A woman found herself being pressured to "develop a relationship" with her five-year-old half-sister when her estranged father became a single parent.
And even though the child is completely innocent in the family drama, the woman has no desire to meet her.
Redditor "HumbleStrange1" is a 30-year-old who refers to her estranged father as "Sperm Donor" after he left her mother for a college-aged girl seven years ago.
Cut to the present and said father was given full custody of his lovechild when his young ex-wife got engaged to another man.
The Original Poster (OP) asked AITA (Am I the A**hole) for refusing to meet her half sister, despite her aunt and grandmother pressuring her by saying she is "blood."
"Seven years ago, my biological sperm donor cheated on my mother with a college aged girl that was like two years older than me."
"I cut him out of my life, went FULL no contact since he was a real bastard and I found it incredibly creepy that he was now 'dating' someone that was basically my age."
"I haven't kept up with his life, I made it really clear to everyone in my family at the time, I want nothing to do with him and if they wanted me to still come to family things on my dad's side, that was my condition."
"Everyone respected my boundaries, until recently."
The OP got an update she never asked for.
It turned out not to be so surprising.
"Turns out, Sperm Donor got married to his 25 yr old GF, and had a kid. But surprise, surprise, their massive age gap relationship wasn't all roses and they got divorced pretty quickly later."
"Not my problem, but now ex-Wife is getting remarried and gave Sperm Donor full custody over their 5 yr old."
"Sperm Donor was a pretty sh**ty parent with us, so unsurprisingly, I doubt he's too keen to be a single dad at near 60."
Suddenly, she found herself pressured to pick up her father's slack.
"Here's the problem. Gran and Auntie want me to 'develop a relationship' with the five year old half sibling. It's still my 'blood' apparently."
"I want nothing to do with his midlife crisis lovechild, and neither does my brother. And honestly, to me, it feels like Sperm Donor is just trying to get free babysitting/weasel his way into our lives again."
"I've lived through seven years without him, and I'm happy to die this way. I'm thirty now, I have no interest in getting to know my five year old sister."
"Am I the A**hole for refusing to get in contact with her?"
Many Redditors believed the OP is NTA (Not the A**hole).
However, this person suggested she should be more mindful of her innocent half-sister—who may independently seek out the OP later on in life.
"NAH. If you really don't want to be involved in their life, don't be."
"However, remember that the 5 year old is innocent in this, and she might really value a relationship with you. She's only 5 now, but before you know it you'll have an adult half sister who will likely seek you out on her own."
"Her life and experience shouldn't be impacted because of some f'kery with her parents." – ForgottenSloth
"And I can definitely see why a 5 year old whose mom just gave up full custody might feel sad if they knew they had siblings who didn't want to see them either."
"I don't think OP is an a**hole, and she shouldn't feel sorry that there's a sad child out there because their parent is a f'k-up." – kay_knox
This Redditor acknowledged the OP's resentment towards her father, but encouraged her to meet her half sibling at some point.
"This is very important. We see so many people here who treat half or adopted siblings as less, and it breaks my heart."
"I get that if you are introduced to a step-sibling when you are both 13 you might not develop a close relationship. But when you choose to cut out someone it should be because of them, not because of their parents."
"OP, NTA for not wanting anything to do with your dad."
"I would meet the sister at some point if I were you; None of this is her fault, and she does not deserve to feel that her sister hates her and doesn't want anything to do with her." – Ryuuzoji
"Sure, but having a relationship with the child means having a relationship with her dad - which OP clearly doesn't want. When they're an adult and capable of having a separate relationship it will be different." – akskdoidfoinfwio
Eventually, the child will have no one.
What happens then?
"This sister will also remain when dad dies, so even if dad is an a**hole, a good relationship with a nice sibling might come out of it."
"I totally understand the grudges, though, but the child is the one who has no part in it."
"NAH except for the dad." – Fettnaepfchen
The responses remained equally split.
"NTA. I'd say your gut feeling is right. Now he actually has to be responsible for his actions he's wanting to get back in contact with you so you can become a free babysitter for the child. He'll frame it as sibling bonding time." – cocoaqueen
"As cold as it may sound, she's not your family. Sure you're related by blood, but if you're not on speaking terms with the person that links you why would anyone expect you to have any type of relationship?"
"You don't owe her or your SD anything." – tabzd
This person strongly urged the OP to reconsider.
"As someone who spent years angry and bitter you need to get a handle on that before it bites you in the rear. I took my backed up/pent up/saved up rage out on people that didn't deserve it and hurt a lot of people."
"I fully support you going NC with your dad... and I even support strong boundaries with your half sister... NAH but you should meet her... she is being raised by someone you have already described as a POS and was literally abandoned by her mom."
"She is literally the only person involved in that relationship who had no choice and no fault. That's why your dad's family are trying to help HER... not your dad."
"You might see it as free babysitting but I would bet money they are just trying to give her as much time in a well adjusted stable environment as they possibly can to protect her from someone you yourself want nothing to do with."
"Be the person you would have needed at that age and in that situation." – calebgbart
No one envied the OP's position.
What would you do?
The book Parents Who Cheat: How Children and Adults Are Affected When Their Parents Are Unfaithful is available here.