A Reddit user asked online if he was in the wrong for telling his sister that they were adopted, against the wishes of their adoptive parents.
They Were Adopted, but His Sister Didn’t Know
The Original Poster (OP) and his sister Elizabeth were both adopted after being removed from their biological parents’ care. They share the same biological parents but were separated when OP was 7 years old and Elizabeth was just a baby.
After being placed in the system, they were eventually adopted by their first set of foster parents who had an older biological daughter named Georgia, who was 10 years old at the time.
After the adoption process was finalized, OP’s adoptive parents had a conversation with him and their biological daughter, Georgia. They revealed that they did not want OP’s sister, Elizabeth, to know that she was adopted. The adoptive parents instructed OP to pretend that they were his biological parents.
Though initially confused, OP eventually agreed to their request. In contrast, Georgia was more willing to participate in the plan. Despite not looking exactly like their adoptive parents, they shared similar hair colors and were of the same race and ethnicity, making it believable.
They Started a New Life Together
The family then moved to another state, where they had few relatives, allowing them to start over and keep their secret from everyone.
Throughout the years, OP, Elizabeth, and Georgia continued to have a strong relationship with each other. However, it became apparent that Elizabeth was the favored child. OP’s mother once revealed to him that they had experienced secondary unexplained infertility after Georgia’s birth.
They had only wanted a baby, but OP and Elizabeth were presented as a “packaged deal.” Although OP’s parents never treated him poorly, he was aware of his lower position within the family dynamic.
he Reconnected With His Biological Mother
At the age of 23, OP’s siblings were 26 and 16 respectively, OP reconnected with his biological mother, Danielle, and he was delighted to get to know her better as an adult. After eight years of sobriety, Danielle was in a much better place in her life.
However, Elizabeth was still unaware of her adoption, and both OP and Danielle were unsure of how to proceed. Since the adoption was closed, Danielle was not legally allowed to contact Elizabeth. Nonetheless, OP believed that his sister had the right to know her biological origins.
OP eventually gave his adoptive parents an ultimatum: either they tell Elizabeth about her adoption or he would. However, his parents refused to disclose the truth to Elizabeth, doubting that OP would carry out his threat.
He Told His Sister the Truth
Despite their resistance, OP went ahead and revealed the secret to Elizabeth. The news came as a shock to her, and she has since struggled to come to terms with her true origins. OP sympathizes with her and understands the difficulties she is facing.
OP has made a point to protect Elizabeth’s privacy and well-being by withholding Danielle’s contact information until Elizabeth is 18 years old. Danielle also has no knowledge of Elizabeth’s current location or their last name, which ensures Elizabeth’s safety.
OP’s parents have severed all ties with him, although they still allow Elizabeth to maintain contact with him after she threatened to do so regardless of their wishes. On the other hand, Georgia is furious with OP and believes he acted wrongly. As a result, Georgia has limited her contact with OP.
What Redditors Said
Several Reddit users have weighed in on the situation. One user asked for more information on why OP told Elizabeth she was adopted if he wasn’t planning to give her Danielle’s contact information for another two years.
OP replied, saying he felt that Elizabeth shouldn’t be kept in the dark any longer and that she should have been told at a younger age.
Another user said that Elizabeth deserved to know her roots, while another said that it was important for doctors to know her family medical history. Some users thought OP should have waited until Elizabeth was a legal adult and able to receive Danielle’s contact information.
Other users believed that OP did the right thing by telling Elizabeth the truth. They pointed out that it was wrong for the adoptive parents to withhold the information and that Elizabeth had the right to know.
Some users expressed anger at the adoptive parents for their selfishness and cruelty in keeping the truth from Elizabeth for so long.
They also questioned the adoptive parents’ motives for not telling Elizabeth and praised OP for protecting his sister’s privacy and not breaking her trust. Overall, most users felt that OP was not the jerk in this situation.
What do you think? Should OP have told his sister the truth or not?
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Luis Molinero. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.