Man Reveals Why He Adopted His Dying Ex-Girlfriend's Son After She Left Him

A man was forced to make an impossibly difficult decision when his ex-partner asked him to become her son's legal guardian after she became terminally ill.

Faced with the moral quandary, the man turned to Reddit for help in making this decision. He originally posted on the platform a year ago, asking if it was unreasonable of him "for not wanting to adopt my dying ex-girlfriend's child."

Man Explains Decision To Adopt Ex's Son
Stock image shows a father and son. A man has explained on Reddit why he eventually decided to go through the adoption process for his ex-partner's son. fizkes/Getty Images

Statista estimates that, in 2021, there were 113,589 children waiting to be adopted in America, and 391,098 children were living in foster care.

At first, Reddit user u/TemporaryCook76 considered saying no because he had "a different lifestyle" by that point. He had started traveling, so it wouldn't be right to become responsible for the boy.

The man's reluctance to become the legal guardian in such a difficult scenario led to some heated discussions with the ex-partner and his family, who thought it was awful of him to refuse.

However, a year later, in February 2023, the poster shared an update to his original Reddit post, answering the many questions that people had for him. He admitted in the update that he "spent a bit thinking" and began visiting his ex a couple of times a week to reconnect. However, he noticed how much her condition was deteriorating.

"Seeing her getting weaker and weaker, I decided to go through with the guardianship," he wrote. "Hired a lawyer, did tons of paperwork, interviews, investigation and finally found the bio dad."

After two months of paperwork, the poster officially became the boy's legal guardian, but his ex has died recently.

He wrote: "Sadly, ex passed away roughly 3 months ago. After which, I started the adoption process, that still goes on. Had 2 court hearings so far, and another one will be in 2 weeks. So far, things went well, so hoping for the best."

Katie Ginsberg, a licensed clinical social worker, told Newsweek about the intricacies of adoption cases: "The question of whether a man should adopt the son of his ex-partner, after her death, with a limited relationship with the child, is a difficult one, and very rare.

"The conflict of doing right by the child and doing right by themselves is not an easy one, and it's not black and white."

Ginsberg said that she encourages prospective parents to attend adoption training. Attendees have to consider whether adoption is the right thing for their family; if they are willing to accept the unique needs of the child they adopt; and whether they'll have any difficulties forming emotional attachments.

Facing these questions is an important step to help adults come to terms with adopting before they begin the long process.

"Adoption of any child is a beautiful gift for an entire family, not just the adopted child. However, it is also not always an easy road. There are many bumps and curves that require motivation, commitment, skills and the willingness to accept support when needed," Ginsberg continued.

After sharing the update on Reddit, the poster has been praised for going against his first judgement and providing the boy with a stable home after a traumatic experience.

One Reddit user commented on the update: "You sir have a good and loving heart. You did not have to do what you did, and many people would have understood if you had refused, but I can't imagine anyone could look at you now and feel anything but respect and admiration."

Another supportive person wrote: "I'm so happy for you both. I'm so happy you went and saw him. Y'all are a family, and that is just an incredible thing. You're a good man."

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