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Dad Cancels Daughter’s Birthday Dinner After She Insults Adopted Brother As Not ‘Real Family’

Eleven-year-old girl’s birthday
Cavan Images/Getty Images

Redditor Live-Hornet-1668 recently adopted a young boy with his wife. The couple already had a biological daughter.

The Original Poster’s (OP’s) daughter has clearly struggled with the transition and does not view her adopted brother as such.

This has caused discord amongst the OP’s home, and most namely on his daughter’s birthday.

A major incident drove the OP to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA).

He asked:

“AITA for cancelling my daughter’s birthday celebration?”

He went on to explain:

“It was my daughter Rachel’s [11-year-old Female] birthday yesterday. I have another child, Ethan, [10-year-old Male] who’s adopted.”

“Rachel insists that he’s not a ‘proper’ member of family as he’s not related to us.”

“My wife Emily and I had attempted to convince her (although it was mostly I who did), but it had not worked so we gave it up.”

“We had planned to have lunch at a restaurant and we took the car.”

“Ethan wanted to sit in front, but Rachel told him ‘Sorry, but only proper members of the family get to sit in front, and you’re not really their child.’”

“He was shocked, and I asked her to take back what she had said, but my wife asked me to not start an argument as it was her birthday.”

“Ethan did sit back with Emily in the back, and so I did not argue.”

“We went to the restaurant, and she wanted an expensive dish. I ordered it, and Ethan said that he wants the same stuff. But Rachel did not like that, she said:”

‘You want an expensive dish when he’s not even your Dad in reality? I’d have thought you’d be more grateful as your parents are dead and you’re adopted now.’

“I asked her to apologize immediately as I could see that it had really hurt him, but she just shrugged and said, ‘Well, if you want to have it, go ahead. I don’t care anyway.’”

“But I told her ‘You are going to care because your birthday’s cancelled, we’re headed back.’”

“I asked them to head back to the car and she yelled at me and said she was just joking, that I cannot do that, etc.”

“We had a really huge argument but in the end I got back them back to the car.”

“My wife says that although what she said was distasteful, cancelling her birthday was extremely uncalled for and she’s mad at me for having ruined her day completely.”


“EDIT: He was adopted a year back.”

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

Redditors decided:

“I’m an adoptee.”

“You and your wife are the biggest a**holes.”

“This is exactly why mixing biological and adopted children is not always the best option because you and your wife failed to make the transition as smooth as possible…”

“…and to ensure that all the children are cared for.”

“You & your wife have failed Ethan so much by letting him be subjected to this treatment.”

“Rachel is also an a**hole too, albeit less because she’s a bratty child whose behavior has been allowed by the adults.”

“-10/10 parenting. Do better.” – gtwl214

“To start, Rachel needs therapy. She is clearly not dealing with the adoption very well and is taking it out on Ethan.”

“Additionally, her behavior should have been handled the VERY FIRST time she said something like that. Not on the 2, or 3, or 4th time.”

“The fact that you both let her talk to him like that is disgusting; he’s already been through significant loss and her remarks are cruel, hateful and can further traumatize him.”

“Your wife minimizing Rachel’s behavior is also highly inappropriate and she needs to stop.”

“Poor Ethan losing his biological family, and then gets adopted where his new sister hates him and his new mother does nothing to defend him from his brat of a sibling.”

“The only person not an AH here is Ethan.” – theworldisonfire8377

“‘Rachel insists that he’s not a ‘proper’ member of family as he’s not related to us.’”

“‘My wife Emily and I had attempted to convince her (although it was mostly I who did), but it had not worked so we gave it up.’”

“This is a pretty bad reaction and behavior from Rachel, but it’s not typical of a well-adjusted child who feels secure and loved in her family…”

“…(and doesn’t have any kind of mental health challenges that would be relevant). It’s also learned behavior. Kids aren’t born knowing’ that only biology matters. Where is she getting this from?”

“INFO: What have you and your wife done to help Rachel? You alone tried to convince her but gave up?”

“What did you try to convince her of? How does she feel about it – did you ever ask?”

“How old was she when you guys took Ethan in? You are also obligated to protect Ethan from Rachel’s hurtful words – what’s your game plan there?”


“‘EDIT: He was adopted a year back.’”

“What about all the other questions people are asking?”

“Your daughter was an only child for 10 years and then you adopted Ethan. It’s no wonder she’s acting out. YTA to both of you for not doing more for them.” – friendlily


“You’re totally justified in canceling lunch. She was completely out of hand, and deserved to have her birthday canceled.”

“But you’ve clearly let this be an issue for a LONG time. And your wife is even more complicit, from the sound of it. There’s just no way she woke up one day and decided to act this badly.”

“Your wife sounds like she’s afraid of your daughter, and possibly has the same issues. You all need to be in family therapy.” – GodLovesUgly1975

“Absolutely ESH except for Ethan.”

“First of all, cancelling the birthday was a smaller punishment than I would have given.”

“Second, why on earth have these comments not been shut down in the past, what consequences does she face? I’m assuming none because your wife says ‘you can’t force them to interact’.”

“I’m curious as to how Ethan came into your care? His parents are dead according to your daughter? We’re his parents friends of yours? Was your wife hesitant to adopt?”

“Your daughter needs some serious consequences for these comments and the whole family needs therapy” – s-nicolexo

“You should have all been in therapy the minute you decided to adopt.”

“Did you think it would be like bringing home a new dog when you already have one? Get your poor daughter into therapy.”

“She isn’t just being mean.”

“She is clearly insecure and hurting.”

“You have a complete disregard for her feelings and why she is responding like this to her brother. This happens with biological siblings too, we know this.”

“They just can’t be as harsh. To be fair I was told by my brothers that I was adopted, they were teens and I was toddler age.”

“I was practically identical to them, so I knew I wasn’t. They were struggling with my existence and the way the family changed after I was born.”

“They loved me but were kids so when emotions got high they would be mean for lack of better skills.”

“You and your wife have failed your children. Get them into therapy individually, immediately, and get into family therapy.”

“If you can’t afford it, you should not have adopted a child because that’s an essential part of adopting, especially when you have a child already in the home.”

“Also, have you ever tried asking your daughter why she says hurtful things?”

“Have you taken time to sit with Rachel, just you and her, and ask her to tell you what she feels about Ethan and why she is so mean to him? Explain to her how much it hurts him.”

“When you say you and your wife ‘tried,’ I feel like that was mostly by yelling, disciplining and making Rachel feel bad…”

“…making it impossible for her to express the actual feelings causing this behaviour….also tried for how long?”

“11 year olds aren’t actually a**holes. They are still learning what their emotions are and how to properly express them.”

“You and your wife are a**holes. The other two are children, and therefore, Rachel’s behaviour still makes you the a**hole. Help your daughter learn how to process and communicate her emotions.”

“A huge part of me thinks this story isn’t real. How were you allowed to adopt without you and your daughter being spoken to by social workers and stuff?”

“How long ago did you adopt Ethan?” – Lopsided-Mix-2798

“Why have you been blind to the resentment that clearly has been building? Why is she taking it out on her brother.”

“Have you considered that maybe she needed help adjusting to having a sibling, nor did you do what you wanted? Not even consider how the family you have would react”

“It’s fantastic you adopted, but you see so many of these stories where the bio kids get ignored so the new child can be the center of attention to help adapt…”

“…yet continue to take away from a child that was already in the home” – Bitter_Animator2514

Hopefully, this family can figure things out soon. Perhaps by the celebrating the day they adopted Ethan?

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)