Opening up your home and hearts to kids in foster care is one of the most selfless acts in the world — but it's not an easy thing to do. It's a challenging lifestyle for many reasons, especially if you don't have enough room in your house like this woman in the wildly popular "Am I the A------" (AITA) subreddit.
The original poster, who goes by the handle u/Electrical_Lab_8570, said right after she and her husband's 19-year-old son went back to college, they decided to change his bedroom and give it to their 12-year-old foster daughter.
Read on for the full story. Plus, stick around to hear what the internet has to say.
These parents gave their son's bedroom to their foster child.
The OP revealed that she and her husband have been foster parents for over a decade. Two months ago, they had four minor children living in their home: a 12-year-old biological son, 5- and 8-year-old adopted sons, and an almost 2-year-old foster son. Their 22-year-old foster daughter still lives at home, and their 19-year-old son returned for the summer after his freshman year of college.
Nearly two months ago, the OP received a call for an emergency placement of five siblings (17F, 12F, 10M, 7F, 6M). She and her husband only had two spare bedrooms, but they had enough beds to make it work, with the girls in one room and the boys in the other. Unfortunately, their circumstances changed.
The OP stated that she and her husband would be fostering the five kids for a lot longer than they thought. She added that because of the age differences between the girls, making them share a room "long-term isn't really ideal."
As a result, they crammed all the boys into two rooms, which allowed the 17-year-old girl to get her own room and the two younger ones to share. However, since the OP's 19-year-old son is heading back to college, she and her husband agreed to turn his bedroom into one for their 12-year-old foster daughter.
Their son wasn't very happy, and before he went back to school, he got into it with his dad and said it was unfair that he lost his room. He also pointed out that when he comes back home, he has nowhere to go anymore.
The OP's other adult son reached out about the situation and told her it was a bad idea. He said the 19-year-old boy is "really upset," telling her that just because he's going away to college doesn't mean he's necessarily ready to "lose his spot in the house."
"Last year, we didn't need the extra space, so his room stayed empty when he was at college," the OP explained. "This year, it makes no sense to leave a bedroom empty and make two girls five years apart in age share a room. He is still welcome home whenever, and if things change, we can rearrange things again."
The OP noted, "When our other kids/grandkids visit, they happily use an air mattress in the den or bunk with a sibling, and he can do the same on his school breaks. He will most likely have his room back by next summer, and if not, we will figure out solutions then. I have explained all this to him, but he's not hearing me."
Reddit believes the OP and her husband don't have the room to foster.
The now-viral post, which was published on Sept. 4, 2023, has racked up over 4,800 comments. As expected, most of Reddit believes that the OP and her husband aren't properly fit to foster this many children.
"You don't have the room to foster properly," one person wrote. "You still continue to do so at the cost of your current family (both bio and non-bio). Do with that what you will."
A second user agreed, stating that the OP "does not have space to support the number of foster kids she's committed to, at least not in a way that's comfortable for the kids already in the family. When it starts having a negative impact on family dynamics, it's time to stop."
"Some parents take up fostering at the cost of their own kids' well-being and quality of life," a third Reddit user said, adding, "There's always the faux caring talk, but the fact is, they're turning their home into a hostel that no longer has space for their own children."
"You're taking on more than you can really handle here," another Reddit user replied. "It's admirable that you want to help, but crowding these children to the point that you're pushing out your own children is not the stable, loving home they need. ... You're doing no favors to your foster children, and you're undermining your relationship with your own son at that. Please scale back your giving to something more manageable."
"Your bio son is getting pushed aside," another person wrote.
Someone else commented, "He is your biological son, you have basically just told him he has been kicked out of his home. Of course he is upset, where the heck does he go ... now [that] you have given his room away? Are you going to give his stuff away as well? You choose to foster ... but it shouldn't be to the detriment of your own children."
What do you think? Is the OP wrong for giving her son's bedroom to someone else? Let us know!