Family is not just blood. People don’t get a pass because they’re related.
It is great to establish boundaries and make sure that people don’t take advantage of your relationship.
Redditor uselessfatherorphan encountered this very issue with her estranged dad. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for calling my father “a worthless sperm donor” and then refusing to come to his son’s funeral?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My (17f) father-let’s call him Carl- left my mom and I when I was 6. I didn’t even know my parents had issues, and apparently neither did my mom, so it was a total surprise when I woke up that morning to my mom in hysterics because he was missing.”
“We searched everywhere, contacted everyone we knew, and still it took well over a year before we even found him. Even then it was just so my mom could get a proper divorce.”
“No contact since then.”
“My mom was the best, but she was killed in an accident when I was 10. I was in the car with her, and in a hospital for a while afterwards.”
“The authorities went looking for my dad, but when they couldn’t find him, custody of me went to my mom’s foster/adoptive parents. About a month ago, my grandparents were contacted by Carl, who claimed he wanted to see me.”
The plot thickens.
“Or rather, he wanted me to meet his son (11) who was apparently sick.”
“Have I mentioned that Carl got himself a new family the same year he ditched us? Kid wasn’t even his, but apparently meant more to him than I ever did. Anyway, it seemed like the kid wanted to meet me.”
“My grandparents made it clear it would be my choice, and I said no. Vehemently.”
“4 days ago, Carl showed up at my house screaming that I was an awful child/sister because I refused to grant his son’s ‘dying wish,’ and now the kid has already passed. I felt sympathetic towards him, but there was no way I was gonna let him blame me for it.”
“So this may be where I’m TA: I told Carl he had no right to my time because he was nothing more than a worthless sperm donor who didn’t even show up when my mom died.”
“Then I told him that under no circumstance can he force me to attend his son’s funeral because I didn’t know him, nor did I ever want to.”
“My grandparents are on my side, but they did mention that I could have been just a bit nicer cuz his kid just died, but frankly, Carl was an ass and it’s not like I said he deserved what happened for being a shit dad.”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA. Fuck Carl and what happened to the kid isn’t your problem. (I’ll take downvotes but it’s the truth. OP never knew the kid and had no relationship.) Your grandparents are good people and you were probably the world to your mother. Hold your head up high and remember the good times.”
“Edit: Thank you Reddit for the kind awards.” ~ ObviousAirline
“NTA – No downvotes from me. Karl sucks as a father and as a human being.” ~ Knitty_Cat
“$5 says he was after a kidney, liver, or or bone marrow to save the other son and that’s the only reason he got in touch at all. NTA” ~ Far_Administration41
“That’s kinda how I assumed it was going to end up being about, and while it wasn’t confirmed one way or the other, that’s just because OP didn’t take the bait. Maybe the kid genuinely wanted to make a connection with some rumored sister, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was just about finding out whether she’s a potential medical match.” ~ genomerain
“IMO it makes sense because the kid was 11, never met OP and OPs dad seemed to have been a phantom for 11ish years so I highly doubt OPs dad even mentioned OP or did so sparingly.”
“So the child wanting to meet OP or slim to none.” ~ TheoryAddict
Many argued the math didn’t add up.
“Like other commenters, I’m not entirely convinced they are unrelated. Of course I don’t know for sure, and I don’t think the OP is lying about this, but the OP also has never met the kid and also doesn’t really know what prompted her father to disappear mysteriously for the amount of years that seems suspiciously close to this boy’s age. And dad doesn’t seem the upstanding sort who would be completely honest about this.”
“It would probably mean he was having an affair before he vanished, but like I said, does he seem like the upstanding sort of guy to you?” ~ genomerain
“Funny enough, when you do the math:”
“Dad abandons family when she’s six.”
“She’s now 17.”
“Dad has a “step” son who died at 11.”
“thinking emoji” ~ Writerlad
“Seems too on the nose that he got a son, married his mistress, and lived happily ever after without his firstborn the unwanted daughter. I know how it feels. F*ck Carl.” ~ kraftypsy
Redditors argued OP’s dad is just selfish.
“I bet $10 on that or anything other favor, Carl didn’t grow a soul out of the blue, he needed something.” ~ Old_Acanthaceae4226
“Yes, if Carl didn’t show up after her Mom died – he is only there for himself, only cries for himself.” ~ kissiemoose
“If the authorities couldn’t even find the guy when OP’s mother died, I doubt he even paid child support all this time. Now that they know where he is, it’d be a great time to get his wages garnished for all the back support he owes.”
“Carl doesn’t deserve any sympathy from a child he willfully screwed over.” ~ foxscribbles
“Great idea! OP – you are still a minor at 17! Go to your nearest social services office and cash in!” ~ kissiemoose
“I really like the way you think – although OP probably wants nothing from Carl, she deserves to give him this final FU (and he owes her grandparents if nothing else).” ~ Jay-Dee-British
OP doesn’t owe him anything.