Man Praised for Refusing to Put Brother up for Adoption After Parents' Death in Viral Post

A man has asked the help of Reddit's "Am I the A**hole" forum amid a difficult family situation. According to the self-identified 28-year-old male, known only as u/hgdetinbv, he hopes to adopt his 14-year-old brother following their parents' recent death in a car accident. However, the Redditor's wife, who is four months pregnant, objected to the idea, preferring instead to have the teenager put up for adoption. A post describing the situation has gone viral since it was shared one day ago, amassing nearly 23,000 upvotes and over 3,600 comments at the time of writing.

The adoption process is notoriously difficult for older children and teens. While the Redditor doesn't specify whether his brother would be put up for private adoption or left in the care of the state, neither situation is ideal—especially amid such a traumatic period of grief.

"The adoption process for teenagers can be very difficult, and there are few, if any, adoption agencies who are equipped to handle this process in an ideal way," noted adoption agency American Adoptions. "Teenage adoption is rare, especially in a private domestic adoption."

With that in mind, u/hgdetinbv explained in his post that, after their parents died, he wanted to take in his younger brother. "My brother...has nobody to turn to except me," he wrote. "We have no other living relatives."

However, his wife of two years, who is also pregnant with their child, took issue with that plan. "I decided to take in my brother until he's an adult but my wife feels like it's not our responsibility to care for my brother," he explained.

He added that "since she's pregnant, she wants [him] to focus only on [their] child."

"I told her that my brother has nowhere to go and hence he'll be staying with us at least until he's an adult," he wrote. The decision has reportedly left his wife angry, and he said she is refusing to speak to him unless he agreed to put his brother up for adoption.

The post sparked an intense discussion, with commenters rushing to the Redditor's defense. Many, for example, wondered how his wife would feel if her children found themselves in a similar situation one day. "Ask her how would she feel if you have a child and they put your younger child up for adoption if you died," wrote u/ComprehensiveBet1256 in a top-voted comment.

Added u/excel_pager_03: "If she still doesn't get it please [choose] your brother."

Others, meanwhile, asked if the Redditor's wife has expressed similar attitudes in the past, or speculated that the stress of pregnancy is impacting her perspective.

"If this is unusual [behavior] for her, I'd also suggest asking about signs of depression and talking to her doctor. Unless she's always been un-empathetic, this could be a warning sign," noted u/Alternative_Year_340.

"​​It's possible she's just feeling terrified and overwhelmed about the baby and adopting a teenager just feels impossible to her," echoed u/Fox-Smol. "OP and his partner need to work this out together. Putting a 14 year old boy into the system is pretty unthinkable to me."

Several commenters also advised that, should the conflict continue unresolved, professional help may be required to mediate the situation. "You need to demand couples/family counseling immediately," wrote u/GothicArmadillo. "You need to nip this in the bud now. At the moment there is no good outcome for this."

Newsweek reached out to u/hgdetinbv for comment.

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In Reddit's "Am I the A**hole" forum a user asked if he was wrong for wanting to adopt his 14-year-old brother despite his wife's objections. The Reddit app icon pictured on a smartphone home screen, 2021. Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images