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Guy Called ‘Evil Jerk’ By Newfound Bio Sister For Refusing To Introduce Her To His Adoptive Family

man and women seated on couch arguing
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Foster care and adoption can create new families, but it can also tear old families apart.

A young man who reconnected with the sister he never knew found himself struggling with some of her demands.

So he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Throwaway45282258 asked:

“AITA for telling my bio sister I’m sorry she wasn’t adopted but that doesn’t have anything to do with me and I owe her nothing?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“I (25, male) was placed in the foster system by my bio parents when I was 2 years-old, I was adopted some time later by my real parents.”

“I recognize that I’m extremely fortunate and lucky to have been adopted before I had any real memory of the system, and that my parents gave me a better life than I would have ever had if I had stayed with my bio parents.”

“I grew up privileged, went to private schools, had holidays abroad and had my tuition paid fully when I started Uni. I was loved, and never lacked anything.”

“I currently have a well paying job as a chemical engineer, a beautiful wife, a house paid off fully by my in-laws, and 2 children—twins. I’m very grateful for everything I have and recognize that I would be leading a very different life had I not been adopted.”

“Last year I was contacted by Opel (27, female) who claimed I was her brother and wanted to meet up. After careful consideration I agreed.”

“After doing a DNA test together and digging a bit into family history, Opel and I discovered that we were placed into foster care around the same time.”

“Usually foster care will try to keep siblings together, but for some reason we were not registered as siblings and were placed into different foster homes—probably due to having a different dad/surname, and being given up by different people.”

“From what I’ve heard, her father overdosed before she was born and our mother abandoned her when she was a baby. Her paternal grandmother got custody of her, but she died when Opel was 4.”

“No other relative wanted to take her in so she went into the system. As far as I know she wasn’t abused in any of her foster homes, but she did move a lot and never really had a stable environment.”

“Opel got very upset by this discovery—even more so after she found out that while she was never adopted, I had lived a good life with loving parents.”

“After the discovery, Opel started calling and asking to hang out with my parents and I, or asking me to do certain favors for her.”

“It got uncomfortable really quickly since, to be frank, I don’t know her that well. In all aspects except genetically she is a total stranger to me.”

“I don’t feel comfortable lending her money or introducing her to my entire family.”

“She even made a couple of comments that made me uneasy. She asked me if I thought my parents would have adopted her also had they known she existed and if I think they would accept her into the family now.”

“Last night she called me again, this time to complain how she saw that the women in my family had a get together over the weekend and how she felt excluded since she didn’t get an invite.”

“I told her that I get that she’s upset, but that was a family get together for all the women and she’s not family to them. So she’s not entitled to an invitation.”

“Opel began screaming at me it was unfair and since I’m considered family, she should be considered too by extension. That I owe it to her to make sure my family invites her next time since it’s the least I could do for her as someone who got adopted.”

“I told her I’m sorry she feels excluded and that she wasn’t adopted, but neither my family nor I owe her anything before hanging up the phone.”

“Since then I’ve been receiving nonstop texts calling me an a**hole and an evil jerk. I’m starting to second guess myself and need an outside perspective on the situation.”

The OP summed up their issue. 

“I told my bio sister I’m sorry she wasn’t adopted, but that doesn’t have anything to do with me and I owe her nothing.”

“I think I was too harsh with her.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Some felt there were no a**holes here (NAH).

“NAH except your bio parents. This is just a truly unfortunate situation.”

“You don’t owe this woman anything, and it’s horrifically sad that things ended up the way they did for her, but you were at fault for zero of it.”

“If you felt so inclined, you could maybe hook her up with a good therapist?”

“This woman is a stranger to you—sharing deadbeat parents does not equate to an instant relationship, and her behavior is not helping her case.” ~ MrsDarkOverlord

“NAH. She needs some intense therapy and some understanding. Neither of which are your responsibility.”

“Having been a foster care leaver myself, I have an idea with what she’s struggling with and she needs some help to work through the complex emotional stuff she’s got going on.”

“This isn’t to excuse her behaviour, because I think you should block her, but I’m not willing to call her an AH or you.” ~ Cosmicshimmer

“NAH. She got dealt a raw hand and is dealing with it. I wouldn’t jump to blocking her personally, but maybe slow down and put a little distance, let her correct her behavior.” ~ Summers_Alt

But most Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole (NTA) with several suggesting the OP set some boundaries or take a break from Opel.

“You’re definitely NTA. And neither is she, really. But you can’t save her and you have to look after yourself and your family.”

“I’m also an adoptee with a very happy upbringing. I met my natural family as an adult and after a number of years I had to break off contact with most of them as the relationships were too destructive.”

“My heart goes out to Opel because it sounds like she had a terrible experience. It could easily have been you or I. However, it’s not your fault and it’s not your responsibility.

“And the sad truth is that nothing you could ever do would fill the void she has. You could let her move into your house and give her everything you have and it wouldn’t fix her life.”

“She’s grieving for the life she imagines she could have had. She’s looking for a fairytale ending that you can’t provide. So now you have become the target for her sadness and anger.”

“You have to protect yourself and your family, and if that sadly means no further contact then that’s what you have to do.” ~ Music2YourSoul

“I would run. My situation isn’t the same as your family, but my Dad has some outside kids who I don’t know and I have no interest as adults trying to fix or save.”

“You were two years younger than Opel and there is no guarantee your parents wanted to raise her as well. It isn’t your job to now fix Opel’s life or give her family.”

“She is way too pushy. NTA. Good luck.” ~ Holiday-Customer-526

“It’s time to block her. You had no control over what happened to you as a 2-year-old and owe her nothing.”

“I’m sorry she’s jealous of your life and how fortunate you are, but that has nothing to do with you. She can’t decide she’s a part of your family just because she wants what you have.”

“She sounds a bit unstable. I don’t want to be unkind because I can’t know her experiences but again, it’s not your job to provide her with a family or money or favors or whatever she’s looking for.”

“I’d look at this as a learning experience. You tried to do something and it didn’t work out. End of story and end of contact, because if not, she will drain you like the emotional vampire she appears to be. NTA.” ~ forgetregret1day

“I had to do this, though it wasn’t full adoption. My father had many children, and each time estranged from each partner and his own family.”

“I was the oldest and as the oldest, I was my grandparents first grandchild. They took me in and stood the role of my father and provided stability in my life and a connection to my father and my father’s side of the family.”

“I had a half-brother who was a few years younger than me. He had no relationship to my father’s family and a hard life with just his mother. It left him a bit broken and searching. I had only ever really heard of his existence.”

“When I was in my early 20s and him his very late teens (18-19), he reached out to me and wanted to get to know me. He immediately latched on and displayed similar emotional instability, intensity, dysregulation.”

“I wanted to help him and get to know him, but I understood that what he wanted was well beyond what I could offer. He was seeking repair and answers to all of the damage that happened in his childhood and I could not fix it, nor could I force a relationship with him on to my family that matched my own.”

“I ended contact. I have not spoken to him since.”

“Occasionally I think of him and wonder if he’s OK. I still understand that I could never have helped him. And it made me incredibly, deeply thankful for the family who stepped up and helped sculpt my life.”

“Sometimes you have to accept that you are powerless to help someone and make the decision to protect your peace. NTA.” ~ EbolaSuitLookinCute

It sounds like OP’s biological sister needs help, but not the kind OP can provide.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.