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Couple’s Family Calls Them ‘Selfish’ For Putting Their Two-Year-Old Autistic Son Up For Adoption

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Redditor Throwaway8201649 was 17 when she and her 19-year-old boyfriend, with who she moved in during college, decided they didn’t want kids.

However, due to unforeseen circumstances, she became pregnant by the time she was 20 and was unable to have an abortion.

By the time their son turned two, the couple learned about his mental condition that led them to make a tough decision.

After causing drama between their families, she visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (ATIA) subReddit and asked:

“AITA For putting my son up for adoption?”

The Original Poster (OP) wrote:

“Ok. I know that sounds terrible but let me explain.”

“My boyfriend and I got together when we were 17 and moved in together at 19 for college. When we first got together we decided we didn’t want kids.”

“I grew up in a family that had babies born almost every year and it put me off having them because I saw how it affected my cousins and siblings.”

“However when I was 20 the condom and the pill failed and I got pregnant. I didn’t find out until I was almost 3 months along so I couldn’t abort.”

“When my son was born I didn’t bond with him. I tried and so did my boyfriend but neither of us could but we took care of him.”

“The issue was me and my boyfriend were both in college and working jobs so a baby wasn’t easy for us and money was tight a lot.”

“When he turned two we found out he had autism. It was at this point we had to sit down and think could we even take care of him.”

“We decided that we couldn’t financially take care of him and we couldn’t give him the motherly and fatherly love he needs. (We tried to so much but we couldn’t bond with him)”

“So we looked into adoption and found a nice couple who lived in a good area and made good money who would love him. They couldn’t have children and fell in love with my son.”

“My now fiancé and I told our families about our decision and both of them told us we were being selfish and destroying our families.”

“My parents told me it was incredibly selfish that I would give birth to him only to give him up and that it would have been better if I miscarried him.”

Strangers online were asked to declare one of the following:

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

Many Redditors understood the OP’s tough decision.

“NTA. You took the appropriate precautions to avoid having kids in the first place.”

“When giving the kid up it sounds like you did your best to find a good family for him. I’m sure the family are also happy to have a child.”

“Your family are wrong in this regard, you did the least selfish thing to ensure your child would have a good life and also made a couple very happy in the process.” – BigOutdoors

“NTA. You two are actually being responsible adults. I’ve never understood why people have to tell others they’re being selfish when in fact they are being the complete opposite.”

“Taking care of yourself, doing what is for the best for your child is NOT SELFISH. It’s self-preservation and again taking care of yourself!”

“I would like to suggest you two get counseling, this is a tough row to hoe. A big hug from an internet stranger.” – FL1ghtlesswaterfowl

“I’m an adoptee and agree that giving up a child is actually one of the least selfish things you can do for your baby. It takes a lot of courage and strength and Op is absolutely NTA for ensuring her child can grow up with adequate support and resources.” – kortiz46

“Controversial subject, but I’ll say NTA.”

“This has to be one of the most difficult decisions ever, but it looks like you have really thought about every option. I also understand the negative reaction you have received, but the choice is yours to make. I wish everything good for you and your child.” – ChocolatePotatoFudge

“NTA. You took appropriate precautions to avoid pregnancy. You and your boyfriend also sat down and said ‘can we do this?’ And you both decided that you couldn’t.”

“I think you both made the best decision for yourselves and your kid.” – Welder1919

“You are 100% NTA. As a woman that can’t have kids, I want to thank you for giving that couple a son. Some people are just born to be parents and some people aren’t.”

“I can tell you it’s a horrible feeling to feel like you were born to be a mom and yet you can’t have children. You gave that couple a gift. Do not feel bad for being someone that’s just not meant to be a mom. You gave your son a better life and that is honorable.” – Danka84

“NTA… you have done what’s best for your son. I can tell it’s difficult and I know people who have children on the spectrum and they struggle, yet they put their kids first and have bonded with them.”

“You and your partner haven’t bonded with your son? That’s sad to hear but it does sound like you have found a couple who will love him and who he can love.”

“Please keep in contact with your son as he grows up. He might have questions later, but be honest and tell him that you loved him yet knew that his ‘mom and dad’ would love him just as much and be able to do things for him that you were not able to.”

“Your family had only seen your son once and they want an opinion on what you have/are doing? They are the a$$holes, not you and your fiancee.” – Stitchapuss

The OP replied:

“We did decide to keep in contact. We’ve decided to be the aunt and uncle who visit at holidays and birthdays and send gifts.”

In an update, the OP made the following clarifications:

“Apparently it’s important to know that my family was disappointed in the pregnancy as had only met my son once in his birthday. They never wanted to see him.”

“We transitioned him over to the adoptive parents for 3 months. We didn’t just up and leave one day.”

Overall, Redditors thought the OP and her fiance did the honorable thing by ultimately making a decision that was best for them and their son.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo