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Woman Irate After Adopted SIL Tries To Force Her To Discuss Her Own Painful Past With Birth Mom

Woman holding her hands in front of the camera.
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Certain subjects can be guaranteed to ruin a conversation.

Sometimes, they can even ruin an evening or an entire day.

Most of the time, people are well aware that certain topics might be best avoided or are at least given ample warning not to bring certain things up around certain people.

Unfortunately, be it in an effort to change people’s minds or simply to stir up trouble, some people simply will not heed any warnings and make a point of bringing up touchy or taboo subjects.

Well aware that they might get a rise out of people.

There was one specific topic that Redditor SpareFrequent2910 hated talking about above all else.

Something that the original poster (OP) and her sister-in-law (SIL) happened to have in common.

And unlike the OP, her SIL loved discussing this topic, despite the OP telling her multiple times not to bring it up.

Eventually, the OP literally couldn’t take any more of it and did what she felt was the only appropriate course of action.

Wondering if she was out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for walking away from my SIL when she mentioned adoption again?”

The OP explained why she felt compelled to walk away from her SIL mid-conversation at a recent gathering:

“My SIL, who is my husband’s younger sister, and I are both adopted.”

“SIL was adopted as an infant.”

“I was adopted through foster care at the age of 7 officially, but I found my family at the age of 6.”

“SIL brought up us both being adopted before and asked questions that I didn’t mind answering.”

“She hadn’t realized I was adopted through foster care, and for a little while, she didn’t think we could talk things through because we came from very different adoption stories.”

“A couple of years ago, SIL, MIL, and FIL reached out to her birth family and made contact.”

“Then they started to speak about the unfairness of the adoption, severed all legal ties to her birth family, and from there, the three held this view that SIL should have always been in the family, but adoption was not the right thing to do, at least not adoption as in the US standard of adoption.”

“Once this realization was made, SIL decided she needed to help open my eyes.”

“My husband told her to leave me out of it and I would never feel different about my adoption.”

“SIL didn’t like that and she went behind my husband’s back so we could ‘talk it out’.”

“I told her she would never change my mind and I would always be glad I was adopted.”

“I told her my only wish is to forget everything to do with my birth family.”

“She told me I lost all connection to them.”

“I told her that was good, and I wanted no connection to those people.”

“She told me I should be glad I know who I really am.”

“I told her being ‘sh*tstain’ is not who I am.”

“For people who will wonder, that is what I was called for the first five years of my life while I was with birth relatives (and this includes my birth mother).”

“I told her knowing them does not mean I know who I am.”

“I didn’t even know my old legal name until I went into foster care.”

“We took a time out from her for a while, but it meant missing out on family functions on his side, so we decided we would have minimal contact.”

“My husband steps in when he’s there, too.”

“But during a family wedding SIL took a moment I was alone to approach me and she started to bring up adoption so I walked away without saying a word.”

“I ignored her and acted like she was not there.”

“This bothered her a lot.”

“MIL and FIL told her she should maybe let up and leave me be.”

“But she has really come after my husband, saying I was rude and had no right to walk away from her like that.”

“A couple of extended family members (two old aunts of my husband’s) said SIL was complaining so much that it spoiled the wedding, and I should have handled the incident better.”

“My husband said I did nothing wrong.”

“But I hate the added drama from it.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

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

The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for walking away from her SIL.

Everyone agreed that the OP’s SIL was well aware of what a sore subject her adoption was, and if she chose to ignore it, the OP had every right to walk away simply.


“You always have the right to walk away from someone asking personal questions you’ve already told them you’re not willing to talk about.”

“In fact, you have the right to walk away from anyone you don’t want to interact with.”

“The consequence is, depending on the circumstances, you may be considered rude or unsociable.”

“She obviously has problems with her birth circumstances, but that’s her issue, not yours.”

“She knows how you feel.”

“She TAH to keep trying to push you into something you don’t want to do just to make her feel better.”- cordelia1955

“How utterly absurd.”

“You don’t owe SIL anything, she sounds insufferable.”

“NTA, repeat your response if she ever brings it up again.”- dishonestgandalf

“NTA and she is exhibiting the classic signs of being insecure with her decision, so she is trying to get validation of her decision by making other people make the same decision around her, so she thinks this will make it more valid when she decides.”

“I would communicate with her as follows, tell her to Look, I’ve got a problem, and she says yeah, what?”

“Say yeah, I tried to communicate with you, but you just don’t listen, so what does it take to get you to listen?”

“Does it take yelling, walking away, ignoring you, or rating you being rude?”

“What does it take?”

“I’m happy to do whatever it takes, so let me know, and then we’ll go to the next step from there.”

“If you just wanna end this now, then great, I’m ready to end it as well.”- ptprn11


“SIL was complaining so much it ruined the wedding but it is YOU that should have handled this better??!”

“WTF, OP.”

“What are those relatives drinking?”- atealein


“You handled the incident perfectly, your SIL needs to shut her trap and leave you alone.”

“Keep walking away from her, no matter what she’s trying to talk about.”

“She isn’t worth the loss of brain cells.”- Deucalion666


“This is obsessive and intrusive badgering.”

“What could you have done other than walk away?”

“Scream at her?”

“Text her?”

“Sit down and write her a heartfelt letter?”

“Seriously, how many times can you tell this person to back the f*ck off before they listen?”-LeamhAish


“I’m all for open adoption when the situation calls for it, such as a teenager giving up her baby, that kind of thing.”

“You were removed from your biological parents, and it sounds like for very good reasons.”

“You should not have to be in contact with your abusers just to make your SIL happy.”-Ok_Consideration1284


“You’ve clearly indicated multiple times to drop the subject.”

“Who does she think she is?”- RevRagnarok


“SIL is like those hardcore religious folks trying to convert anyone and everyone, who won’t let it go and think they know better than everyone else.”

“Next time she tries anything, you might have to get mean, instead of stonewalling her.”-MapleTheUnicorn


“The elderly aunts had their wedding experience ruined because SISTER IN LAW kept complaining to them and they are UPSET about how YOU handled it?”

“LOL seriously?”

“You handled it perfectly, and I’d suggest to the two aunties that it might be that time of life for a dementia screening.”

“NTA.”- celticmusebooks

“NTA at all.”

“You’d made it clear previously that this wasn’t open for discussion, and instead of responding and saying this again (and potentially causing a full-blown argument), you walked away.”

“I fail to see how she thinks her experience of adoption should impact yours, especially when you were old enough to remember the crap you went through and have made an effort to put it behind you.”

“Plus, you ruined nothing about the wedding. She kept going on about it, and she ruined it for other people.”- AvalonWood

Needless to say, no two adopted people will have the same experience about being adopted, resulting in some very different opinions and feelings.

The OP made her feelings about her experience being adopted very clear to her SIL, who chose not to respect her requests not to talk about it.

Making the OP’s decision to simply walk away fairly valid.

The fact that the OP’s SIL chose to keep bringing attention to it at the wedding rather than let it slide does make one wonder if she was intentionally hoping to stir up trouble.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.