Adoption is a difficult thing.
If you've ever been through the process of adopting a child, you know all the hoops you have to jump through to make it happen.
It's not something you do on a whim—it's a very deliberate choice. And hopefully, after all is said and done, the child is given a loving home.
It's time we return to our favorite board on Reddit, AITA. For those not in the know, AITA is short for "Am I the A**hole?"
Responses can vary, but are usually one of these:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA -You're The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
- INFO - Not Enough Information
Which is great!
"So I'm 19f and my brother is 18. He was adopted when I was 4 and my parents have been nothing but kind to him."
"They treat us exactly the same and he knows that they've given him a good life with amazing opportunities."
However, aitA31 doesn't like how clingy her brother is.
When they were younger, her teachers would have to physically separate the two. Even now, she mentions how clingy he can be, though the overall attachment has lessened.
And so, she gets into the meat of her story.
"Anyway I was FaceTiming my cousin and her friends. My brother was also with me in the room and her friends noticed him in the background and asked who that is."
"Before I could answer someone asked if he's my boyfriend (cringe) and I explained that he's my brother. They pointed out that we look nothing alike so I clarified that he's adopted."
Okay, a simple enough story.
Especially when you're that age, you don't want to be mistaken for being romantically linked to someone, especially a family member.
And the adoption is out in the open, so sure, she explained why they look different. Not the nicest explanation, but all pretty justifiable.
However, aitA31 goes on.
"I explained that he has never blended in with my family because he just looks/behaves too different."
"My brother was suddenly very quiet and left the room. After a while I went to speak to him and we had a huge argument."
"He thinks that I hate to be associated with him because I'm always quick to clarify we're not biologically related."
That sounded like this isn't a one-time situation, but rather a recurring habit.
But aitA31 is a teenage girl, and what teen hasn't been embarrassed by her family?
"I told him that he's not a true part of my family so I have the right to tell people he's adopted. He just looked at me with a blank stare and didn't reply."
She got mad and told him to leave.
However aitA31's brother must have been upset because her parents are now angry with her. They want her to apologize.
So she asks the internet the million dollar question. Was she the jerk in this situation?
The internet seems to think so.
"YTA. That was deliberately and unnecessarily cruel, and you have a disturbing lack of empathy" - constantnonsense7459
"YTA. He's a part of your family, even being adopted. Constantly saying him that he's not actually part of the family is a dick move, especially if you have been doing it for years which it sounds like you have." - TKDR34
"YTA. He's adopted and is a true part of the family. It's not YOUR family, it's his and yours. You sound like an awful person." - mrshighwvy
A lot of the comments have a great deal of sympathy for the brother, pointing out how her early explanation of her family being kind to him was made to be seen as something exceptional.
Rather than the bare minimum if you adopt someone into your family.
Others point out that even if you're related by blood, you can still not look or act similar.
"And siblings can be complete opposites in looks and in actions. Being a part of your true family is just being a part of your family. Wtf is 'true' supposed to be saying???" - horsemullet
"Right? I'm adopted and I'm very different from my parents. We had our problems, but these days they like that I'm different because I've introduced them to stuff they wouldn't have sought out on their own." - TheOtherZebra
"YTA. He was adopted into your family - that makes him a true part of your family. | 'my parents have been nothing but kind to him.' Of course. He is their son. He may look different on the outside but you are the one who is different on the inside." - Malbethion
"YTA; seriously? He's been adopted for all that time and you have the audacity to say he's not part of your 'true' family? Just because he's not blood that doesn't mean he's not part of it."
"I have family members who are adopted and they're a part of my TRUE family. They might not be blood but that does not matter."
"You can tell people he is adopted but he is a part of your family." - negeseuon
It's worth pointing out that aitA31 is a 19-year-old.
Sure, the two teens involved in this story are legal adults, but let's be honest, they're still children. Their brains are soups of hormones and it's likely aitA31 is going to make a fool of herself many times over, because it's awkward growing up in a society where your teenage mistakes can live forever online.
But sometimes, for a teen to grow into a better person, a little internet fury can be a good thing.
"YTA and you know it. Do you think your brother (news flash, he IS your brother, blood relation or not) needs a reminder that he is somehow different, and therefore in your eyes unworthy?"
"Probably the reason why he clings so tightly, he wants acceptance from your snotty a**. Grow the hell up." - WisteriaWitch
"YTA. Massive AH. He's part of your family just as much as you are and telling him he's not a 'true' part of your family is an incredibly hurtful thing to say."
"It's fine to clarify that he's adopted if people ask about the physical differences, as long as it's not a secret in some way, but what you told him is inexcusable." - Alternative_Answer
"YTA I understand you clarifying that hes adopted and thats why he maybe LOOKS unrelated, but dude, he clearly loves you so much and just wants that same love back. You're not a bad person, just a bad sibling." - vchhkcci
Luckily, in the time since, she has said she is going to apologize.
While her initial plan was to do it in person, her brother still isn't speaking to her, so instead, she's writing a letter. She even got help from Reddit to write the letter, so hopefully the apology went well.
This is a good reminder to treat those in your life with love and respect, especially if they do the same for you.
And if you don't, and you tell the internet that, you can expect a reminder.