Would you feel obligated to raise a family members child?

Family - Families
United States
September 25, 2008 9:04am CST
My sister was married for 13 years to the same man and had 3 kids with him. To shorten a long story, he left her and totally devastated the family. My sister was totally devastated by all of this and she got involved with a married man and ended up pregnant with twins. My sister is 29 years old. The twins are now 15 months old. The girl was born healthy (a little underweight and a few minor problems) but she is great now. The boy has had one complication afte the other. Birth weight was only 2 pounds and 3 ounces. Anyway...he was hospitalized until he was 10 months old. Dad stayed with his wife and has no dealing with twins at all. Now my sister has decided to put the twins up for adoption. My older sister has the girl and I have the boy . As of October 2nd I will have full custody of Jamie. My husband and I cant officially adopt him unitl she (my sister) has has had one year to change her mind. Now my family (meaning one brother, parents and other relatives) are giving us this line about how we shouldn't feel obligated to do this, we've already raised our families, our age is a factor and on and on and on. This whole scenario has been going on for almost a year. I guess to them now that Oct 2nd is nearing they are finally getting it! Maybe somewhat of our decision was based on obligation but I don't see where it's really any of their business. Kind of makes you wonder where they have been all along huh? That's another post! LOL Both of us (me and my sister that has the girl) and our families (our children are grown now)have decided this is the best for all involved. We've hashed out all of the pros and cons and this is a decision that we have made. I really have shortened this whole scenario but give me your opinion...would you feel obligated to raise a family members child?
5 people like this
38 responses
@ailema4ever (2675)
• Finland
25 Sep 08
I think you've made a wise decision for the baby you're going to take care of. IMO if you have the heart and means to do it, why not? I haven't thought about raising a family member's child, but if I think it's for the benefit of the child and the family member and my husband don't mind, then I'd also consider taking care of the child. Especially if I think that the baby will have a harder time in life being with the natural mother.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Sep 08
In this case a minor consideration was that the two would be seperated if allowed to go into the system . They aren't going to be raised in the same house now but they will pretty much be in daily contact with each other and their other siblings. And another thing , if mom gets her stuff together one day then reuniting would be easier.
1 person likes this
• Finland
25 Sep 08
You're ABSOLUTELY right!!! It's always better if a child is taken care of by a relative than a non-relative. :-)))) My cousin was raised by his uncle and aunt. :-))))
1 person likes this
@littleone3 (2065)
25 Sep 08
No i would not feel obligated to look after another family members child. But if that person was not able to cope with that child i would most definitely step in and offer to care for the child. I think that you have made the right decision as it is not if you have just rushed into it. It sounds like you have given it a lot of thought and consideration. When it comes down to it it is what is best for the child. And it seems to me that what you have done is what is best for him. Good luck with the adoption i hope that it all goes smoothly.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Sep 08
Thanks and yes as you said this has been going on for a year or more. Believe me there have been many nights of lost sleep and considering all options for me and my sister both. But we are happy with the it and it looks as though the adoption is going to go through with no problems.
1 person likes this
@granmeme (162)
• United States
25 Sep 08
First let me say I admire you and your sister for taking on this obligation and I do not know if I would feel obligated to raise a family members child or not. I guess it would all depend on who it was and other circumstances. A grandchild I probably would take in. I see older adults raising children and I feel for them it has to be a tremendous strain for them. Just spending a short time with children wears me out. I guess I rambled around a little bit back to you, this has to be your decision. You will be the one doing the raising not the rest of the family. I hop all works out well for you and the baby. It is such a shame that the situation exists your sister that gave up the babies must be a very unhappy lady. I hope she can get her life back together.
• United States
25 Sep 08
I don't think I mentioned it in my post (too much info here LOL) but I am 42 years old an my husband is 44. My kids are 24 and 18. I don't know whether my sister that is giving up the twins will ever get it together and I do not mean to sound like I don't care she just has a lot of issues obviously. But she is not my concern right now. I am concerned for these twins, not to mention her other 3 children that are spending more time with me than with her. But like I said this is a complicated story but I guess in a way I do feel obligated to the babies. But I see nothing wrong with that. My other family is feeling more obligated to her right now and that bothers me. Oh well the story goes on I guess! LOL Thanks
1 person likes this
@lkoenig07 (289)
• United States
25 Sep 08
I don't know, but I don't really think I would. I'm very close to all of my nieces & nephews, and I think it'd be very easy to love them & take care of them like my own child. Maybe it'd be different if I was actually in that situation, but I don't think so.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Sep 08
Well obligation to my sister was not the weighing factor for me. But I do think that me and my other sister both considerd the fact of keeping the twins in the family. I could see them pitching a fit about it if we were not really financially or physically capable and they feared they would be the ones picking up the slack. But that isn't the case here. I think their focus is the mom giving them up and not the children themselves. I am just praying that it doesn't blow our whole family up and I'm afraid that it will. Thanks for your commnt!
1 person likes this
@tess1960 (2386)
• United States
26 Sep 08
HOney, you are not feeling obligated, you are feeling LOVE. IF you love this child and want what is best for him then procede. IF however you are doing this out of felling obligated, don't. If your heart is not in it the boy will know. This is you and your husbands decision. If the courts feel you are competent to raise him and your sister is willing to let you then that is all that matters. I applaud both of you for being willing to do this. On a side note, a similar scenario happened with my family, a cousin, twins and an Uncle and family friend. The girl was adopted by the family firned and is still with them. The boy was adopted by grandparents, they devorced and the natural mother now has the boy back and family has contact with both children, both are doing well. This is what matters, that the children are doing well!!
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Sep 08
Well the thing is that I would not have went out searching for this opportunity. I mean there would have been no reason to. I do feel that there is a certain obligation that plays a role in it due to the fact that they belong to my sister. But that is by no means the total reason I decided to do this. THere are several factors involved here..as for the attachment ...well after spending 10 months back and forth to the hospital with this fella there's just no way the attachment is not already there. And there is a part of me that hopes that the sister will get her life together. I know that that may entail her rethinking the whole thing and changing her mind. She has one year to do so. And it would be hard to let him go back...but back to the point I want what is best for evryone involved. Glad your situation worked out for th best!
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Sep 08
in this situation - and thank you for providing details... it is a simple matter of (for you and your sister and your spouses)[/i]do you feel that you are doing this out of obligation, or are you doing it out of love for the children, and can you handle it for the next 18 years or so?[i] i think it is very admirable of both of you - this way, the twins remain in the same family - that may not happen in an outside adoption, considering the health problems of the boy... my only worry would be that sis/mom would step in at some later point and try to influence, although she would have no legal grounds as of next week - can you handle THAT? i think that since you've had a full year to hash this out, you know exactly what you are doing, and you should just let the nay-sayers have their say, and do exactly what you are doing right now - give that baby all the love that you can! good luck and much joy to you all!
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Sep 08
Well actually yes I feel I can handle mom being around as she will be. As far as coming back she actually has one year from October 2nd to do just that. Although I really don't see it happening. The reason for the seemingly odd circumstances is that we are trying to do this adoption process with mom 100% involved and very peaceful for everyone involved sake. That's why the remaining family is driving me nuts. I don't want this thing to blow up because of them and the twins end up in the system.
• United States
26 Sep 08
i would tell the rest of the family to just let me and my two sisters and our spouses deal with this issue... they simply need to see that this is not your first time going through parenthood - and you are certainly not too old to start the process again - the best thing is that you are willing and able to happily do it! you are doing a wonderful thing for all concerned, and i sure wish you the best of luck!
• United States
7 Oct 08
I think you are doing a wonderful thing. I wouldn't feel obligated to raise the child. I would just do it because it seems like the right thing to do for my family. I would do it out of love. I know you love those children and you don't want to see them put up for adoption if you and your sister can adopt them instead. At least if you adopt them their mother can still see them and be able to see how they grow and what they become as they get older. Your family should be proud of you and your other sister for stepping up and helping out.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Oct 08
Thank You for your kind words. We went to court last Thursday and we now have full custody of them!! The rest of the family still has a ways to go with all of it but they are coming around. Have a Great Day!
@Ithink (10614)
• United States
27 Sep 08
I would hope they will come to terms and support you in YOUR decision. I know how you feel to a point. We have done the same thing except it was our granddaughter that we decided to keep and raise. In our case I think some people (thankfully) not family thinks/thought we were nuts. For us there was no other choice, we were there when she was born and have had her in our home from birth to now and love her as our own. She is 21 months old today and we would do it all again to keep her safe and happy. Our youngest out of 7 at the time was 12 and the oldest 23. I know I have reactions from one extreme to another. I think the thing is that we had to do what felt right for us, and watching this little girl grow, laugh, giggle and yes even cry at times is it.
• United States
27 Sep 08
I'm sure they will with time. My youngest one is 18 and the new fella is 15 months old. It is defineatly a change for me and my husband but we love it! We're learning all over again! LOL Parnting is just one of those talents you nevr lose thank goodness! LOL Thanks and enjoy your grandaughter! Happy Birthday to her!
27 Sep 08
In your position I would do exactly the same. If something happened to my sister she knows that i would look after her 2 children for her. My children are older as well now 13, 15,18 21. 21 does not live at home any more. I think this si the best solution all round and I back you 100%. It will be hard at times i am sure, but hopefully your family will come round and support you. I wish you all the best
• United States
27 Sep 08
I think they will come around. Time has a way of taking care of things. THanks and Happy mylotting!
@syankee525 (6293)
• United States
26 Sep 08
well i did this two times. we had two nephews here living with us because of parents issues. and now we have the one back again living with us, he's all grown but still his dad is a jerk.. always been a jerk. but yeah we always had kids from the family come and stay with us, and now if we had the money and more room, we would go and get my cousins two boys to raise so they can be taught how to grow up and be real men one day not another worthless jerk like thier dad
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Sep 08
But providing what you are able to has had more of a positive effect on them than you will probably ever know. Keep up the good work!
@jammyt (2822)
• Philippines
26 Sep 08
Well, in this situation, I think your sister is very lucky to have supportive siblings and family members. My two cents worth: I think it is such a blessing for your sister that family members are "adopting" her children rather than they go to adoption houses, to people you don't even know. At least your sister knows that you will take care of her kids because they are your blood relatives. Also, she will be able to see them often. My question is, why did it have to end up with adoption? Can't the kids stay with you and your other sister even if you do not adopt them? There will always people who sill feel that what your are doing is not right. What is important is that you (and your sister who is adopting the other one) and your family have talked things over and are fine with the arrangements.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Sep 08
Well like I said I would be going on and on if i even tried to include all details, but the kids have been staying with us. The boy has been with me since he came from the hospital. No to mention I sit at the hospital with him for 10 months because she just refused to. One factor is that the twins are of a different race than our family and she has never said that is the reason but I truly feel that it has a lot to do with it which highly disappoints me with her among other things. I told you this was a looong story! LOL Plus I think she resents them because she expected this man to leave his wife and live happily ever after with her. I know some fairy tale land she was living in. But I pray that she gets herself together because she has 3 kids at home with her. Sounds crazy I know. And it is a mess.
1 person likes this
• Israel
26 Sep 08
never you see this as an obligation but rather as a ;ove for the innocent baby. i bet you that at the end of the day,it will be a great pleasure for you to have helped your sister in raising her child this will surely harmonize you and you sister together No price is too much to pay for a loved one
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Sep 08
Absolutely it has already brought us three girls closer together. Now the others have a ways to go but they'll come around! LOL
• Israel
26 Sep 08
i would urge you to take up the responsibility of the child as he is more or less your blood. I bet you, you wil never regret ever doing this as this will further strenghten the love between you and your sister i will really love to hear back from you that the baby has become big oneday take care
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Sep 08
Oh I gaurantee I'll be on here posting updates and for advice LOL. You gotta remember my kids are grown this is all second round for me and it's already like learning all over again! LOL THanks and have a great day!
@ebought (56)
25 Sep 08
Hi there... What can I say... I think you and your husband have been amazing to step in and help your sister out... And as you rightly said this is a decision between you and your husband, your immediate family and your sister - no one else. Well done... And I really hope everything turns out OK...
• United States
26 Sep 08
You're right ebought you can't please all the people all the time huh? LOL THanks
• Philippines
25 Sep 08
If that could happened to our family, yes it was our obligation it just like to considered them as your own child. the child should not also suffer for the incident, they should raise them well..to be a good citizen in the future...and someday they would thank you for that.. we never knew what's life head. But the good thing is you give your love to that children in need.. Isn't great to feel that momentum?
• United States
26 Sep 08
Well I'm not going to say that it is all roses but I think watching them grow just like I did my own will bring great joy.
@Shellyann36 (11592)
• United States
25 Sep 08
I would raise/adopt a family members child for sure. I cannot see allowing a child to suffer because of the parents! I would not want to subject any of my family to the orphanages and group homes that are out there today. Not all of them are bad but I would not want a child in my family to feel that "alone"!
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Sep 08
Agree...Especially if it was, at all, unavoidable which thankfully in this case it is.
• United States
25 Sep 08
I don't think that I would feel obligated, but I would do it out of love for my family. We lost contact with a nephew and a niece for 20 years, and I thought of them often in those 20 years. I wondered how they were doing, if they even remembered any of us. We all, just recently, were able to get back together, and get to know them again. This is why I would do it in a heart beat, if the situation should ever arise. I am sure, with having already raised your family, that this may be difficult for you, but I admire the fact that you and your sister are keeping those babies in your family.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Sep 08
Thanks and yes we have both had a hard time coming to this point. We kind of wanted to say wait a minute I thought I was done with this raising kids thing! LOL But you never know what kind of situation life will hand you. Glad you got to reunite!
1 person likes this
@TheCatLady (4695)
• Israel
9 Oct 08
They are family; you should raise them. It might be hard, complicated, confusing etc, but they are your sisters kids. You can deal with that as family. The explaining to the kids why your sister couldn't care for them and why you and the other sister adopted them and that you, the moms, are biologically the aunties and their auntie is biologically their mom, and that their cousin (legally)is their bio-sibling etc. Hecka confusing to us adults, but the kids are so young all they will know is that's what is, and they are loved and cherished.
@jdyrj777 (6543)
• United States
2 Oct 08
I had to send my daughter to stay with relatives myself when she was in jr high. I would like to be able to do that for a relative too. I think its really great what you are doing. Bless you and all!
@joekid (87)
• United States
26 Sep 08
Im sure you don't feel obligated, you feel love and compassion for these children. Thet are your family! Im sorry but what your sister did was horriable. I lot of children had to suffer in this case but I think what your doing is wonderful! Good luck with your family and god bless. :o)
1 person likes this