Adoption situations can be incredibly beautiful and can allow everyone involved a chance at the life they actually want.
But when the adoptive family can’t agree with something the biological parents want, the situation can become awkward very quickly, stressed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor ellel7 was surprised when the teen mother she was adopting a second baby from became insistent about the name of the future baby.
When the birth mother started questioning their qualities as parents over this disagreement, the Original Poster (OP) was unsure about how to proceed.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for choosing my daughter’s name?”
When the OP was offered the opportunity to adopt her daughter’s sister, she went for it.
“My (32 female) husband (33 male) and I are in the process of adopting. We decided to look into adopting toddlers/young children, not infants.”
“We are in the process of adopting G (4 female). We had an instant connection and she is wonderful.”
“The agency reached out saying her birth mother is pregnant again and asked the agency if G’s new parents would be interested in taking her new baby.”
“After a lot of discussions we decided to do it, we’ve always wanted 2-3 children.”
The OP was regularly in touch with the birth mother.
“We met A the bio mom (19 female) and things have been going well.”
“She has not met G, because after the birth she wants NC (no contact), but she has asked about G.”
“She’s now 8 months pregnant and I’ve been going with her to doctor’s appointments.”
“At the last appointment, the nurse was asking names and A said she’s naming the baby Chloe-belle after her mom.”
“I was shocked. We’ve never talked about names, but my husband and I have one picked.”
The parents couldn’t reach an agreement with the birth mother.
“After the appointment, I asked about the name, saying we had a name for our daughter already.”
“She said she had picked G, and after giving birth it was her right.”
“She does not want to be a part of the baby’s life so I think it’s unfair.”
“My husband and I took A to lunch to talk about it.”
“She says she will not budge she wants to honor her mom.”
“She said she didn’t realize her daughter’s parents were so unreasonable and rude.”
The OP had conflicted feelings.
“We have not reached an agreement, but with the closed adoption and her signing away her rights legally, we are the ones choosing the name.”
“My SIL (sister-in-law) thinks we should appease A, but most of the family is on our side.”
“I’ve decided to stick with the name we picked.”
“So AITA for picking my daughter’s name?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some advised changing the baby’s name after the adoption was complete.
“Dude, just pretend to go along with it, and then change the baby’s name once the adoption goes through.”
“Changing a baby’s name post-adoption is super common and no one can stop you. Oh, and NTA, obviously.” – Sugar_Weasel_
“She doesn’t actually have the right to choose. She’s giving birth and not looking back.”
“Just appease her like she has a choice and then change the baby’s name. The child will be your daughter. So your choice!” – Fun-Tourist-7359
“Honestly, I think OP is kind of an a**hole for being so upset about such a non-issue.”
“Obviously, OP has the right to change the name once they have custody. Why get so upset at this young woman for something that doesn’t matter at all but will obviously make her happy?” – HoneyFlea
“My kids have two middle names, you can have more than one. If you think you might be an AH, have the name the birth mother wants as the second middle name, which I know from experience, is rarely ever used.”
“For the record, no, I don’t think you’re an AH. NTA.” – wylietrix
“This is not a dealbreaker.”
“Suck it up and get through what it takes for her to let go and do what is right for her child. She is not a baby machine, she is a biological mother who will be experiencing all the hormones of birth and postpartum with no baby.”
“Then deal with the names afterwards. You will have the child. You don’t need to crush her heart on the way.” – OkapiEli
Others said there were more important things to focus on.
“The way I see it, OP and bio mom are doing EACH OTHER a favor. OP has lost perspective on the human side of this, which makes this a (gentle) YTA.”
“Bio mom can’t look after her children, and instead of aborting them (which would be a valid choice) or doing a bad job of raising them, she’s giving them to OP, who gets to care for and love two kids who have a biological connection to one another (which benefits them, too).”
“The cost to bio mom is all the physical and emotional strain that comes with being pregnant giving birth, as well as things like loss of income, and the cost to OP (assuming the adoptive parents are paying for medical costs) is probably roughly the same financially as having a biological child, plus the general cost of raising a child–which is something they want to take on–and then keeping quiet when bio mom indicates she’d like the baby to have a particular name.”
“Like, yes, OP has the right to change the name, but honestly? I think they should at least keep it as a middle name and appreciate what a big deal this is for everyone involved.”
“Plus, as OP said they’d want 2-3 kids, it would make sense not to antagonize bio mom in case she has another baby–then all the siblings could potentially be adopted together.” – jglitterary
“You aren’t the a**hole for choosing a name, but YTA for pressuring the pregnant teen who plans to give up her child for adoption, and for expecting that you can control this process.”
“There are many reasons why someone might want to choose a name for the child they are carrying, even if the child will only have that name for a very short time. Legally, until A signs the papers, she is the baby’s parent, empowered to make all legal decisions for the baby, including what name goes on the original birth certificate.”
“Once you adopt, you can change the baby’s name, but until that moment, A is in charge. She can, incidentally, change her mind at any time. She can find other adoptive parents, or decide to raise her baby. It is not smart of you to engage in this argument.”
“Work it out with a therapist if you have to. Don’t take advice from your family here, talk to lawyers and social workers.” – eaca02124
“The name is literally the last thing she will give her baby.”
“Who is not yet your baby, although she (probably) will be one day soon.”
“Accept that she will name her baby, as is her right, and then a little later you will choose to change that name, once she’s your baby, as is your right.”
“That’s how it works. That’s what has to happen. The only way it can happen.”
“There’s no ‘making sure it doesn’t go on the paperwork.’ Pretty sure that’s perjury.”
“(Source: am adoptive parent, changed my daughter’s middle name post-adoption – which was a process that began a year post-birth – and understood and had respect for her birth family’s role, rights, and responsibilities.)” – RafRafRafRaf
After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update on how they would handle the situation.
“We have decided not to bring it up again. We will change the name once the adoption officially goes through.”
“For those asking. G was given up for adoption at birth and A has not seen her since. The adoption has gone through already and she is our daughter. That was all started a while ago.”
“A reached out to the agency shortly after she found out she was pregnant, which was after we were already at the end of adopting G.”
While the subReddit understood why the OP was upset about the situation and wanted to choose her future baby’s name now, they also wanted the OP to understand the complexity of the situation and the fact that it could change at the drop of a dime.
As the subReddit advised, it would be best for the OP and her husband to respect the desires of the birth mother, whether that meant keeping the name she chose permanently or having the baby’s name legally changed upon adoption.
In either situation, the couple would be within their rights to do what they wanted with their baby, though it might at least help the birth mother feel a little more heard in what was probably already a complicated and demanding situation for any teen who was putting a baby up for adoption.