in ,

Woman Asks If She’s Wrong To Refuse Her Mother’s Request To Carry Her Dead Brother’s Baby As A Surrogate

SDI Productions/Getty Images

Losing a child is horrible for a parent, even if the child is an adult.

But one mother’s grief over the loss of her son lead to a big demand on her daughter. After they clashed, the daughter turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Redditor Lor1Luv41 asked:

“AITA for not carrying my brother’s baby?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My mother has two older sisters. Each had two kids, and my aunts have multiple grandkids while my mother has only one.”

“My aunts tease her relentlessly over this, and that trickles down to me. I constantly hear from my mom that she wants more grandkids.”

“My husband and I are content with our little family and I don’t want to change our lives just so my mom can play catchup.”

“5 years ago: My daughter was born, and 10 weeks later my little brother was diagnosed with cancer. He immediately had surgery to remove tumors.”

“A year later, my brother was Stage 4A. He had multiple surgeries, radiation therapy, and weekly chemo.”

“Last August, my brother lost his battle with cancer. His death nearly destroyed my mom.” 

“I’ll spare you the details, but he didn’t go quietly. It was very traumatic for all of us.”

“Life has been very slow in returning to a semblance of normal, especially for my mom, who was his caregiver until his death.”

“Two weeks ago, my mother called me. Before my brother started his first round of chemo, he froze some sperm in the event he recovered.”

“He desperately wanted to have a family of his own, so he did everything he could to ensure he would have that chance should it arise.”

“The day my mom called, she received a bill from the cryo facility for the yearly fees and asked me what to do.”

“I never expected my mom to ask my advice, but I asked what she expected to come of having his sperm saved. Did mom anticipate finding a surrogate, have that person carry a child, and raise the kid herself?”

“Because that’s the only way I could see a need for her to continue funding the donation. She told me that she’d thought about it, and her plan was this: she wanted me to find an egg donor, get the egg fertilized with my brother’s sperm, then have me carry, birth, and raise the kid.”

“I was speechless.”

“I thought she might suggest a surrogate with me raising the kid instead of her. When I asked her if she was serious, she was.”

“So I told her what was the only logical course for me—in no way whatsoever could I do this. Just the thought of it gave me the chills.”

“I miss my brother too, but trying to carry on his memory this way was too much for me.”

“Mom didn’t like my answer.”

“She told me to discuss it with my husband and let her know our decision. I told her I didn’t have to.”

“It wasn’t going to happen. Mom freaked out, called me ungrateful and told me I’m ‘desecrating’ my brother’s memory by not carrying on his wish of having a child of his own.”

“Also, she wanted more grandkids, and this was the perfect way to ‘fix that problem’. When I stuck to my firm no, she then screamed that she’d never speak to me again and hung up.”

“I haven’t heard a word from my mom since that call. My husband backs me up, saying that even suggesting it was creepy to the nth degree.”

“So, what do you think, AITA? Should I apologize for not giving in?”

Redditors were allowed to weigh in and tell the OP:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Redditors were unanimous in their judgment that the OP was NTA.

“NTA. It sounds like OP’s mother is using this as a stop-gap to grieving. She’s not processing what happened to your brother, but sees this as a way to keep him around.”

“Imagine if OP said yes, and the child was a boy. Mom would likely demand it be named after the brother, be made to act like the brother, be encouraged to study or enjoy the same things as the brother, etc.”

“It’s actually a fairly common issue with parents who lose *young* children; they expect (even unintentionally) the next kid to be the lost one remade, and blame them when it doesn’t happen that way.”

“Stand firm, and if I were you, OP, I’d contact the cryo facility to inform them that the donor is deceased. Send them a death certificate.”

“There might be actual laws about the handling of his remains that prevent them from being used by an unauthorized person (such as your mother.) They can’t just allow anyone to take the materials they’re saving without prior permission from the donor.” ~ VeryVeryTexan

“Unfortunately my mother did this to my son. My brother died at 10 days old. He was too early and his lungs just could not keep up.”

“Fast forward 23 years, I had my son and my mom said he looked just like my brother. Ever since then, my mother has tried to mother him. It’s weird to say the least.” ~ EHGA2020

“I think it’s probably more than that. OP’s mom appears to have some historical personal issues with her sisters that she has let affect her in a extremely unhealthy way and is attempting to manipulate her daughter in a desperate need to compete or whatever.”

“It’s clear she needs to address issues in therapy and OP, while dealing with the estrangement from her mom is making a choice that is correct, no question.”

“The mom probably needs to not be around the grand baby she does have as the obsessive and unhealthy mental state clearly makes her do irrational and potentially dangerous things.” ~ Critikalythinknhuman

“This, so hard. My mom told me the other day after I told her that I’m not having any more children that she wanted just one more grandbaby.”

“I asked her why the 5 she already has aren’t good enough. These are people, not collector’s items!” ~ kornberg

Redditors all agreed the OP made the right decision. The relationship with her mother and any child would not be healthy.

And getting pregnant, giving birth and raising a child just so a deceased sibling can “get to be a parent” is not a good idea, for the OP, her own family or her mother.

The OP didn’t provide an update, but Redditors were hopeful she’d stick to her decision and her mother would get some grief counseling.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.