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Woman Asks If She's Wrong For Discouraging Her Brother From Having A Baby Because Of The Likely Birth Defects

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A woman who comes from a tight-knit family thinks her brother would make an excellent father.

So it was crushing to hear the news that a doctor strongly advised against him and his wife having a baby due to her health condition. But empathy gave way to anger when Redditor twinkleglitterstars discovered her brother and sister-in-law's next course of action.

The disappointed sister went to the "Am I the A**hole" (AITA) subReddit and asked:

"AITA for telling my brother the truth about having a baby with his wife?"

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

"My brother and I are very close. When we need advice or just to talk we turn to each other for support. Same with my sister."
"My brother married his wife in April of 2019 and have begun trying to have a baby."
"My brother called me yesterday and told me that they went to see her doctor and he told them that they should not try to have a biological child."
"My SIL [sister-in-law] takes medications that would most likely cause severe birth defects and unfortunately it is too dangerous to take her off the meds because it may kill her."
"Obviously we were, and are heartbroken for them. My brother would be an awesome father and he loves my kids like crazy."

When the OP tried to console her brother, he had an update.

"I told him that it was not the end of the world and that they could always adopt or foster a child. He then told me that they were going to try anyway, despite the doctor telling them both that this was not a good idea because of all the risks."
"I got very angry with him and told him they were both being extremely selfish. That even if they were able to conceive the risk of having a child with severe birth defects that may cause them to require constant care or possibly pass away at birth was ludicrous."
"He said that I wasn't a doctor and didn't know what I am talking about; and he's right. I'm not a doctor, but I do know that I would be so heartbroken for them and for their child if something were to happen."
"He says that I wouldn't understand since I have children, but I do. My second child has permanent brain damage from lack of oxygen at birth."
"My delivery was complicated and we both almost died. My son will always have developmental delays and I will never forgive myself for it, even though I did nothing wrong nor did the doctors."
"My sister and mother completely agree with me that what they are doing is terrible. However, my SILs family has been calling and messaging me and calling me terrible names. I only told my brother the truth because he asked."
"So AITA for telling him the truth?"

Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked if and where guilt belongs by declaring:

  • NTA - Not The A**hole
  • YTA - You're The A**hole
  • ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH - No A**holes Here
"NTA. Not even slightly. The fact that they won't even consider adoption or foster care proves just how selfish they're being."
"So many kids in the system would love to have parents that would care and look after them. This is not only selfish but incredibly dangerous not just for their potential child but for the mother of said potential child."
"The fact that they keep sending you nasty texts is also proving they may not be mature enough to be responsible parents even to a healthy child."
"You have my condolences." – Big_sister_Lethe

This Redditor pointed out that the couple's decision was "incredibly selfish."

"I am completely infertile, and would desperately love to be able to have my own children. However, even if I could get pregnant, I have multiple disorders that could very likely be passed onto said child."
"I could never go through with trying to get pregnant knowing they would likely be disabled and in pain their entire life. While I understand the desperation and sorrow one feels when they find out they can't have children, I do not understand the insane level of selfishness required to attempt to have a child that will likely be severely disabled, just because you want a biological child."
"To me, that level of selfishness and lack of empathy proves you shouldn't be parents at all." – Dracarys_Aspo

This Redditor brought up several scenarios to illustrate why the couple's decision was not a good idea and encouraged them to have a serious talk.

"I agree, NTA! Do they understand the lifetime commitment it would be to care for a child with disabilities/potentially lose a child, especially knowing that they put themselves and their child in that position knowingly?"
"Furthermore, have the even considered what kind of quality of life they may be condemning their child to?"
"I'd like to say, a great many children and adults with various disabilities lead happy lives, but the undeniable truth is that children and adults with disabilities may be in pain, in and out of hospital requiring different medical procedures etc, the risk of developing other conditions later on is increased, and quality of life may ultimately be rather poor. Are they really willing to put a child through this?"
"Because it may work out all fine and dandy for them - but there is a very real possibility it may not. They need to seriously have a good think about this." – LoveFromGallifrey

While most Redditors agreed that the OP was NTA, some had misgivings about her bringing up adoption.

"In general saying 'you can always adopt or foster' is not a good thing to say to a couple that just found out they can't/shouldn't have biological children."
"Of course they know it exists, but they are currently grieving that lost idea of having a baby the way they envisioned it while they were trying all the time."
"Let's say it has been your dream to become a pilot but when the time comes you don't pass the requirements. Then you're upset about that because you've been wanting this for so long. If then someone tells you 'you can always become a bus driver!' that doesn't make you feel better."
"Yeah, you could, but you're still processing the fact that the pilot dream is not happening. Once you've come to terms with that, you may be more open to alternatives."
"In this case OP is clearly NTA and the couple should listen to their doctor, but I do understand why 'just adopt!' doesn't go well with people." – alice_in_otherland
"Absolutely. My husband and I don't want kids, he had a vasectomy and even I had a moment of grief for the child that never was (which was totally surreal and unexpected). I can't even imagine what someone would feel who actually wanted to have children."
"Plus adoption isn't for everyone. Someone else mentioned it but generally good practice for children in alternative care is family reunification although that isn't always possible for a myriad of reasons."
"Looking after a child who has lost their own family is tough. It takes extra patience, compassion and nerves of steel, and for optimum success needs professional support and training, which is not something that every agency can or will provide."
"All these factors make this not a thing for everyone who can't have kids." – m4dswine

While many good points were made, the OP has not provided an update on whether or not her brother and his wife decided to pursue pregnancy.