A father admitted he would trade his adoptive daughter just to see his late biological daughter for even just one day.
"Me and my wife had a daughter who unfortunately died as a baby," said Redditor "throwawayhonest123."
Still determined to be parents, the couple sought adoption to fill their void of despair.
"We still wanted a child, so we adopted a baby girl, who was the same age as our daughter at the time."
"Our adoptive daughter is 14, turning 15 this year. (The same age as our biological one would be.) Me and my wife love her more than anything, but I'd still trade her and all of our experiences together just to see my biological daughter one more time."
The Original Poster asked WIBTA (Would I Be the A**hole) for telling his adoptive daughter how he feels and began with a detailed backstory.
"Me (45M) and my wife (42F) had a baby girl back in 2005. She unfortunately died back then, having lived just a few weeks."
"Needless to say, we were devastated, but we still wanted to be parents, but a biological child was out of the question."
"After our biological daughter's death, we adopted a baby girl who was the same age as our biological daughter was. We were extremely happy when we adopted her. It felt like a chance to start anew."
There was no denying the love the OP had for his adoptive daughter, but his grief over the biological daughter was far more profound.
"My wife and I love our adoptive daughter so much. (I love her more than my wife!) She is a good kid. She gets good grades, is responsible, doesn't drink nor smoke, etc, etc.:"
"We have been really happy these past 14 years, despite the occasional ups&downs. They're just a part of parenthood."
"But despite all that I'd still trade my adoptive daughter and all that me, my wife and her have experienced together, just to see my biological daughter again."
"If only for a day or something like that. It sounds bad, I know, but that's how I feel and I can't do anything about it."
"I don't know if this is a common thought that adoptive parents with dead children have. It very well could be. But I really don't know, and i'm afraid to talk to my wife about it."
The OP said he is struggling with the burden of his true feelings but is afraid to harm his relationship with his adoptive daughter.
"So, WIBTA for telling my adoptive daughter how I feel? I appreciate honesty above anything else. This also weighs really heavily on me, it would lift a lot of pain if I could get this off my chest."
"I want to be honest with my daughter at all times, but I fear that this could damage our relationship. I also just don't want my daughter to 'overstep any boundaries.' There have been times when she has treaded on some thin ice when talking about my biological daughter."
"WIBTA for telling my adoptive daughter how I feel? I want to be honest with her, but it could very well harm our relationship."
A vast majority of Redditors gave the OP a harsh reality check and said YTA (You're the A**hole).
After all, he did ask for honesty, and he got it in spades.
"YTA. Under NO circumstances should you tell her you would trade her away for another child."
"How would that make YOU feel? 'Oh yeah, I love you and all, but I love this other kid more and would gladly get rid of you if I could have them back.'"
"You should never tell anyone this, let alone a teenage girl."
"I would almost say this is a troll if it wasn't so well-written."
"YTA, what is wrong with you? Your need to share this weird thought with your daughter is horrifying."
"There are some things you just don't tell people and this is one of them. As a fellow adoptee, my heart breaks for your daughter." – ACERVIDAE
"I was expecting some mention of the kid asking or prodding at it, but no. This guy just wants to straight up devastate his kid to make himself feel a little better."
"And holy sh*t, imagine feeling relief at devastating your kid."
"Get a therapist dude. There's a reason why they exist, and it's so you can work out your sh*t in a safe, healthy and productive way." – MyAskRedditAcct
Based off the negative responses, the OP attempted to explain his intentions in an update.
"A lot of people have said that my intention is to hurt my adoptive daughter. That is not the case, at all. I just appreciate honesty.
People were not buying his response and expanded on the truth about honesty.
"Some people think 'honesty' means 'lack of discretion.' It doesn't." – mbbaer
"Honesty that serves no purpose aside from causing pain is not something to be lauded or valued. Ever."
"When you balance what is gained (hur durr I told the truth she wasn't asking for) vs what is lost (her sense of feeling secure and loved by her father), you'd be a f'king monster to still think honesty is the right course here."
"You'd be lifting pain off of your shoulders and putting it squarely on hers. Your child. It is your job as a parent to carry those burdens for your children, not offload them over."
"Do you want to lose a second kid? This is how you lose a second kid. (Edit: and probably a wife, too. This is a hill I would die on all day, every day. My husband says something like this to my kid? I don't know if I ever forgive that.)" – IAMA_Shark__AMA
Redditors speculated the adoptive daughter is most likely aware of his feelings.
"If the daughter knows about the dead baby, she probably already suspects in the darkest part of her heart that this is true."
"Telling her would cement that belief, and the harm to her self-worth would be irreparable. To tell someone, especially a teenager, that she was a substitute for a 'real' daughter and that her father would rather she be dead so he could see that dead baby one more time? Unthinkable."
"OP, this is not about honesty. People who think they should be honest at the expense of doing damage to another person are the biggest a**holes of all. Don't be one." – carriegood
"I want to ask what the hell he means by the daughter 'treading on thin ice' regarding the deceased child, and I suspect if she made ANY comments at all it would be because subconsciously she senses he doesn't really love her and is jealous—and has every right to be jealous." – HappyLucyD
This user identified something in the OP that was symptomatic of an emotional condition.
"This is a scarcity mentality. People with a scarcity mindset see love as a finite resource."
"OP believes that if he loves one person (e.g. his biological daughter), it means he has less room to love other people (e.g. his adopted daughter and his wife)."
"Because he still loves his deceased biological daughter, he believes there is less love to go around for his adopted daughter and his wife."
"The reality is that love is infinite. The more people you love, the greater your capacity to love becomes. Love does not run out. Love only grows."
"A good therapist could help OP understand this concept." – magic_beans_got_me
"OP clearly has many many issues. A further example of this is him saying, apropos of nothing, that he loves his daughter more than his wife…who the f'k needs to say that?"
"It's not a contest, you can't break up love into percentages—why does he think this is at all appropriate?"
"I don't sit around thinking about which of my two sons I love more, or whether I would kill my husband if it would save one of my sons; it's just not necessary and it's pretty dysfunctional."
"OP needs serious individual therapy before he starts verbalizing these very strange thoughts." – MamaMowgli
In addition to all the indignation, there were a lot of questions.
"WHY would he ever tell her that?!? It's like telling your spouse that you would have rather married your ex, and that if you could trade you'd rather be with them."
"That's a terrible thing to do to someone you supposedly love. But in this situation, it's even worse because the poor girl didn't get any choice at all in this, she was just a baby and this is her dad!" – Chezzica
Therapy remained a top suggestion.
"Get it off your chest with a therapist OP."
"We all have regrets. We don't walk around telling people, who cannot do a damned thing about it, how we feel at all times."
"But OP let your spouse and daughter go first. Invite them to tell you all the things they wish they could have instead of you."
"See how you feel and then proceed. Maybe you'll feel better knowing your wife wishes her old boyfriend was lying next to her every night. Then you will know 'the truth.'"
"YTA especially if you can't see that your grief is not a pain for your loved ones to bear." – loverlyone
This user gave three reasons emphasizing why he cannot come back from this.
"Dude you are completely the a**hole here."
"First off, adopting a child to 'replace' your biological one is already a bad move. Every child should be loved and no one should ever be a less-wanted substitute."
"Secondly, adoptive kids already feel abandoned by their birth parents and struggle with feeling unloved."
"You would be verifying her greatest fear: that no one truly cares about her."
"Thirdly, you talk about your love for her in a very conditional way which is not actually love at all. You shouldn't care about your daughter just because she gets good grades and doesn't get into trouble."
"You're teaching her that she needs to earn love; meanwhile, you love your biological daughter unconditionally. That differentiation makes me sick and I feel terrible for your poor daughter."
"I hope you don't have any more kids and that your daughter finds people in her life that actually care about her."
"YTA. Big time." – Jaw_ravenclaw
The emotional well-being of his adoptive daughter is at stake here and the truth will be scarring.
Hopefully she never hears the truth her father is so desperately wanting to impart.