“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#1 Mar 31, 2013
DEAR ABBY: I have a relative who is very ill. She's not expected to survive. She has a 1-year-old daughter, "Whitney," and a husband who isn't particularly interested in parenting once his wife is gone. My husband and I have a 3-year-old, and my husband would like to have more children. I love this relative and the little girl, but I'm not interested in raising another child. I'm fine with just one.

My husband feels we have the love and resources to provide Whitney with a good life. I respect the fact that he feels this way, but I work full time. I am also in my mid-40s and already feel overwhelmed being the parent of one child. I enjoy my current lifestyle and being able to travel some. Although we will be fine financially, our lifestyle would be greatly impaired.

My husband says I'm selfish for not wanting to share my good fortune. He may be right, but I feel that if I'm talked into taking her, I'll be unhappy and resentful. Please advise.-- ONLY WANTS ONE

DEAR ONLY WANTS ONE: Children need love and attention from the adults who parent them. While your husband has that to offer Whitney, you do not. Because you would be unhappy and resentful if your husband talks you into adopting her, it would be better for you and Whitney if someone who really wants a child, and is capable of providing the love and support a child needs, took her.

DEAR ABBY: I am retired from teaching high school biology after 39 years. The last year I taught, some of my students said I was the "youngest" teacher on the faculty -- not chronologically, but in the way I talked to them. I treated them as important, as equals. Being around high school students all those years kept me young.

Since my retirement, I can no longer do the thing I loved best: teach biology. However, I am keeping my commitment to staying young. Last summer I bicycled 500 miles across Kansas. I do nine hours of dance exercise and aerobics a week, paint with oils, do photography and am starting to relearn the guitar. I may be in the early stages of Parkinson's disease, so I want to do everything I didn't get to do when I was younger while I still can.

I think too many people are busy being old. Most of my former classmates and friends have died. Many younger people can't do what I do. Some of them tell me I should "act my age" and "learn to be old." But what I'm doing keeps me young, and if I look silly doing it, so be it. I feel more fit now than when I was 21. If I die in an aerobics class it will be a lot better than doing it slumped in a chair. What are your thoughts on this?-- LIVING WELL IN WICHITA

DEAR LIVING WELL: As long as you are living a full life and enjoying what you're doing, you should ignore those "helpful" individuals who tell you to "act your age" and "learn to be old." It has been awhile since I have read such nonsense.

You have been blessed with health, vitality and an inquiring mind. Life is too short to waste a second of it. When you're old and infirm you will know it, so don't let anyone rush you.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#2 Mar 31, 2013
Now you know how a guy feels when his wife accidentally gets pregnant when he didn't want any more.
Your position is valid but my prediction is that your husband will resent you fiercely and blame you for evey misfortune the child has, will leave you and may even try to raise the child on his own
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#3 Mar 31, 2013
LW1 - "She has a 1-year-old daughter, "Whitney," and a husband who isn't particularly interested in parenting once his wife is gone."

Does he have the option of not parenting his own child? Children are not puppies. They cannot be "rehomed" easily. I am not knowledgeable in this area, but doesn't taking on raising somebody else's child also require some legal arrangements? Whitney's biological father is probably also her de facto and de jure guardian. LW's husband would have to gain some legal authority over Whitney in order to raise her. I am not sure it's an easy move even if LW wanted it.

LW2 - Yay for you?
pde

Gilberts, IL

#4 Mar 31, 2013
Cass wrote:
LW's husband would have to gain some legal authority over Whitney in order to raise her. I am not sure it's an easy move even if LW wanted it.
As long as both parties are willing, it requires at least a transfer of legal guardianship, which isn't that difficult or expensive. My parents took legal guardianship of some of my cousins at one point.

Adoption requires more paperwork but once again, isn't all that difficult if it's what all parties want. There will likely be a few thousand dollars in legal fees.
Ripper

Menora, Australia

#5 Mar 31, 2013
LW1. Firstly the father is the one who should be looking after the child. "Not particularly interested in parenting" does not necessarily preclude his doing this, and he may be somewhat overwhelmed in the current circumstances. He could probably do with some help.
Your husband has no right to hang this guilt on you. It would probably be your work load that greatly increases, not his. Because you don't want more children and he does, he is trying to force you into feeling guilty and acceeding to his wishes. Don't let this happen.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#6 Apr 1, 2013
pde wrote:
<quoted text>
As long as both parties are willing, it requires at least a transfer of legal guardianship, which isn't that difficult or expensive. My parents took legal guardianship of some of my cousins at one point.
Adoption requires more paperwork but once again, isn't all that difficult if it's what all parties want. There will likely be a few thousand dollars in legal fees.
Thanks for the reply!

I had no idea that it's really that easy. I don't know if it makes me creeped out or happy that parents unwilling to be parents can "give away" their kids with such ease.
Kuuipo

Marina, CA

#7 Apr 1, 2013
I know a few people who have unofficially adopted relatives. I totally agree with Ripper. Maybe you and your husband can babysit on a semi-regular basis as a compromise. And people who are "not expected to survive" sometimes do. I have an acquaintance who was given 3 months to live - 9 years ago. She had lymph node cancer, but is alive and well today. Whitney may do much better than expected.
pde

Palatine, IL

#8 Apr 1, 2013
Cass wrote:
<quoted text>
Thanks for the reply!
I had no idea that it's really that easy. I don't know if it makes me creeped out or happy that parents unwilling to be parents can "give away" their kids with such ease.
If they can find someone willing to take them ...

It gets more difficult if the parent doesn't want to parent, there's no relatives that want to take the child, and the parent wants to give up the child to the state.

(Although we're talking about a 1-year-old. A private adoption agency would probably be willing to still place her for adoption and easily find her a family.)

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