Families are formed in all sorts of different ways.
And unless they want to share with others, how their family was made is really only their business.
That’s how one mother felt on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, when she shared how her extended family wanted to know more about her sons.
The Redditor who has since deleted her account felt her sons should be able to decide before she shared their history with anyone else.
But despite wanting to protect her sons, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was in the wrong:
“AITA for not telling my family which of my children is biologically mine?”
The OP has two sons, though only one is biological.
“I have 2 kids, ‘Clark’ and ‘Kent’. While they have the same father, only one of them is biologically my child. They were born within 6 months of each other.”
“The boys are currently 6, and for various reasons, I have full custody of both of them.”
The OP’s extended family wasn’t aware of this due to estrangement.
“I didn’t speak to anyone in my family for several years, and we got back in touch in 2019.”
“Due to the boys’ ages, my family knows I couldn’t have carried both unless I have the gestation period of a hamster or the longest labor ever.”
“I have explained to them how this all came to be, but in my explanation, I neglected to tell them which was my biological child.”
It’s hard to tell, because the sons look so similar.
“Due to my ex having a type, the other woman looked enough like me that the boys could pass for twins.”
“Same dark hair, blue eyes, pale skin, and both cleft chins and dimples. My brother jokes that they look like tiny Supermen.”
“People who know them refer to them as twins, because aside from a few minor differences, they’re practically identical.”
“Frankly, if they were closer in age and I’d had full custody of both from the time they were born, I suspect I would have mixed them up a lot as babies.”
Fairly recently, the OP’s mother began to ask strange questions.
“Shortly before Clark’s birthday last year, my mum asked if she could see Clark’s birth certificate.”
“I asked why and she said she wanted to know the exact time he was born, so I told her. She asked if she could see the certificate anyway. I asked why.”
“She said she just wanted to check. I said I’m his mother, I know when he was born.”
“Then she asked the same thing about Kent and we went through the same conversation all over again. Mum eventually admitted that she just wanted to see the birth mother’s name on each certificate, which isn’t even how that works and I told her as much.”
The OP then stood up for her role as the boys’ mother.
“This led to an argument where my stance was that I’m their mother, biology is irrelevant.”
“Mum says if biology is irrelevant, then it’s not a big deal to tell her which of them is biologically mine.”
“I said if she’s so hung up on biology, then clearly it’s a big deal to her and I don’t want it to be a big deal, especially as the boys themselves don’t know.”
The OP’s mother didn’t agree with her.
“Mum feels this is incredibly selfish, narcissistic, and overall wrong.”
“She feels that if biology isn’t such a big issue, then I should have no problem telling her whether Clark or Kent is my biological son, and that accusing her of potential favoritism or something similar with her bio grandchild is an unfair judgment with no actual reasoning to it.”
The rest of the family had mixed feelings.
“My boyfriend agrees that I shouldn’t tell anyone at least until my sons have decided for themselves if they want to know and want other people to know.”
“But my entire family agrees with mum that I’m being unreasonably selfish and that my actions now are more likely to cause issues than mum’s potential actions later.”
“Am I in the wrong?”
Fellow Redditors wrote in anonymously, rating the situation on the following scale:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some agreed with the OP, stating the family should be more important than biology.
“She doesn’t need to know, because this clearly matters far too much to her for it to just be innocent curiosity.”
“If you tell her which child is biologically yours; I can guarantee you that she will 100% show blatant favoritism to her biological grandchild, and might go as far as to bully your other son.”
“Also, unless and until your sons know everything (and are willing to share it), nobody else needs to know.”
“Honestly, I don’t know why your relationship with your mother broke down, but judging by the way that she (and the rest of the family) are behaving; I feel like it might be a massive mistake to even rekindle the relationship with her.”
“They all seem toxic, so proceed with extreme caution and don’t tell her anything, or leave her alone with either child. Good luck.”
“NTA” – zeebobo1
“She should be happy that A) you’re talking to her again at all, and B ) she has two grandsons. And that’s what she should be her only two concerns. And quite frankly, she should be thrilled that you’re such a stand-up person that you have custody of another women’s child and are raising him as your own.” – YeeshOk06
“I talk to my mom at least a couple of times a week. If I got pregnant, she would know. If I was getting custody of another child, she would know. OP not telling her mom some of the most important moments of her life means OPs mom is toxic and her behavior reinforces that.”
“Edit: I haven’t seen my mom in almost a year because we don’t live near each other and [the pandemic] happened and my mommy is at risk. But she damn sure would know if I was pregnant.” – insecurepassword
“I live abroad and I wouldn’t describe my relationship with my mom as particularly close. I see her once a year or every other year and I talk to her about once a month or less.”
“When I have a baby, I do not want my mom in the delivery room or really involved in the birth at all. I don’t want her help or support with baby care afterward either.”
“And yet, if I were pregnant, she would still be one of the first people I would tell.”
“So in my eyes, there must be some damn good reasons why OP’s mom didn’t know for years that she had children.” – breezybreeee
A few disagreed, in a way, stating her sons were old enough to know.
“As an adopted kid, you’ve got to tell those boys ASAP who’s who.”
“The longer you wait, the more it has the potential to do serious damage. Regardless of how wonderful a life they’ve had with you, one of them is going to feel like they’ve been living a lie.”
“You can do it in a positive way, my parents did, and I never felt being adopted was anything other than a positive thing, it was no big deal. The older they get, the bigger deal it’s going to be.” – vroomvroom450
“it’s not the kids she wanted to hide it from, it’s the nosy MIL (mother-in-law) who seems to need the information when it doesn’t have any relevance.”
“The kids should know. but the MIL doesn’t need to. ( the insistent boundary pushing seems to imply a great deal of potential hazard in how MIL will treat the adopted son).” – FishFeet500
“Whoa whoa… she needs to wait to tell her boys about their birth origins in order to avoid OP’s mom knowing?”
“She should tell the boys on her own timeline that has nothing to do with her mom. If the boys let it slip and grandma shows favoritism, then cut grandma out like she did before.”
“Delaying that info to her boys for that reason seems cruel and petty and gives grandma FAR too much power.” – Pip-Pipes
“OP you have to tell your sons – asap given their age. Other family members are up to you, and of course, if you tell young kids, then there’s the chance they’ll tell relatives, but they need to know as early as possible.” – Familydrama99
But others warned the OP to be careful, concerned about the grandmother sabotaging their relationship.
“do not let her know which is your biologically. the fact that she asked is indicative of her desired favoritism. she wants to know which of the kids she should actually be concerned with loving and which one she doesn’t need to bother with. there is literally no other reason for her to want to know that information” – l3gion-1183
“NTA. If she ever finds out, your mother will favor the biological grandchild; otherwise, it wouldn’t matter to her, who was on the birth certificate.” – wind-river7
“Agreed. I’d be cautious to ensure she doesn’t take a swab to their mouth when mom isn’t looking” – No0dl3s
“If mom isn’t close enough to know 1) When her daughter gave birth and 2) What she named her baby, then I hope that mom isn’t allowed to be alone with them long enough to secretly swab them.” – LittleMissSunshine11
It’s certainly a complicated situation, but the Redditors seemed to agree that the OP was not in any way wrong for keeping that information to herself. Though her family might have questions, it wasn’t their inherent right to receive answers.