I told my niece I adopted her as a baby before my sister stole her from me’
Family dynamics can be complicated at the best of times, but things have gotten particularly messy after one woman found out she had actually been raised by her aunt for the first three months of her life.
Taking to Reddit, the aunt, who hasn’t been named, explained that she was looking into adoption as a single parent, when her sister approached her, and asked if she’d be interested in adopting her unborn child, 19 years ago.
“For the sake of clarity I contacted a lawyer and drew up adoption papers that I wanted my sister to sign but she was always putting it off, saying that while she intended to give up the baby it was still hard,” she explained on the Am I The A**hole forum.
“Eventually, I decided to give her space but was still paying for everything.”
After the woman’s niece, Claire, was born, she was thrilled to take her own and begin raising her as her own, but within three months her sister came out and said she wanted her biological daughter back, after she and the father had gotten back into a relationship.
“Things did not go down well and since she was the biological mother, legally, she had every right to change her mind and our parents were on her side,” the woman continued.
“Eventually, she was able to legally get her daughter back and I was crushed and insulted when she asked me for all of her baby stuff. I let her keep some of the stuff as a gift to my niece but told my sister that this would be the last thing that I ever gave her in help with the baby and that I wasn’t going to be an ATM for her.”
After that, the woman didn’t see or speak to her family for two years, and sought therapy to help ease the pain caused by losing the baby she considered to be her own daughter. She later went on to officially adopt her eldest daughter, Kelly, who is now 16.
“She has given me so much joy and I wanted nothing but the best for her so I put her in private schools, paid for extracurricular activities, and took her overseas a lot,” the woman continued.
“I didn’t think my life could get any better until I accidentally got pregnant with Amy. In spite of being on the fence about kids Amy’s father really stepped up and we have a very good co-parenting relationship. He’s even taken Kelly under his wing and is planning on including her in his will.”
Over time, she was able to somewhat repair her relationship with her family, and she has since been receiving visits from Claire, now that she is studying in the same state where she lives.
“One day while I was cleaning out the attic I didn’t realise that her old adoption papers were still up and Claire managed to get a hold of them. She never knew about the adoption and when she confronted I admitted that for the first three months of her life I was her legal guardian,” the woman explained.
“I thought it was would a ‘no big deal’ sort of thing until my sister called me raging that I turned her daughter against her. Apparently Claire was always jealous of Kelly and Amy’s lives were and feels cheated out of having a better life.”
After finding out the truth, Claire stopped speaking to her mum, who believes the woman purposely told her the truth out of spite.
Turning to Reddit, the woman questioned whether she did the right thing by explaining the documents to her niece, or whether she should have lied as her parents expected her to.
“Claire is 19 years old, and you told her the truth. Your sister was allowed to change her mind way back when and you had to deal with it. So now that her daughter knows the truth, sister can deal with it,” one Reddit user commented.
Another added: She found the papers, that is pretty much an open and closed case. There is no lie that is going to be believable there. Like what are you going to say? ‘Oh that piece of paper there which clearly states that you were adopted? No that is a fake which just happens to be stored somewhere in my house.'”