A woman has been slammed online for refusing to let a foster child call her his aunt.

Posted on Reddit’s r/AmITeA**hole forum, a woman using the anonymous username u/NoLongerAnAunt shared her story to get opinions from the “AITA” community. The viral post has over 4,000 upvotes and 2,000 comments.

The original poster (OP) began her story by explaining that her brother became a foster father to a boy about a decade ago when the boy’s father died and the mother was in a rehab facility. The nurse explained to the OP’s brother that he was supposed to stay there for six months to a year, but it ended up being six years.

Foster child calls wife "Aunt Reddit
A brother and sister are arguing. In a post that went viral on Reddit, a woman was criticized for not allowing her foster child to refer to her as his aunt.
Deagreez/iStock/Getty Images Plus

During the time her brother had with the child, he treated it as his own. He made sure the boy had nice clothes, gave him any food he wanted, took him on vacations and other activities. After the boy turned 14, his biological mother was able to regain custody and bring the boy back at very short notice.

“I can’t explain how devastated my brother was. He was more than desperate. He treated this child like a son, and then legally they were not for each other. He’s eighteen now and just started community college. My brother has another foster child staying with him now. Although life has moved on, I know my brother is still in pain,” she wrote.

The OP explained that she recently met the foster child – who is now an adult – at the grocery store with his mother. He was excited to see her and referred to her as “Auntie” as he called her. She replied, “I’m not your aunt.” She could tell he was annoyed by her comment but awkwardly continued the conversation.

When she told her brother about the interaction, he thought she was wrong and “should have accepted the title with dignity.” She argued that the boy hadn’t been a member of her family for years, so why would she let him call his aunt?

news week asked u/NoLongerAnAunt for comment.

news week has published several articles on sibling conflict, including a woman who was beaten for “traumatizing” her sister’s foster children.

How to become a foster parent

There are many children in the foster system. According to childrensrights.org, on any given day in the United States, there are approximately 424,000 children in foster care.

Children are placed in foster care due to parental abandonment as well as other factors such as neglect, death, incarceration, abuse, medical neglect or voluntary placement, according to verywellfamily.com.

According to the Children’s Bureau, the ultimate goal of foster care is to provide a safe, nurturing, and stable environment until a child can return home or a family is found for the child to join.

Have you always wanted to be a foster parent? Here are the requirements to become one, per Nursingcare.com:

  • Potential foster parents must be over 21 years of age
  • You have to go through background releases
  • Be outgoing, reliable, patient and willing to try different parenting styles for children with different needs
  • You must have a flexible schedule
  • Foster parents should also be tolerant

Redditor reactions

“[You’re the a**hole]. He was a kid, he had no choice where to go or who to meet – that doesn’t mean his relationship with your brother was any less real. That’s not to say he didn’t still consider your brother or you family all along. So in principle; you publicly disowned your nephew because his mother cut his father out of his life,” wrote u/StripedBadger, receiving the top comment from over 18,000 upvotes.

U/KaliTheBlaze said: “[You’re the a**hole]. You’re punishing a child for not staying in touch during a major upheaval in their life. In adult-child relationships, it is generally the adult’s responsibility to maintain contact, not the child’s. Who knows if he even had the means to do it!”

“[You’re the a**hole]. Aunt doesn’t just mean related by blood. You just said you care so little about yourself or your brother’s relationship with him that you wouldn’t appreciate a casual greeting like that,” commented u/robbyrandall.

“[You’re the a**hole]. This poor boy saw someone he loved and considered him an aunt for six years of his life. SIX. And you’re blaming him for something over which he had no legal, literal, physical control? You are angry. But you’re directing your anger at someone who has done literally nothing to deserve it. I can’t even imagine how this kid must be feeling right now,” said u/Frequent_Train_3259.

https://www.newsweek.com/woman-slammed-refusing-let-foster-child-refer-her-his-aunt-1736324 Woman slammed for refusing to let foster child call her his aunt

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