Family matters can be complicated and confusing, and sometimes it can be good to get a different perspective before making any major decisions.
Reddit's "Am I The A**hole" (AITA) subReddit often sees complicated interpersonal struggles judged by the anonymous masses of the internet.
The Original Poster (OP), HauntingRoad8922, asked the denizens of AITA for their judgment in a very complicated family matter, and Reddit didn't disappoint.
"AITA for suing to overturn my daughter's adoption?"
OP started with some much-needed explanation and backstory.
"I was in a horrible relationship with a woman I'll call Christi. She was a very toxic person and at best a borderline alcoholic."
"I hate to armchair diagnose, but she is spot on for BPD. Constant paranoia about everyone and everything, wild mood swings."
"I realized I had a problem and needed to cut ties with her to move on and fix myself and that's when she announced that she was pregnant. She stopped drinking while pregnant, but her behavior didn't really change, if anything, it got worse."
"I blocked her for a few months after there was a particularly bad incident that made me relapse, but I had every intention of being there for my child and made sure she knew that."
Things took a turn shortly thereafter, though.
"When she would have been 8 months pregnant, a mutual friend called me and said she had had a stillbirth."
"I had no reason to not believe that friend but I just couldn't risk seeing her again and getting sucked back in, so I texted her condolences and have kept her blocked in every way that I could since."
"8 years have passed. I married my wife 2 year ago, we have a child, and I just passed 7 years sober. I went back to visit my parents last July (same town), and saw some old friends, some of whom would have known Christi."
"One mentioned that Christi's daughter just had her postponed birthday party. Her 8th birthday party, i.e. this kid would have had the exact due date as Christie's 'stillbirth'. AKA, she had my child."
Christi's situation has changed dramatically since they split.
"Christi married some guy, had two more children and had him illegally adopt my daughter. I now want to sue her to overturn the adoption because she clearly had someone lie to me so I wouldn't try fighting for my parental rights."
"I'm devastated that she stole so much time from me and I want my child to know her family and likely be in a safer, more stable home."
Mom had some very different advice, though.
"My mother is telling me not to because people can change and it would be confusing for her at this point, but I think I should."
Anonymous strangers on the internet vote for who bears the blame with these four acronyms:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH - No A**holes Here
Redditors had plenty to say about the situation. The general concensus was that "Everyone Sucks Here," but not everyone agreed.
"ESH. I want my child to know her family and likely be in a safer, more stable home."
"That 'likely' is carrying a lot of weight here. You want to fight to have your parental rights acknowledged (assuming you are in fact the father) and at least establish some level of visitation, that's entirely justified."
"But demanding that an 8 year old be torn from the only family she's ever known without firm evidence that you're actually rescuing her from something terrible is hardly going to make things more 'stable' for her." -mm172
"I mean, if someone is 8 months pregnant with your child and you get a call from their friend saying the baby passed...why would you not try to confirm/get in contact? Would you not at least attend the funeral or something? ESH."
"Also, you need to think about what's best for your child- this whole post is about you, you, you." -jkshfjlsksha
"YTA- I wonder if her side of this goes- my baby's deadbeat father was a toxic alcoholic who gave me no support during pregnancy, then when the baby was born, texted me condolences and then blocked all contact."
"Your choice of action now, bursting into this 8 year old's life and destroying it rather than trying a more reasonable and moderate approach, support my hypothesis about her side of things." -DazzleLove
"YTA. Firstly anyone that says 'sHe hAs BPD' when you can't diagnose her because you're not a medical professional just smacks of MGTOW."
"Secondly, blaming other people for the lack of involvement in your child's life is a YOU problem as in YTA big time. You abandoned your daughter end of."
"Edit: you were fine with [having sex with] a woman with your diagnosis of BPD yet you shirk the consequences of doing just that. Take responsibility and own your mistakes instead of offloading them onto everyone around you."
"You have choices and you always had them, yet you chose to abandon both your daughter and your ex. If you want to make amends then fine but go into it being an adult by owning up to your abandonment and the REAL reasons... You were just selfish and immature." -FuzzBumFluff
"Y T A / ESH you blocked your pregnant ex, didn't question or even inquire about a funeral, death certificate, check up on her (really you should have done a quick visit regardless of if you dislike her or not) or anything like that which is completely your fault tbh."
"Who only texts condolences about the death of their child to the mother?? Your daughter (which you don't even know if she's actually yours) is 8 years old and you've never been in her life."
"You really don't know anything about their current family life and just assume that uprooting your estranged daughter who has never met you and doesn't know you at all and forcing her to live with you, your wife, and your kid is somehow more stable than where she is currently."
"Have you even talked to your wife abt this as well??" -cinnamonoblivion
"YTA, because this post is all about you, you, you. What's best for the CHILD? How do you know their home is not stable?" -Glittering_Joke3438
While everyone shares some of the blame in this situation, Redditors were pretty clear on one thing. The most important thing in this whole mess is what is best for the child.