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Dad Wonders If He's Wrong For Refusing To Let His Pregnant Daughter Move In With Him Because He's 'Enjoying Retirement'

Photo: Martin Baron via Unsplash / Inside Creative House via Shutterstock / Tais Bernabé via Canva
serious man and pregnant woman in the background

A retired dad sparked drama with both his ex-wife and his pregnant daughter after refusing to take her in after she got pregnant. Posting to Reddit, he described how the situation unfolded.

The man explained that his pregnant daughter often flakes on her responsibilities, so he expects he'll end up helping care for her baby extensively. Given that, he's not willing to sacrifice any more of his retired lifestyle.

The man's 23-year-old daughter got pregnant after stopping her birth control.

The drama began when his daughter met a man online who lived in another state. Soon after, she said they wanted to get married and have kids, even though they hadn't met in person. She then had her birth control implant removed, saying she wanted to switch to birth control pills.

Worried, the man had a long talk with his daughter about how expensive having children is and the importance of waiting until she's ready.

He was particularly concerned because his ex-wife had stopped taking her birth control in order to get pregnant and force him to marry her.

Sure enough, after going on a trip to finally meet her boyfriend in person for the first time, his daughter came home pregnant. Her boyfriend has medical problems and is on disability because he cannot work, and she is unable to work because of morning sickness.

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She asked her father if she and her boyfriend could move in with him just for a few months so that her boyfriend could move from out of state and they could look for jobs.

But, he wrote, "my daughter has a history of not following through on her commitments and I know that she won't actually move out before she has the baby."

Adding that he still has a cat she once bought and then tired of caring for, he wrote, "She has trouble taking responsibility...and I am guessing we will be the ones dealing with the baby mostly."

The man also has two children, 8 and 10 years old, with his second wife, and is nervous about having his daughter's boyfriend, whom none of them know well, in his house with his kids. And given that he is currently enjoying his retirement, he told his daughter and her boyfriend, "I love my kids and raising them, but I had no interest in raising theirs."

Instead, he told his daughter he would help her and her boyfriend with a security deposit and the first month's rent for an apartment.

"I know that she won't actually move out before she has the baby, and probably not for a long while after," he wrote, noting that "if they wanted to play house I wasn't going to fund it."

Regardless, he says his daughter is furious with him, as is her mother, who "has chewed me up one side and down the other for not supporting her."

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As one person put it in the comments, "Being a parent...does not mean you have to support everything the adult child does."

Responsibility and owning up to one's choices were recurring themes in the responses. One person summed it up thusly — "If she is mature enough to have a baby, she needs to be mature enough to care for it without foisting those duties onto [her dad]."

Most commenters agreed that the man had done nothing wrong, especially since he offered to help his daughter and her boyfriend find a place to live. One called his offer of rental deposit money "a generous compromise," but another user disagreed, writing that "he's going above and beyond with a very generous gift."

And many felt that at 23, it was up to his daughter to take care of this situation, not him. As one user put it, "dad has absolved himself....His daughter has to fully accept the consequences of her actions for at least the next 18 years. Dad owes her NOTHING at this point."

As difficult as it can be to watch your child make unfavorable choices, allowing an adult child to move in indefinitely can cause a whole host of issues.

"The biggest one is, as soon as kids get back with their parents, no matter how old they are, they regress. And the parents regress," Jerrold Shapiro, a professor of counseling psychology at Santa Clara University, told The Hill.

As this father has experienced firsthand through taking on responsibility for his adult daughter's cat, it's fair of him to worry about the same thing happening with his grandchild, along with the added stress of having his daughter's boyfriend in the house as well.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.