible. So I told her that we are not responsible for her life choices.

My parents are saying that I need to step up and help. Or that they will give everything to my sister when they pass away I told them that this was a great idea. My family doesn't want or need their money and that they should set up a trust for her now.

I guess that wasn't the answer they wanted because everyone in the family is calling me an a**hole for not taking care of my sister and niece. So I guess I'm asking if I'm the a**hole for not wanting to be in a situation I intentionally avoided.

Edits from OP:

Thank you all for helping me get an outside view. Here are answers to the most common questions.

My ex-BIL pays child support and spousal support. And he spends a lot of time with my nephew, my sister's other child.

She can't move on with my parents because they downsized as soon as we were out of the house.

Keeping the child was a religious thing. Her, her ex, and my parents are very religious. I used to be.

She is already receiving assistance from the government.

I give my sister $500/month. I've given her $54,000 I've given her so far.

I know it comes off harsh. But she was told by multiple doctors that my niece would have very poor quality of life. Nothing but pain every minute she is conscious.

This one is painful to write. Without going into details let me just say this: I'm relieved that my niece has so little brain activity that she can't actually be experiencing all the pain her poor little body is undergoing. She is in a persistent vegetative state.

Here's what people had to say in the comments:

Benevolentdictating writes:

Special needs mom here 🙋‍♀️ and I never would ever place expectations on my parents, siblings, or sibling’s in laws, only my child’s father. My ex spends 0 time with our disabled son, which is fine, but he still has to pay child support that is adjusted for this and any expenses related to our sons special needs.

So while he may not spend time with our son, he’s making up for it by working 60-70+ hours/week. Sister needs to take her ex back to court, and resolve HER own family’s issues instead of trying to dump her responsibilities on others.

Yikes44 writes:

The real AH is the sister's ex who agreed to bring this child into the world and then walked out on his wife and kids. I hope there's a special place in hell for guys like that.

Irish_beast writes:

NTA You had the courage, and the good sense to have this difficult talk with your then fiancee because you knew you either did not want, or were even unable to handle a disabled child.

What's the point in having this difficult conversation if other family members can just coopt you into caring for their own disabled children.

tango421 writes:

Heartbreaking for her but still essentially not your problem. NTA

MaoXiWinnie writes:

Why are you giving them money if they are going to treat you like this?

Specialist-Author766 OP responded:

Because I love them even if they are emotionally worn out.

Sources: Reddit
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