Woman refuses to take in husband’s niece after child might be sent to foster care

My husband's orphaned niece will be in foster care unless we step in to raise her. I don't want the extra responsibility, so I refused. Now, my husband is furious with me. Was I wrong? My story in the comments.

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Family relations can be complex. While some family dynamics are harmonious, others can be fraught with tension, which can easily lead to feuds and burnt bridges.

A woman, 23, took to Reddit to seek advice from the online community about an issue that arose between her and her husband following his sister’s tragic passing.

Namely, the woman started her story by explaining that her husband’s sister dies of drug overdose and left her two daughters, Rose, almost 17, and Lilly, 7, behind.

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Further, the woman explained that she and her husband, 26, live on the East coast, while his entire family resides in California.

“My husband’s only other family is his mom, who lives in her boyfriend’s small house. She’s retired and doesn’t make much. This is to say that they don’t have much room and can’t afford 2 kids,” she wrote in her post.

While the older girl plans to stay on her grandmother‘s couch until she starts college the following year, Lilly faces foster-care if not taken in by someone from the family.

“[Lilly]’s staying with them for right now but MIL really can’t care for her long term due to a multitude of reasons, MIL’s boyfriend also said he wants her out of his house,” the woman explained.

She further added that welcoming the girl to stay with them was a no-go, but her mother-in-law insisted. “My husband and his mom want us to take Lilly so that she doesn’t go into foster care. I’m pretty against this for many reasons,” she wrote in her post.

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The reasons why she refuses to take the girl in with her and her husband are plenty according to the woman.

She wrote that her husband, who works in the military and is often deployed, only cooks two or three times a year and when he doesn’t work, all he does is playing video games, so he’s not someone who takes responsibility about things.

If they take Lilly in, the woman is certain that she would be forced to bear the primary responsibility for her care.

Another reason is that she doesn’t want children, something she had spoken about with her husband in the past, so she questions the fairness of expecting her to adopt a seven-year-old she has never met and who is not biologically related to her.

On top of that, Lilly has her own issues such as ADHD and behavioral issues.

The situation has caused tensions between the couple.

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Redditors were sympathetic towards both Lilly and the OP, with one person writing: “Basically her husband is volunteering her to be a single mom. I feel badly for the niece but if OP doesn’t want to be a parent, pushing her to is only going to create resentment and toxicity. I know very well the foster system is s****y, but in this circumstance it appears to be the best option for everyone involved.”

Another person pointed out that the husband’s readiness to invite Lilly to stay in their home was unjust to his wife, as she would bear the brunt of the additional responsibilities and workload. “It seems like the husband doesn’t want to actually say no and be seen as the bad guy despite this genuinely not being feasible for them to do.

“He’s military, and when he’s not deployed he works 12+ hours a day. OP mentions in some comments that she is not only a full time student, she also works 12 hour shifts too. How would she be able to raise the niece? Quit her job? Quit school? I’m sorry but that’s not fair to her either,” the comment continued.

“I feel bad for the niece, but at the same time, OP has never met the niece so I’m not really going to fault her for not wanting to be a single parent to a kid she doesn’t know just bc ‘but family!’”

What are your thoughts on this? How would you react if you were in the position of the woman?

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