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Woman Balks After Brother Demands She Help Pay For His Wife’s Surgery Instead Of Fostering Kids

Fabio Formaggio / EyeEm/Getty Images

There’s little that can cause a bigger wedge between family members than money.

One family member making considerably more than another can often lead to resentment.

Other times, those who make less than others develop an expectation to be treated to fancy or glamorous things by their higher earning relatives.

The constant of both scenarios, sadly, is tension.

Knowing she had considerably more at her disposal than he did, the brother of Redditor Legituser19 requested that she lend him money to help out his family.

And though she donated a sizable sum, it was enough for her brother, who went on to make a suggestion as to how she could afford to lend more.

Worried she was out of line for refusing her brother’s suggestion, the original poster (OP), took to the subReddit “Am I The A**Hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for not choosing my brother over my foster kids?”

The OP first explained how she made a major life decision after reaching a certain point in her life.

“I’m childfree by choice (52 F[emale]).”

“Never had bio kids, I was married once and divorced, and turns out I love just being by myself.”

“A few years ago I became financially secure for real not just living paycheck to paycheck like before, and I decided to foster.”

“I’m currently fostering two boys (15 and 17), they moved in with me soon after the pandemic hit.”

“I set up their college funds, I buy them all the stuff they need, pay for hobbies, summer camps, tennis lessons, because I fell they deserve a life beyond what the state is paying for them.”

Shortly thereafter, the OP received some sad news from his brother, along with a plea for help.

“My brother asked me for a loan a few weeks ago.”

“He said he needs it for his wife’s surgery, not elective, it’s a serious condition, and I told him I will try and help out as much as I can.”

“Last week I texted him a number I could manage to give him.”

“Think like $10k, and they need almost $80k.”

However, the fairly sizable sum wasn’t quite good enough for the OP’s brother, who told his sister point blank where she could find the remaining funds.

“He called me disappointed and crying, saying he needs me to loan them like 50k, because I am the wealthiest family member.”

“I told him the 10k is a gift and they don’t need to pay me back, but I can’t in any way afford 50k”

“He said I could afford it if I “gave up the fosters”.

“I told him that was a really horrible thing to say, and he said I can at least stop spending money on them and save up to help my real family.”

“I said I’m really sorry, but 10k is really all I can give.”

“He called me selfish and a B.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

The Reddit community wholeheartedly agreed that the OP was not at all the a**hole for not paying her brother his full request.

Everyone agreed that the OP’s brother was far out of line for telling the OP to give up her foster children, and to ask for more money after she made a very generous offer.


“He was out of line, hopefully he will apologize in time.”

“He is desperate, doesn’t know your finances and spoke in a moment of anger over his own inadequacies as provider.”- Whippdeagle


“Absolutely not.”

“The kids you are fostering aren’t something you can just give up whenever.”

“I get that his wife needs the money, but you shouldn’t be asked to leave your children.”

“BTW, the funny thing is that he would NEVER ask this if it was your biological children, as if your foster kids are less valued or something.”- ResponsibleChance950


“I have to agree, him basically trying to sabotage your kiddos is definitely an asshole move here with your bro.”

“At this point, your bro is lucky he gets anything from me if I were there.”

“However you do you, give whatever you’re comfy with giving, no more.”- pmmeyourcarinsurance

“NTA and your brother is.”

“These boys have landed in Foster Care heaven and are so lucky to have you.”- SCUpstateReader


“If your brother had an ACA plan, the out of pocket maximum would be capped at $17,400.”

“Something else is going on here.”

“They may not have health insurance or they tried to save money by going with a cost sharing plan instead of real insurance.”

“You rarely need to pay all of your medical costs upfront.”

“This may also be a procedure that is experimental and investigational.”

“A $10,000 gift is incredibly generous.”

“I am the wealthiest family member and in general, I give $1000 no questions asked, but when you ask for big money I want access to a lot of information.”

“I would ask for his health insurance plan documents, financial records, etc.”

“You can also choose to help with month to month costs of paying back any loans after the procedure.”

“Your brother feels entitled to your money.”- Wiser_Owl99

“NTA after the way he was so ungrateful he doesn’t deserve nothing from you.”

“Though you’re 52 with no kids you still have the rest of your life ahead of you and your retirement plan.”

“I think what you’re doing for these kids is amazing, to be 15/17 in the foster care system must’ve been rough for them, what you’ve done for them is absolutely just the most kind hearted thing I’ve ever heard.”

“Your brother has no right to ask you to give up your kids, it’s very selfish of him to demand this.”-Chantalle22

“NTA!! “

“You are doing a great thing(s).”

“Would he expect you to not care for these boys if they were your biological children?”

“And 10 thousand is a great gift.”

“You do not ‘owe’ your brother anything.”

“I’m sure he is very upset about his wife’s health and his ability to help her.”

“So he’s not really an asshole either, but will hopefully take what you’ve offered graciously and continue to look for other avenues to pay for his wife’s surgery.”

“The real asshole here is the American medical/ insurance situation, that sucks big time.”-karenrachael.

“His wife’s medical bills are not your responsibility.”

“You gifting 10k is generous.”

“I would give him a slight pass as he is clearly not in the right frame of mind.”

“But later, I would speak with him and tell him that what he said hurts.”-The_Fires_Of_Orc

“NTA you are a rock star!”- Julia070000


“Wow, your brother is a total AH.”

“I wouldn’t give him any money.”

“And it seems you aren’t actually childfree.”

“Good for you for giving these kids a good life no one else stepped up to give them.”-DarmokTheNinja

“NTA, and without knowing him it might have been the frustration of the situation making him say those things.”

“Those kids have nobody else, your brother does.”

“Apples and oranges, don’t beat yourself up.”-realauthormattjanak


“These are children and you made a commitment to care for them.”

“They don’t have anyone else.”

“10k is pretty generous and you are not responsible to cover your SIL’s medical bills.”

“And after that phone call.”

“i\I would be reluctant even hand over that 10k.”- HarlesBronson


“Your foster children ARE your family.”-Individual_Ad_9213

“NTA, but I’m confused to as why you’re calling yourself childfree?”

“You aren’t.”

“NTA and $10k is extremely generous.”-SaltyCrabbo


“As a side note, don’t think you can call yourself childfree if you have foster children.”-tgrahn985

“CF and fostering aren’t the same.”

“OP, You have foster children, therefore you are not childfree.”-redfoxvapes


“Your brother should be able to manage his own life and you’re already giving so much to foster kids, who rarely get the love and care they deserve, while still being generous to your brother.”

“Demanding you give up children like they’re property is just…”

“He’s definitely something.”-may2march

“I think what you are doing is amazing.”

“Also, your brother’s sense of entitlement is stunning.”

“Does he really believe you are somehow ‘obligated’ to give him 50k?”


“NTA.”- Total-Being-4278

“NTA ,but the American healthcare system and the psychopaths who want to keep it privatized certainly are.”-RunsWithApes


“You’re good people OP.”- kdawg09


“I totally understand the stress and heartache your brother and his family must be going through, but that isn’t an excuse for him to talk like that about your kids.”

“The 10k was very generous, and I hope your brother realizes what he said was vile and can make it up to you and the boys in the future.”

“Wishing you and your little family lots of love.”- GiveAPennyToKenny

One hopes that it’s just the brother’s fear and grief which led to his hugely insensitive request.

One hopes that he finds all the funds he needs to cover his wife’s procedure.

Even if he shouldn’t expect them all to come from his sister.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.