Content Warning: Infertility, teen pregnancy
Anyone who has ever struggled with infertility or conceiving a child can agree how difficult it is to see the people around them having babies, especially when someone close to them has such an easy time getting pregnant that it’s an accident.
But that’s no reason to shame the person who has become pregnant or to pressure them into making tough life decisions, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Outrageous_Share7008’s teenage daughter had become pregnant and had decided to keep and raise her baby, with the biological father still in the picture and ready to help.
But because her sister-in-law (SIL) was unable to have children, the Original Poster (OP) felt pressure to encourage her daughter to give up her child so that her SIL could adopt.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for kicking my MIL (Mother-in-Law) out of my house for trying to convince my daughter to give her baby to my SIL (Sister-in-Law)?”
The OP’s teenage daughter’s life was changing significantly, and fast.
“I (34 Female) have been married to my husband for 10 years. We have two daughters together (ages 7 and 5).”
“I also have a daughter from a high school relationship who is 17.”
“My teen daughter is seven months pregnant. The father is in her life. They both are working hard saving money.”
“I’ve already had the necessary talks with my daughter, but she is dead set on being a mother to this child.”
The OP’s sister-in-law (SIL) was struggling with a very different problem.
“My SIL (35 Female) has struggled with fertility and basically has been told she cannot have children.”
“They’ve been actively trying or just not using protection for the past 10 years and only conceived twice, ending in early miscarriages.”
“My mother-in-law (MIL) brought up the idea of letting my SIL adopt my daughter’s baby, which we told her was against my daughter’s wishes.”
But the OP’s mother-in-law was not taking no for an answer.
“The other day, I came home from work, and my MIL was visiting.”
“I overheard her talking to my daughter about that idea and telling her how she wouldn’t be fit to be a mother and my SIL is much more prepared.”
“My MIL remarked on how she wouldn’t want to repeat the cycle (because I had her so young).”
“She then tried to guilt-trip and told her how it was my SIL’s dream to have a child.”
“I simply opened the door and said, ‘Get out.'”
“She stared at me in complete disbelief and then said I couldn’t kick her out of her son’s house.”
“I said, ‘I can and I just did.'”
“She left, but then when my husband got home from work, he said she had left a ton of messages about how in the wrong I am and how I’m setting my daughter up for failure.”
“My husband’s on my side.”
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 felt that the OP stopped a legitimate opportunity for her daughter.
“YTA. What your MIL is suggesting is a legitimate idea and while she went about it in the wrong way, you didn’t need to barge in like Godzilla and throw her out of the house. How will you feel if your daughter on her own decides to give the child to SIL?”
“You just needed to discuss with your daughter the positives and negatives of her situation, without pressure from MIL or SIL. It’s her decision and she will look to you for guidance. Act like a responsible adult, not a bully.” – General-Soreness
“YTA. Adoption is not a bad issue to talk about. Having someone in the family to adopt your grandkid is a good scenario over some 17-year-old ruining her life.”
“Your anger is misdirected, because you failed to protect your daughter from an unplanned teenage pregnancy.” – Gullible-Essay-55
“Congratulations on being a grandma at 34. Maybe in the next 12 to 17 years, someone can learn how to teach teenagers about birth control. This isn’t meant to be mean, but just wondering how you failed to teach your daughter this one important thing.”
“YTA and so is your MIL.” – Skizzybee
“YTA. From your post, it sounds like the SIL would be a fit mom and the baby would be better off.” – marcus_frisbee
“YTA. You interrupted a conversation between two adults. Your daughter could have asked her to leave if she wanted to. Mind your business.” – hbauman0001
“ESH. On the surface, this seems like the perfect solution to an unplanned pregnancy, except that your daughter and the baby’s husband are apparently both set on keeping the baby.”
“Your MIL was out of line visiting your daughter when you weren’t home to talk to her about this, and it sounds pretty sneaky. On the other hand, being a mom myself, I can understand how desperately she may want to ease her own daughter’s pain. She’s not thinking straight.”
“Also, I wonder how much you’ve unconsciously encouraged your daughter to keep the baby or if you’ve imparted some kind of unspoken rule that giving up the baby would be wrong since you didn’t give her up.”
“Things have changed over the past two decades. Having a baby so young will be extremely hard on this young couple. They’re going to miss out on so much and they may not last. Why make this choice when someone older and more established in the family is able to raise her baby?”
“Unlike a lot of adoptive parents, she knows these people wouldn’t mistreat her child and she could keep tabs on the baby from a distance, even developing a familial relationship of sorts. She could easily have the next seventeen years to go to college, pursue a career, and date other boys before starting a family of her own. Until you’ve had a baby, you never really know the full responsibility, the sleepless nights, and the way you can never go out without thinking about someone else.”
“The cost of children these days is daunting unless you and your husband or her baby daddy’s family are willing to help out with that, and then they’ll be beholden to you forever, causing resentment.”
“You say your 17-year-old understands all this. Are you sure? I get that you don’t want to pressure your daughter.”
“If I were her mom, I think I would honestly encourage her to give the baby up to SIL’s family unless something is wrong with SIL and her husband. The baby would still be in the family. Your daughter and boyfriend would be free to pursue their life’s dreams, together or not.”
“I know two people in adoption situations like this, both raised by aunts and uncles of their biological mothers. Both had wonderful happy childhoods, knew their mothers, saw them on holidays, etc. No resentment, just understanding that their teen moms weren’t ready to be parents.” – CascadianCat
Others sided with the OP, however, and found the MIL’s behavior to be inappropriate.
“While I cannot imagine the tough journey your SIL is on as she navigates her fertility struggles, your daughter’s circumstance is not a patch job for your SIL’s situation. There are tough conversations to be had when one is pregnant without planning it (regardless of age), but it was not your MIL’s place to have any of those conversations and she didn’t even approach it as a conversation: she was trying to manipulate your daughter emotionally.”
“She deserved to get kicked out. She has no respect for boundaries or decency.”
“Food for thought: Could you (or your husband) touch base with your SIL to see if she knew what MIL was doing? I hope she was unaware, but if she was not, it may necessitate a conversation with both MIL and SIL about boundaries and what is and is not their place in regard to your daughter’s pregnancy (although I also encourage you to check with your daughter to see if she is willing, and comfortable, to have you advocate on her behalf this way).” – Dramatic-Thread4319
“NTA. Keep defending your daughter.”
“I will NEVER understand this attitude. Hubby and I spent 20 years trying to have a baby. Even after a miscarriage that nearly killed me. I would never, in a million years, try to convince someone to give up their child. It’s horrendous and she deserves for you to go full no contact until she apologizes.”
“For what it’s worth, two of my cousins had babies at 16 and 17. They both have Master’s degrees and happy lives. One is married with three more kids, and one has never married but isn’t lonely or unhappy (she’s had multiple wonderful significant others).”
“Their children are also successful. Your daughter can do this, and you know how to help. That’s the majority of what she needs. I hope her baby is a blessing to you all.” – CheckIntelligent7828
“NTA. If your daughter wants to keep her kid, she should keep her kid. She’s growing them in her body and carrying them for those nine months. She has bodily autonomy.”
“There are other options for SIL. She could do a lot of good adopting a child. Additionally, SIL needs a reality check that it’s super f**king weirdo behavior to ask you for your daughter’s child.”
“Your MIL is the a**hole for trying to go behind your back to tell your daughter to give her child up. Honestly, MIL is downright slimy for that.” – mothball_
“Sounds like you and your husband are together on this. NTA.”
“MIL crossed the line. She’s the AH. SIL maybe is too? I assume she wants to adopt this kid and that’s why MIL is pushing the agenda.”
“Your daughter may well have it tough just with age, but sounds like (apart from MIL and maybe SIL) she has a supportive family. She’s in a good situation, all things considered.”
“Be wary of future white-anting (undermining) from MIL (and SIL?), though.” – nemothorx
“NTA. Whether you agree with your daughter’s decision or not, it’s good that you have her back. You know firsthand how difficult this path can be and you’re doing an excellent job of protecting her where you can.” – BoudiccaRisen
While the subReddit could perceive how giving the baby up for adoption would open a lot of doors for the OP’s daughter, the most important thing to the subReddit was that the teen had support to help her get through how her life was going to change.
Since she had that, whether or not the family was fully in agreement or not, it seemed the teen, her partner, and their baby could have a wonderful future together.