A woman who never wanted a child found that birth control was ineffective when she was in college.
Redditor "childfreeaita" also couldn't have an abortion.
As a result, she gave the baby up for adoption and hoped that would be the end. It wasn't.
The Original Poster (OP) asked "Am I The A**hole" AITA for not wanting to see her now-adult child after giving her up for adoption because she couldn't abort.
"I have always known I never wanted to have children, even as a little girl."
"When I was 18 I actually found a doctor who would fit me with an IUD. All seemed to go well for a few years, but in my graduation year my worst nightmare happened: I got pregnant despite precautions."
"Because the IUD can actually lessen/stop your periods, I did not realize I was pregnant until quite late."
In addition to the unwelcome news of pregnancy, the Original Poster (OP) found that abortion was not an option.
"Now here's the kicker: my country has a fairly rigid limit on abortion, and adding to that the doctor's appointment and legally required counseling and grace period to 'change your mind'....I was too late to have an abortion."
"Obviously I was devastated. I've looked into abortion abroad, but eventually it did not happen."
She carried her secret through school and eventually gave birth—which was a traumatic experience that would haunt her for years.
"Even the idea of pregnancy grosses me out, and I tried to survive by pretending it wasn't real. I studied for my final exams, hid the pregnancy from my classmates, and graduated with the rest of them."
"After that I took a 'sabbatical,' supposedly to travel, and gave birth. My mother and boyfriend supported me through this difficult time. The actual birth was 100% horror fuel to me, and I had nightmares for years."
"The adoption was handled through an official agency. It was supposed to be a closed adoption. I know nothing, except that it was a healthy girl and that they made sure to give her to adoptive parents in another city."
She and her boyfriend had no regrets on giving their unwanted baby up for adoption.
It should have been a closed chapter.
"My boyfriend and I went on to be married, and we have a good life together - no kids, two guinea pigs. We are happy and do not feel like we missed out by not having kids."
"Yet last week I got a phone call from a young woman who knew my name and claimed to be my biological daughter. I was honestly shocked, because the adoption was supposed to be closed."
"I know there have been activist groups in the last few years who want to open up the records, but afaik it's still not legal. The other option is that someone did their own research or some nurse somewhere talked, I suppose."
"My number is the same as it was then, so it could have been on my medical records."
"I panicked, kind of laughed nervously, said this must be a mistake, and hung up. She did text me her e-mail address in case I changed my mind. I have not heard from her since."
"I talked with my husband, and neither of us really want her in our lives. We wish her well, but frankly our lives are complete and we do not want to 'build a relationship' with her."
"My husband, however, said he'd side with me on whatever I decide."
Her mind was made up years ago and a reunion was not something worth considering for the sake of the grown child's curiosity.
"Honestly? I don't feel like raking this up. Even if it's just because she wants to know the circumstances of her birth."
"It's no 'we loved you but we were poor' story. It's literally 'I gave birth because abortion was not an option and I'm still traumatized about that.'"
"I feel like that's a terrible thing to tell to someone, and whatever romanticized idea she has of this is probably better than that."
Judgment was issued since AITA is the place where anonymous strangers on the internet are asked if and where guilt is placed by declaring:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH - No A**holes Here
This Redditor felt the OP was absolutely under no obligation to contact this person, with one exception.
"NAH I think most biological children start their search knowing that their biological parents may not wish to be found, and are (ideally) prepared for that."
"You do not have an obligation to have a relationship with this adult child. You made a decision you were happy with and you have a right to maintain boundaries about your adult life. Your duty is done."
"The only exception to this rule might be if a biological child requested relevant information on family/genetic health issues."
The OP responded to the above comment with:
"At this point I have no idea what she wants. I guess the problem is that even asking that or finding that out, involves me more in her life."
"Honestly, maybe I should call them anyway just to find out how on earth she could have gotten my number."
It could potentially be life-saving if the reason the person contacted the OP was for her family's medical history,
"My biological father had colon cancer at a young age and that was critical health information for me and my kids."
"If it's possible I would encourage the adoption agency to give her that kind of info anonymously." – atomic_wunderkind
There are other methods in which the person could obtain information.
"You realize there's DNA today, right? And that even if childfreeITA didn't test, her cousin might have, and you can construct an entire tree using a few close relative hits?" – Patiod
"Came here to say this. I figured out my bio family via Ancestry DNA. I've never wanted to meet them, though."
"Based on what I've read, it's very common for bio family to ignore adoptees who track them down." – HerTheHeron
"With 23andme and all the various genetic testing more available, it's also possible they found you elsewhere. But worth asking about." – 72HV33X8j4d
This Redditor chooses not to use direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies out of respect for her sperm donor.
"Yeah, my parents had to use IVF with a sperm donor to conceive me so I never want to touch a 23andme or ancestry.com kit. Not so much for myself, but because the donor (like OP) probably still wants his privacy." – riali29
Although the effectiveness of 23andme is impressive, it could be a dark rabbit hole.
"I recently found out I have a new cousin through 23 and me."
"It took all of two seconds to figure out which one of my aunts gave her up for adoption."
"Also found her on Facebook very quickly, it's scary how much access we have to each other."
"Literally no one in the family knew, biggest shock of my life because my aunt is the sweetest person ever, it breaks my heart knowing she hid this from her entire family for over 40 years." – CandidNumber
"Yea all the family tree stuff is really messing stuff like this up a lot these days."
"Even if the parent never does it themselves, if their sibling does or other kids then they can still narrow it down. Apparently you share enough dna stuff with your uncle / aunt for them to also show up as potential parents to stuff like that." – wolfgang784
This adopted individual believes that while she understands the OP's stance, a dialogue concerning a family's genetic history is important to have.
"The ending is everything. I am adopted, and I just recently started a search for my biological parents because I am at an age (26F) where I believe it is crucial to know about any family or genetic health issues."
"I knew going into this there was a possibility that my biological parents could want nothing to do with me and I mentally and emotionally prepared myself for that."
"Plus, the adoption agency constantly stated my biological parents may not be receptive. They even took it a step further and provided me with a list of books and therapists for coping regardless of how it turned out."
"I personally feel at the very least some sort of dialogue around health and genetics should be had. Again, this is just me providing my input from an adopted perspective though."
"Your stance on this is completely understandable." – b_yourowninspiration
What would you do if you were in the OP's position?