It can be challenging to know whether or not a secret is worth keeping.
Secrecy, itself, of course can be a vital tool to help someone through difficult times or ensure a person’s safety.
Not every secret should be kept though, and the issue of when to break the silence can be a challenging one to deal with.
That was the question facing Redditor and ORiginal Poster (OP) Spiderlotr when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for some outside opinions.
“AITA if I tell my mom that my dad asked if I could be a surrogate for him and his new wife?”
OP started with the premise of their problem.
“My (26 Female) dad (56 Male) has been trying to have a child with his new wife (40F) for going on 2 years.”
“They are attempting IVF but aren’t having luck.”
“They told me this in confidence and asked if I could keep the fact they are trying for a baby to myself; which I have done no problem.”
“Recently my dad called saying he had something he had been planning to ask me for a while.”
She explained what the actual issue was.
“He asked if things with IVF don’t work out if I would be willing to be a possible surrogate (with donor DNA for both of them).”
“I was shocked and to be honest slightly disgusted by the idea.”
Then OP stepped back to offer the history involved.
“For some background my father and I don’t have the best relationship.”
“My parents are divorced and he was an alcoholic up until I went to college. We went 3 years without speaking to each other because of an argument.”
“We only started speaking again 3 years ago. All of this makes the fact that he asked so shocking.”
“When he asked I gave an awkward chuckle told him, ‘I don’t even know if I ever want to physically have a child myself and if I do I would probably use surrogacy myself if I could, you know?’ “
“He was audibly disappointed when he responded with, ‘No, I don’t know.’ There was an awkward pause and I said ‘Yeah well…sorry but I love you.’ And we hung up.
“I was so shocked I thought I had entered the twilight zone and started to feel nauseous.”
“I was going to keep this to myself but don’t think I can. I want to tell my mom (60F). We have a very close relationship and constantly tell each other everything.”
“Even if this is the end of that conversation, the fact that my dad felt comfortable asking me is weirding me out. I’m slightly concerned she might attempt to murder him.”
“I would like her to put the fear of God into him so he never considers even THINKING of me and surrogacy in the same sentence ever again.”
“My dad is a selfish person.”
“I know he didn’t consider the ramifications of what being pregnant and having a child would have on me at all – even if I would not be involved with raising it.”
“I know part of why he asked is because he was hoping to save the money a surrogacy agency will cost.”
“It’s grossing me out that he had to have thought about me being pregnant. It’s just grossing me out and I’d like to talk to my mom about the situation.”
OP was left to wonder.
“AITA if I talked to her about this after they asked me to keep the fact they are trying to have a child a secret?”
“It would obviously give away the fact that they are trying for a child and she would 100% yell at him.”
“Which would give away the fact that I told her. She wouldn’t spread it to other people though and I do feel like he crossed a line asking this question.”
“TL;DR: My dad asked if I would think about being a surrogate (donated dna) for him and my step-mom.”
“I would like to talk to my mom about this but the fact they are trying for a child is a secret. AITA if I talked to my mom about what my dad asked me; which would give away his and my step-mom’s secret?”
Having explained the problem and the history surrounding it, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some responses pointed out how inappropriate the request was at face value.
“I’m usually in the camp of don’t spill secrets, but this is a huge ask and if you need to confide in your mom, confide in her. It’s something that majorly affects you.”
“If it eases your mind, you wouldn’t even qualify to be a surrogate.”
“No legit fertility place will allow you to be impregnated, so his attempt to get around other fees would fail.”
“Even the places with the loosest restrictions wouldn’t accept a surrogate that has never carried at least one pregnancy to term. It’s the most major of requirements. ~ Kare6Bear6
“Your dad would not have been approved to use you as a surrogate, that is how inappropriate his ask is.”
“It is so inappropriate that I question whether he WANTS a child, he is sabotaging the process by choosing such an inappropriate path.”
“It is so inappropriate that you MUST tell your mom or someone, anyone, so that your loved ones can help you heal from the damage your ‘father’ is doing to your idea of love and relationships.” ~ chewingfloss
Others pointed out how selfish the request was.
“The thing that made me recoil wasn’t the thought of surrogacy, but more the fact OPs father has been described as a selfish man and asked a HUGE thing of his daughter.”
“(Whom he hasn’t had a great relationship with) to do this. It’s like he doesn’t comprehend what that even means and the toll it would take on OP mentally and physically.”
“I think I’m less grossed out by family being a surrogate because my mum once offered to be one for me if I ever needed it.”
“The difference is I have an amazing relationship with my mum and I literally cannot be pregnant due to medical conditions which she knows bums me out.”
“Even though it felt a bit of a weird conversation I felt very touched she would offer that.”
“I probably won’t have kids though, or if I do I’d like to adopt. Too many needy kiddos in this world who need some love! (plus HECK carrying on my genes LOL)” ~ unicornhair1991
Commenters pointed out how hurtful secrets can be.
“Sure we keep secrets but not when they’re damaging.”
“You’re not sharing the secret of them trying, you’re sharing an uncomfortable thing your father asked of you that has clearly caused some mental discomfort.”
“It’s unreasonable to expect that to be kept secret.”
“But if you’d feel more comfortable, don’t reveal that they’re trying?”
“Instead of “Dad has been trying for X years, Y method isn’t working so he asked me to maybe be a surrogate.” you could say ‘So Dad asked if I’d maybe be a surrogate since age would make it hard for them to have a kid naturally.’ “
“If Dad wants to reveal the rest while defending himself, that’s on him.” ~ PompeyLulu
Some reacted with revulsion.
“This is horrifying.”
“Not only is that request just creepy and … I don’t even know.”
“I truly can’t find the right words. Abhorrent?”
“You need to previously have carried a child to qualify to be a surrogate anyway. So he has clearly not thought this through or talked to a medical professional about surrogacy in general.”
“And anyone negatively responding to the part where she wants to tell her mom, THE F*CK ?”
“She was just requested to birth her own sibling.”
“Ya think her mother wouldn’t put obvious pieces together when the child would be given to her father !??!? Jeez.”
“NTA. Ugh. I shuddered. Actually shuddered.” ~ opinionatedjars
“My soul needs a shower after reading that, that’s just one of those grungy things that on the surface seems innocuous, then a split second later the r@pey/incestuous vibes hit you like a Mac truck.”
“NTA I can’t even imagine how he proposes to bypass the clinic’s standard objections, does the step mother know he was going to ask this?”
“Was she OK with it?”
“Was she the one pushing for it? So many uncomfortable questions, so many more unsettling answers.”
“ETA definitely tell your mum.”
“This is one of those cases where if they were bold enough to ask, they’re going to sit on your response and come back with a dozen reasons why they aren’t valid enough to refuse.”
“Set your mother on him, he lost his right to privacy when he tried to include you in the solution🤢” ~
It can be challenging to know whether or not a secret is worth keeping.
Safety – mental and physical – should always be the first concern when not divulging information.
Always remember to rely on your support networks and be wary of anyone who asks you for things outside of your comfort zone.