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Sean Cate
Sean Cate
December 20, 2023 ·  3 min read

Her Brother Wants To Be Her Father, But His Wife Says No

A difficult dilemma unfolded recently, where a 28-year-old man grappled with an agonizing decision. His father’s passing left his 11-year-old sister orphaned, thrusting him into a heart-wrenching predicament. Married for two years, the couple had adamantly decided on a child-free life. However, the sudden responsibility to adopt and care for his sister forced him to reassess their agreed-upon stance.1

A Heartfelt Appeal for Adoption Advice

In the midst of personal turmoil, the young man sought counsel on Reddit, pouring his heart out about the difficult crossroads he faced. “Due to the age gap, I am more like another father than a brother. My father passed away from pancreatic cancer. There are 2 options for my sister: either I take her in or my uncle [dad’s brother].” He continues, “So we asked her who she wanted, and she chose me.”

The dilemma weighed heavily on him as he navigated the chasm between honoring their pre-marital agreement and his sister’s heartfelt wish.

The post, titled “I want to adopt my sister after my dad’s death, my wife refused because we agreed on no children. Is there a way to fix this?” illuminated the intimate turmoil and conflicting loyalties he grappled with. He expressed the emotional strain of seeing his sister bereft of parental figures and the responsibility he felt to safeguard her well-being.

Expressing his close bond with his sister, the man described himself as a father figure due to their significant age gap. Despite his sister’s clear preference to reside with him, his wife vehemently opposed the idea of adopting her, citing their prior commitment to a child-free lifestyle.

“This is causing a lot of tension with my wife, things escalated and finally told her I am doing this whether she agrees or not, she can either accept it or we get divorced.” Begging for some advice, he writes, “We have not talked since then. What can I do in such situation?”

Read: Struggling Single Teen Dad Asks for Help After Ex Leaves & Parents Disown Him

Adopt or Not: Friction and Discord

Amid the heated debates and emotional turmoil, the man made a difficult decision. Opting to prioritize his sister’s welfare over his marital bond, he chose to part ways with his wife, committing to care for his sister as a single guardian.

The community grappled with the aftermath, reflecting on the sacrifices, moral dilemmas, and unexpected turns life often presents. Opinions varied, with some commending the man’s unwavering dedication to family while others lamented the fracture in his marriage, highlighting the intricate balance between personal commitments and familial responsibilities. One wrote “Seriously, choosing not to have children is one thing. Not taking in a beloved relative who happens to be a child in a time of crisis is a completely different situation!” while another stated “Always with the ‘selfish.’ I am child free by choice and have been told I am selfish for not having children so many times. What people fail to understand is that, for some of us, it is WAY better…”.

Others fell somewhere in the middle (naturally); “The situation is very unfortunate but neither OP (the original poster) or his wife are in the wrong, OP is being a good brother by taking in his sister after her dad’s death, but his wife has every right to want (want, not demand) the child free life they both agreed upon.”

Reflections and Compassionate Insights

The decision prompted contemplation within the Reddit community. Some lauded the man’s unwavering commitment to family, acknowledging the sacrifice made for his sister’s well-being. Others lamented the dissolution of the marriage, highlighting the profound complexities that arise when reconciling personal commitments and familial responsibilities.

This poignant story unfolded as a testament to life’s unpredictability, encapsulating the moral dilemmas and emotional toll of unforeseen familial responsibilities. What do you think? Would you have made the same decision?

Keep Reading: Redditor Forces Parents to Choose Between Living in a Garage or a Retirement Home


  1. Brother wants to adopt little sister after dad dies, but wife refuses, claims he’s choosing sibling over marriage.” Newsner. Himani Ediriweera. November 23, 2023.

    Attention: These stories are based on posts found on Reddit. Reddit is a user-generated social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website where registered members submit content to the site and can up- or down-vote the content. The accuracy and authenticity of each story cannot be confirmed by our staff.