Fostering a child that you eventually hope to adopt can be a long and difficult process. People are expected to put everything they can into nurturing a child who may well have had a difficult past. They aren't expected to cancel the adoption process when they get pregnant.
One Reddit user recently took to the social media platform to ask if she was unreasonable for considering abandoning efforts to adopt her foster son of two years because she has unexpectedly found herself pregnant.
The Reddit user's post starts:
"My husband and I never thought that we could get pregnant, so we got plenty of therapy after a few failed treatments and moved to fostering with the intent to adopt. We've had a few fosters, but this concerns our current foster, a 9 year old who's been with us for two years. He's a spirited boy, but not a bad kid. Just takes a lot of time, money, and mental energy."
Things quickly changed when the Reddit user discovered that she was pregnant.
"The child's case plan has now moved to adoption, and we were identified as an adoptive resource. We were taking the first steps towards adoption when we found out that I was pregnant. It was mind-blowing as this is my first pregnancy, and I am now over 40. I had thought I had finally hit menopause, but was in fact 12 weeks pregnant."
The couple wanted to keep both children, but the math didn't work out.
"Unfortunately, after thinking we could do both, we did the hard math, and with our work and our finances, the only way we could raise our foster son is if we terminate this pregnancy. We can't financially have both children. I can't emotionally bring myself to terminate what is realistically our only chance at a biological child, who I am already bonding with. My husband wouldn't think of it either. We have to refuse the adoption."
"Unfortunately still, our foster son knows of preparations for an adoption through his therapist and social worker, so now we're taking him away from a stable home and what may be his only chance of adoption as he is older, all for reasons that aren't his fault. Am I the asshole for putting a still unborn child above him?"
The user then went on to explain their finances, and why they couldn't afford both children.
"We currently live in a 2 bedroom condo. We are required to give foster son his own room, which is not possible with a baby by social services standards. Us moving into the living room doesn't pass either. Social services is giving us until January to find a larger place, but we would have to stay in the county. We can't afford 3 bedroom places in the county, as it's a costly area."
"We don't qualify for assistance with both of us working, and if one of us quits, we wouldn't be able to afford our current place even with the assistance we could get. Both of us working would make it difficult to swing appointments for two children as well. It's a catch 22 basically."
Unsurprisingly, most Reddit users seemed to think that the person was being pretty unreasonable.
One user wrote:
"Your bond with your current sentient child isn't as strong as your bond with an embryo? I wanna vote YTA but the kid would be better off in the long run if he isn't raised with a family that's willing to discard him for the 'better' child."
"This boy has been with you for two years. You are family. I cannot comprehend the damage you will be doing if you essentially tell this child now that you no longer want him."
"What if you were having twins? You'd make it work, right? So try harder to make this work. Unexpected family additions happen all the time. Yours is just one of the more unusual ones and will just require a bit more maneuvering and sacrifice on your part. Welcome to parenthood."
Another user concluded:
"You are a major major MAJOR asshole. Regardless of the fact you tried and couldn’t have kids almost no one is 100% infertile so knowing you only can feasibly support one child financially/emotionally, and knowing you’ve raised this child for the last 2 years with the intent to adopt, you should have taken ALL precautions to avoid possibly getting pregnant regardless of how low the possibility was."
"There is no way this won’t fuck up your current child, as you’re basically treating him like a placeholder and now you’re pregnant you’re just washing your hands of him. I’m sorry you’re going through an obviously difficult time but 100% you and your husband are the assholes."
"When you took him in with the intent to adopt and made him aware of this you essentially became his parents and regardless of what issues you’re facing now with a new baby, as his parents it’s your jobs to figure it out and make it work just like any other parent has to in difficult times."
While another added:
"This may be controversial, but YTA. You're not bonding 'with' your baby bump and this pregnancy. You're bonding at it, as it is not sentient or particularly emotional right now. That is, your pregnancy isn't bonding with you back."
"In contrast, you have bonded with a child who exists and already lives with you. Your foster is also a child to whom you've made overtures about adoption. Telling the kid that that's over is a hard pill to force down his throat."
"You and your husband seem pretty set on prioritizing the fetus over the child you've known for two years, but yeah, you will be assholes for it."