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Woman wants to stop cheater husband from adopting daughter after she dies. UPDATE

Woman wants to stop cheater husband from adopting daughter after she dies. UPDATE


AITA for going back on letting my husband adopt my daughter because he cheated?

I (50F) am dying from esophageal cancer. I likely will be entering hospice sometime in 2024- I just want a final holidays at home.

My husband "James" and I have been married 3 years but have been in a romantic relationship for a total of 5 years.

Besides my 10 year old daughter "Amy," my husband has 3 kids of his own. My daughter is actually biologically my niece, but I myself adopted her when she was 1 because her biological dad died from an overdose and my sister had done something horrible for which she is still sitting in prison today, and Amy will be well into adulthood before she gets a shot at parole.

But in the eyes of me, everybody else in this life and I'd like to think the next, Amy is MY daughter.

And for a while, I was thinking that James would be yet another example of biology doesn't make a parent. I thought we were a family and that he was completely devoted to me and Amy, just as I was to his kids.

We spoke of adoption, and the first time we spoke of it was 2 years ago. Then I began getting sick and this fell by the wayside.

Then 2 months ago, I found out that James had a one night stand with a coworker 4 years ago. We were having a rough patch and hadn't been sleeping together, true, but he blamed it on being drunk.

She later quit without notice. But she decided to find me online and expose him after they wouldn't take her back at the restaurant. I had a feeling that James was hiding something after he stormed off from our fights. Now I'm dying and find myself stuck in therapy with this.

He claims he hasn't cheated since and I do not have that suspicion after that period, but don't know what to think anymore. He begged me not to divorce if only so he could take care of me and also for his health insurance. But now all he's been doing is agonizing about adopting Amy.

But all I'm thinking about is he had this one night stand, but there must have been flirting beforehand. And he was the taken one so he should have had the impulse control and respect for his partner.

I don't like what that says about his character and feel he isn't as sorry as he ought to have been.

During our conversation, he said he loves Amy and that he admits that he cheated- so he's a cheater. But that mistake doesn't take away his care for Amy and her welfare. And said that he deserves any punishments with regards to our marriage but I'd be punishing Amy because the state would be here the moment I died.

I know that if I would have either divorced him or put my energy into therapy. And I have spoken with a lawyer and am considering divorcing him because I know that would have been my first stop if I was still healthy- I don't want to deal with a cheating husband.

The fact that he did this makes me worried about whether he'd again let his impulses cloud his better judgement. Whether that would extended to letting an unsuitable partner in because he sees sex and nothing else.

James is upset and says that my parents are dead and the only relative I have is on welfare with 5 kids. But I want to rescind my offer because I don't trust him anymore. AITA? He keeps saying " do this for Amy."

Here were some of the top comments on the original post.


It’s a bad position to be in, but from the sounds of things, his bad behaviour 4 years ago has nothing to do with his competency and obvious desire to adopt your child who he’s been fathering for 5 years.

You’re hurt and under a lot of stress, I think anybody would understand your hesitation and concern, but you have to do the difficult thing and put your own feelings aside to decide what’s best for Amy. And judging by everything you’ve said, I think you probably know that allowing him to adopt her is what’s best for her.


If you let Amy go into the system rather than be taken care of by someone who loves her, then YTA for sure. You have every right to be upset and hurt by his cheating arse. However, you need to look past your own feelings and do what's best for Amy.

You may not be able to trust him to be faithful, but has he given you a single reason why he couldn't take care of Amy? The fact that he still wants to adopt her knowing you won't be around says something to me. You would be selfish to leave her fate to the system. I hope you can look past your feelings and do what's right for her.


This is simple. What is best for your daughter? He may have been unfaithful, but do you think he would protect and provide for your daughter? Do you think he loves her and would be there for her?

And even if you have doubts, what is the alternative?

You are hurt and angry, that is understandable, but don't let your legacy be a hurt and alone daughter thrust into the foster care system, with no trust in any adult.


YTA. I am not going to be as nice as every else. There's no time to baby you.

Your husband cheating on you has nothing to do with capabilities as a father.

Your 10 year daughter is going to have NO ONE if you don't do this. As a parent myself, I can't imagine being this selfish.

Don't you dare sit here and say there's plenty of good foster parents and adoptive parents out there. You did a familial adoption. That's entirely different than someone with no family going into the system. You didn't experience that.

She's likely to get passed from foster family to foster family for the rest of her childhood. She's not going to have some Disney movie ending where she winds up with a lovely older couple who never were able to have kids.

She will spend the rest of her life never feeling wanted. All while knowing someone did, but mommy couldn't put aside her butt hurt feelings to let her have any sense of stability ever again.


Have you spoken to Amy about this? It is going to be a horrible discussion to have, but he has played a father role in Amy’s life and tearing her away from him and her step-siblings after she has just lost her mother could worsen the trauma.

You need to consider Amy first. She is nearly of the age when her wishes would help sway a Court decision in a custody dispute here in the U.K.

Being with her step-father and step-siblings might be something she would prefer. It’s also possible that it is the last place she would want to be unless you were with her.

OP responded:

That is the age of 12, and it pains me to say I won't live until she's that age.

I've known state child welfare workers and they are overburdened but they care. The state would be making a decision anyway.

Just a day later, OP came back with a response to the comments against her.

I have read a large majority of your comments.

Some of you have been very compassionate, but I am also astounded at the amount of people who think that my last act as a " good" woman is to turn the other cheek and laud a cheating husband.

A lot of comments also dismiss me for the sole fact that I am dying and it seems those are more of a reflection of the commenter's lack of emotional fortitude - I hope they treat their own dying relatives with more introspection.

But I am not here to complain- just wanted to give an update. It's only been less than a day, so obviously nothing is definite but here goes: With regards to my relationship with my husband, I've decided dying or not, I have to stick to my original stance that if I were healthy, we'd likely already be half way through a divorce because I cannot stand infidelity.

I don't know if my previous post makes it clear, but I had been speaking to a lawyer about divorce. As I said in one of my comments, we probably have around $50-$100 before payday, sometimes our checking accounts are as low as $13.

I do thank my husband for allowing me access to our checking, even when it came to seeking legal counsel. I also know that our state has a lot of self help legal/ legal aid resources. All this is to say: I intend to file for divorce.

There are also hospice facilities that offer care for people who cannot really afford hospice and divorced or not, that would still probably be me. If things get bad enough, I'm fine with not burdening others and just going to the ER and letting them take it from there.

I defended the foster/ adoption system because I myself am an adoptive parent. But I also value family, so I have reached out to my cousin who, contrary to belief, does make an income, and not necessarily a bad one. Actually only $3k less than what my husband makes depending on tips.

She just gets assistance because of having 5 kids. She said that if she needs to take in a blood relative, and get guardianship, she will do so and that she knows the resources to help her care for my child. She recognizes this is sudden and a lot to ask, but she that she feels it's her duty to put in her best effort on my behalf.

She said she cannot promise anything beyond a bare bones life, or that she won't struggle greatly in the beginning and question her decision occasionally but that she'll do her best if the thought of my daughter being with her stepdad upsets me that much.

I don't think it's fair for me to stay with my husband after denying him this and I know he resents me for this. He claims that our state favors biological relatives and that he'll fight regardless. I'm ok with that, but not ok with his assumption that my cousin would melt down and give my daughter up for adoption when that is not who she is.

I'm no longer asking for judgement but hope that my intention to give my daughter to a blood relative instead of a foster system would give some of you peace, as it gives to me. Again our state strongly favors biological relatives so hopefully my daughter will in a stable situation before I die.

Here's how commenters reacted to OP's second post.


Have you asked Amy what SHE wants? At 10 years old, I feel this choice should be hers. It’s not like you fear she would be abused in either situation. PLEASE let her decide.

You can divorce your husband if you want… that doesn’t mean you can’t co-parent. You should absolutely allow your to be ex-husband adopt your daughter if that’s what she wants… and what you truly believe is best for her. She will soon lose you (and I hate that for the both of you)… don’t traumatize her further by completely uprooting her life.


Your cousin does not really want to take this child. If your husband loves this child and the child loves loves him, do the child a huge favour and let him adopt. This child has done nothing wrong and deserves to have a good life so please put the child first.

It’s not about what he did or didn’t do to you, it’s about what is in the child’s best interests so I hope that you can let go of your anger and see the light on this because it’s really the child who would be suffering and that’s not fair.

He caused you pain, not the child and this child is already losing you, please don’t make them lose the other person who actually loves them and will take care of them. I’m sorry you are dying and very sorry you were treated so badly by him. I wish you comfort and peace.


I don‘t think you understand what it means to a 10 year old to have a father for 5 years. That‘s half her life.

Everything in your posts sounds selfish, you never once said your husband would not care well for Amy. So you are only doing this because of your own feelings, not your daughter‘s. I feel sorry for her and hope you reconsider.


Omg you are a bigger AH than before. I really hope you are a troll with a rage bait post. Your poor daughter is going to a low income cousin on assistance for her 5 kids just to spite the only father your daughter has ever known because he cheated. God you are garbage.


“I hope they treat their own dying relatives with more introspection”

Ma’am… the same could be thrown back at you.

YTA and have zero empathy for your own child. You’re being vindictive and selfish.

I hope you do better for your own child and I hope you find some introspection and empathy for your kid.

You’re giving energy that’s similar to “if I can’t be happy then nobody can!” It’s childish and counterproductive.

BTW, your daughter will find out the truth one day and she will probably resent you for the rest of her life.

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