When a fight broke out in one man’s family about the matter of biological children, he took to Reddit for some perspective. The man explains that the issue is primarily between his brother and sister-in-law and his parents.
“My brother and my SIL have been married for 6 years. I love them both dearly,” he explained.
The couple also welcomed their first child last year. “They adopted a little girl about a year ago,” he noted. “My parents were happy about this too, at first.”
If you noticed that “at first,” you’re not alone. That brings us to the point of conflict.
“They got really angry when my brother and SIL announced recently that their daughter would be their only child and they do not want biological kids,” he explained.
“My mom and dad lost their [expletive]. They told my brother he had to get my SIL pregnant. He was the family’s male heir and he would have to have a biological son to carry forward the family name.”
If that sounds a little antiquated to you, don’t worry. OP sees the error of his parents’ ways.
“This makes no sense to me, nor my bro and SIL,” he said.
“It’s not as if we’re a family of European royalty. Who gives a [expletive] about the family name in this day and age? Well, my parents do apparently.”
OP’s parents feel strongly about the need for biological grandchildren and are driving that point home.
“They’ve been berating my brother and guilt-tripping my sister-in-law, making her feel like she’s taking something away from our family. On one occasion they actually suggested that my brother leave my SIL if she didn’t want to get pregnant and have a son with another woman.”
OP is particularly infuriated by his parents taking their feelings on this matter out on their granddaughter.
“What’s even worse is that they’ve stopped paying attention to my niece. Earlier, they would call and talk to her almost every day,” he noted.
“But ever since they were told about my bro and SIL’s decision, they’ve stopped calling her.”
Punishing a child for something that has nothing to do with her is deeply cruel and unfair. That’s what OP cannot get past.
“This pisses me off and has deeply saddened my bro and SIL. The child is 3-years-old and doesn’t deserve this kind of treatment.”
“Yesterday, when I called my brother, he seemed very upset,” he continued.
“He told me that mom and dad had called him and they had talked about something unrelated. When he asked if they wanted to talk to their granddaughter, they said they’d talk to their real grandchild when my brother came to his senses and decided to give them one.”
“I was angrier than I’ve been in a long time. I called my parents and unloaded on them,” he admitted.
“I told them how selfish and cruel they were being and how dare they take out their anger on my niece, along with a lot of other things I can’t even remember. My mom started crying as she’s not used to being yelled at. I understand that yelling at them may have been a bit much, but I just can’t believe how awful they are being towards a kid. So am I the [expletive]? Or are they?”
Many people felt that he was doing the right thing by standing up for his brother and his family.
“Your parents can be disappointed that they don’t have a ‘biological’ grandchild, but you were absolutely right to call them out on how cruel they’re being to your niece,” one commenter wrote.
“What if your brother or SIL weren’t physically able to have children? I wonder if your parents would have thrown a fit about carrying on the family name then. Either way, they need to come to terms with their disappointment and stop taking it out by being so mean to everyone, especially their granddaughter.”
“NTA, they are though! They have a grandchild and are mistreating her (and her parents) for not being biologically related to them,” another commenter wrote.
“Do you know the saying ‘Blood is thicker than water?’ The actual quote goes ‘The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb’, meaning that connections established freely are stronger than just being connected by genetics.”
“Maybe yelling wasn’t the best thing to do, but so is their behavior towards your niece, who is getting ignored by her grandparents for something she has no power over and for some old/weird value.”
Someone asked if they equally pressured OP about having children. He addressed it in an edit. “Some people have been wondering how my parents would act when I have kids. No need to worry about that since I won’t be having any,” he explained.
“I made this clear to my parents years ago and yes they threw a fit over this.”
One commenter, who was the parent of an adopted child in a similar situation, deeply thanked OP for standing for the true meaning of family.
“As a parent of an adopted child … Thank you. I am from India and it’s not a very socially accepted norm here. My in-laws reacted similarly when we told them first that we only wanted to adopt and not have biological kids,” they wrote.
“Lots of tantrums and emotional manipulation. Thankfully my BIL was very supportive and he stood by us,” the commenter continued.
“As time went on they have completely accepted the reality and are very loving to their grandchild. I hope it’s only time that they need to get over their disappointment and they will come around to giving the little girl the grandparents she deserves. You did absolutely the right thing. She is lucky to have such an aunt/uncle who stands up for her.”