in , ,

Teen Called ‘Selfish’ For Not Giving Sister $270k From College Fund For Life-Saving Surgery

Young girl in the hospital
Portra Images/Getty Images

While there are countless different ways a person might approach their parenting, there’s one thing that we can all agree with: children shouldn’t be made responsible for their parents’ financial burdens.

If parents can’t afford something, they need to come up with a solution, but their children’s funds should not be considered, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Overall_Sherbert_355 felt short-changed by his parents who constantly prioritized his younger siblings ahead of him, including his own money. When his grandparents found out about this, they started saving a college fund for him so that he could have a better life when he was older.

When his parents started looking for ways to gain access to the Original Poster (OP)’s college fund, he knew his relationship with them was never going to change.

He asked the sub:

“AITA for refusing to hand over my college fund for my little sister’s surgery?”

The OP was constantly put last in his family.

“I (17 Male) am the oldest kid in my family. My parents have two bio kids; me and my 12-year-old sister, and they adopted my four other siblings. I had dozens of foster siblings over the years, as well.”

“My parents have struggled to make time and have the money for all of us. It has meant a lot of sacrificing, mostly on my part. My sister is treated the same as the other kids. It’s just me they take from and don’t add to the priority list.”

“My parents were able to make sure all my younger siblings had at least one activity outside of school to do but they never did that for me. I was forced to play football when I was five, but by the time I was seven, my parents had started fostering and I was no longer doing that. My siblings all get to do something they like. Cora does dance, for example. Some of my other siblings are in music classes. I only go to school and work.”

“The younger kids were also prioritized with school field trips. So they always got to go while I haven’t since I was six. The last time I asked was when I was about nine, and my parents told me to work for the money to pay.”

“My grandparents found out what they said and gave me the money and my parents took it from me to use for the household. My grandparents were so mad at them for that.”

“They delayed my tonsil surgery by two years because they prioritized two foster kids and two of my siblings’ surgeries over mine.”

The OP’s grandparents started to do something about his situation.

“My grandparents saw how much I was getting the short end of everything with my parents and they set up a college fund for me. It’s a lot of money and really caught me off-guard.”

“My parents know about it but cannot access it. They only know because of a fight with my grandparents over the lack of savings for my future when they have saved something for my siblings.”

“My parents said the money my grandparents saved should be divided equally because $350,000 is a lot to save for one grandchild when you have multiple.”

“That money is still there and I have plans for it.”

The OP’s parents continued to press for access to his college fund.

“Now my youngest sister is five, and she needs a pretty major stomach surgery. She’s had a lot of health troubles since her birth, and my parents have paid a lot of money for her medical expenses.”

“They were told this surgery could turn her life around and give her a chance at living with less pain and stomach complications. It could give her a more normal childhood because she can’t do a lot.”

“They don’t have the money for the surgery and they want me to give them the money to pay for it and for the expenses afterward.”

“They said they need $270,000 for the whole thing and maybe they can give some of it back, but they might need even more if stuff gets more complicated.”

This demand led to a serious argument.

“I told them they couldn’t have that money.”

“They lost it and told me I was being selfish.”

“I argued back that they take from me all the time. I asked why they didn’t take the money they saved for all my siblings and use that. Why does it have to be mine?”

“They said I was putting college before my sister’s future and accused me of being unwilling because she’s my sister through adoption and not my bio sister.”


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 reassured the OP that it was not his job to pay for this surgery.

“Here’s what I don’t get. They’re planning for foster and adopted kids but not their bio kids. Now they’re trying to make sure you have nothing at all because whatever money your grandparents have saved for you for college should go to your adopted sister’s surgery.”

“One question: why are you still living there? I would’ve moved to the grandparents. Your parents seem not to care for you at all unless you have something they want, money. They can look into other resources but refuse. Because they know about your college fund?”

“NTA to me. It’s not your responsibility do not let them guilt you into anything.”

“Think about how that has you feeling. It’s like they don’t care about you or your future. You’re their first and this is the way they’re treating you? I’m angry for you. I would never treat my firstborn that way but that’s me.”

“Please don’t say anything to your grandparents. They saved that money so you can get a good start in life. Let your parents be angry. Let them look elsewhere too.” – BasketNo1006

“It is nothing but a money grab by your parents.”

“From your info, they have stolen and taken money from you before. Why is this any different? They are just looking for suckers to finance their lifestyle. And even if you did give the money to them.”

“It won’t be long before they have another ’emergency.’ Using or creating an ’emergency’ is con artist tactic number one.”

“NTA.” – backgate1

“NTA. Do not give up your college fund. This is your ticket out of there. You’ll never get this money back and will end up in debt. Your parents should look first at government subsidies, etc., given she’s a kid with chronic illness and is fostered.”

“You were deprived by them, keep this money for your schooling. I’d also suggest living with your grandparents or something.” – sikonat

“NTA, OP, and tell your grandparents that your parents are pressuring you and you don’t want to give up your future. Especially if your parents have funds for all the other kids. It’s not your job to sacrifice everything for the kids they adopted.” – Vhcadet

“NTA. Please move in with your grandparents.”

“Do not give any of your college money to your parents. It’s meant for you, it was saved for you, it was put away for your future. A college degree will help set you up to support yourself, and you need to support yourself. Obviously, your parents will not.”

“Your parents are abusive, manipulative, greedy people who only think about what they want. Yes, they are selfish. Taking in foster kids doesn’t automatically make you a wonderful person who makes great choices. They are obsessed with taking in kids even if they don’t have the necessary time or resources, and even if it means neglecting you.”

“If you give them the money, you will never, ever get it back. Then another foster kid with other medical issues will need the rest of your money… and you, again like your whole life, will have nothing.”

“Please leave and go to college. Hugs and love.” – CampfiresInConifers

Others agreed and were certain the OP’s parents were lying to him about the costs.

“My guess is they figured $250k would be the ‘fair’ amount to divide among the other kids, and so they’re lying to OP to get it.” – sweetalkersweetalker

“I think that they’re lying about needing the money. Foster children qualify for Medicaid, and if it is a medically necessary surgery they should not need that much out of pocket. My guess is they decided on an amount they could somehow justify leaving you with without looking like absolute monsters in their minds and asked for the rest.”

“Even if you were to give it to them (which you should not) I’d only give money directly to the hospital, not to them trusting they would pay for anything with it. How convenient that, now that they know this money is there, they think they’re entitled to it.”

“It sounds like you’re in a narcissistic family structure and are the scapegoat. They probably foster kids because they think it makes them look like good people. r/raisedbynarcissists might be a good sub to check out.”

“I would also try to lock down your credit so they don’t open cards in your name, and make sure your savings account is in a different bank and doesn’t have their names on it.” – Beckylately

“If she was adopted through the state, she gets covered until she’s 18. They’re lying because they’re mad your grandparents are giving you money and not them.”

“Even if they weren’t lying, it would still be financial abuse. I was a foster child, they’re getting money for every foster kid, and they get continued medical coverage if they adopted her.”

“And there are charities that would do the surgery for free. I know this to be true. The Shriners paid for my eye surgery decades ago. Their whole story reeks of fabrication to steal your college fund.”

“I’m so sorry.” – savinathewhite

“NTA. I call bulls**t on your parents needing to pay out the a** on medical costs for a special needs adopted child. My understanding is the state will provide a certain dollar amount cash-wise each month and state pay insurance. My adoptive parents only received medical for me. I didn’t fall under special needs. I think they are lying to you.”

“I would have an honest conversation with your grandparents and see about moving in with them as soon as possible. How your parents are treating you is not okay. You deserve better than that.” – Amaryllis83


“OP, please tell your Grandparents that your parents are trying to force you to give them the money. Please tell them everything don’t hold back. Your parents are heavily lying to you and treating you badly. You are being neglected and abused. You need to move out.” – EveningOven3695

After receiving feedback, the OP shared a brief update:

“I’m learning a lot from this. I’m glad I posted because it’s teaching me so much, even if it wasn’t my intention when posting.”

“I’ll talk to my grandparents about all this and see if I can move in with them. I never considered that as an option before, but posting here has helped.”

The subReddit was appalled by how the OP was being treated by his biological parents in favor of his younger sister and stepsiblings.

It was clear that the OP needed to create a life for himself where he’d never had to depend on his parents, and it obviously started with him keeping his funds and carving out the best possible future for himself that he could.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.