When a member of the family is in trouble, it’s only natural to do everything you can to try and help.
But is there a line when it comes to what’s acceptable for someone to ask you to do?
One woman has revealed she was put in a difficult position after her cousin asked her to adopt her children.
Unsure of what to do, she posted anonymously on Reddit, asking others for their advice.
“I, 27, grew up being pretty close to my cousin, also 27,” she said.
“Then in high school, she got really into the drugs/party thing and ended up dropping out in her senior year.
“She eventually had my nephew ‘Evan’, now 8. I babysat a lot for her — I was attending college locally, so I was around to help out.
“Long story short, the stuff I saw ended up with me calling CPS (Child Protection Services).
“They determined it wasn’t bad enough yet to remove Evan but did give her some kind of parenting plan. Not sure what, as she cut off everyone in the family at this point.”
“Fast-forward to now, I moved away for grad school, then came back to my hometown,” she said as she hadn’t been in contact with her cousin since she had left to pursue her education.
“She contacted me through an older email account,” she explained.
“She said that CPS had removed Evan and his siblings Connor, 5, and Gracie, 3, three years ago — I wasn’t even aware she’d had other kids.”
After being taken from their mum, the kids had been staying with a foster family.
“Now CPS was taking away her rights for not working her plan, and she had given my name to them as a relative who would adopt them,” she continued, which is why her cousin reached out in the first place.
“She begged me to take them since I was the only family member who even had a possibility to (parents have health issues, other cousins are too young/in college etc),” the poster revealed.
“Turns out the foster parents also have my cousin’s youngest child Anna, 1, — which my cousin never mentioned!
“I guess since was born later in the case, she’s not on the same timeline, and my cousin isn’t losing her rights to Anna yet.”
She arranged to see her cousins’ kids and their foster parents in a local park to help her make her decision.
After seeing them, she thought they all seemed happy and it was clear that “the kids LOVE their foster family.”
She continued: “The family had two older kids — I’d guess older teens — and I could see the bond between all of them.
“I decided not to try and take the kids, but the foster parents are allowing me to stay involved in their life as an aunt figure,” she wrote.
“Evan (the oldest child of her cousin) still remembers me vaguely, and was happy to see me.”
She didn’t want to take the kids from the foster home because she didn’t want the drama, she admitted.
“On top of not wanting to take them from the only home most of the kids remember, I also don’t want to deal with my cousin — she’s still using and is not someone I want in my life right now,” she sadly admitted.
But when she told her cousin her decision, she was “furious.”
“She said the kids deserve to grow up with their family, and I’m doing a terrible thing by not adopting them.”
The woman asked Reddit users whether she was in the wrong for not wanting to adopt the children, but many people were on her side.
One person said: “Not the a**hole AT ALL!!!! The kids sound like they are in a good place, it sounds like they are happy and healthy and perhaps may even be adopted by them in the future. Bonus, you can stay part of their lives.”
Another wrote: “[Original Poster]’s cousin is right that the kids deserve to grow up with family. But their ‘family’ is the foster parents that have been caring for them for the last three years. Kudos to OP for recognising this and honouring that bond.”
A third commented: “You clearly have these children’s best interests at heart and your cousin clearly does not. Staying with a family that loves them and lets you stay involved as an aunt figure sounds like the perfect solution here. And frankly, your cousin lost her right to claim she knows ‘what’s best for them’ when she refused to be a decent mother.”