My (F25) biological mom (F47) has many health problems and is having surgery soon that doctors have warned her she might not survive due to her lifestyle. She just told me she’s leaving her teenage sons to me if she dies. I’m terrified.

Sorry for such a long title (and an even longer post) but I just couldn’t think of a shorter way to say what’s happening. There’s a TL/DR at the bottom if you want to skip ahead.

First off, I’m adopted and have been since I was 5 years old. My biological mom, hasn’t cared for me as her child since I was less than a year old. However, I did grow up with her in my life and even though our relationship has always been very rocky, she’s always been around. She has two teenage boys (15 and 16) from a different man who is not in their lives due to severe domestic abuse.
She is morbidly obese, a hoarder (of pets and things), lives in grossness, and just doesn’t care for her body at all. She’s had bleeding ulcers on her skin, sores, and other things that just show she doesn’t care for herself. They almost had to amputate her lower leg at one point due to a skin infection.
Please understand, I love her. Not as my mom, but as a family member. I don’t want something bad to happen to her because of that.
However, about a year ago (I think that’s the right time frame) she was having heart problems and had to get a will in place. It came out that she was leaving her sons to me. Everyone, including me, protested this but she wouldn’t discuss it and she got better so I forgot about it.
I found out that she’s going to have to have surgery in a month and even though it’s a simple enough surgery, we all know that due to her health issues she’s at a much higher risk of complications. I asked her today if she still had her will in place and she said yes, the same one since having her heart problems. We didn’t discuss it past that, and honestly I don’t know what to say.
Frankly, everyone in our family is pretty fucked up and not great people. My parents (the people who adopted me and raised me) are great parents for the most part, but they’re not great people and I don’t imagine them doing well with those boys. All the other adults are kind of horrible when it comes to raising someone so I understand her dilemma. But for the love of gods, why the fuck pick me?? I’m the youngest adult, who lives alone and can barely make ends meet paying my rent and surviving working a full time job. Plus her boys are far from saints. One of them has been dabbling in drug selling, and the other lies as if the truth burns his tongue.
I’m terrified and don’t know what to say or do to get this situation to change.

TL/DR: Troubled teenage boys might be left in my care if our shared bio mom dies in surgery next month. I’m not ok with this and I’m not a fit person to take over their care alone. I’m terrified this might happen and I’m at a loss on how to get her to change her will.

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19 thoughts on “My (F25) biological mom (F47) has many health problems and is having surgery soon that doctors have warned her she might not survive due to her lifestyle. She just told me she’s leaving her teenage sons to me if she dies. I’m terrified.

  1. JabberwockyJurist February 13, 2018 / 12:08 am

    Lawyer here. You can say no. You aren’t required to do this just because it’s in her will. You just say no. Don’t sign any paperwork. They will either find the children a home with the next of kin that’s willing to accept responsibility or find them foster care.

  2. PracticalMatters February 13, 2018 / 12:08 am

    Remember, you have a choice here. You can’t be ‘left children’ without consenting to it. As a young person yourself, two teenagers is way too much to take on right now.

  3. canceroustumor123 February 13, 2018 / 12:08 am

    It’s ok to say no, noone can force custody onto you.

    Even if you wanted to take them you would have to make sure finances were 100% in order, has your mom left you the house or put you on the life insurance policy or anything like that?

    And there would be no way I would take care of those two liabilities, I mean if they were good kids maybe but a drug dealer and sociopath, no way

  4. Dog_Sees_All February 13, 2018 / 12:08 am

    A genuine thank you to everyone who commented on this post and messaged me. You all have helped me feel like things are going to be alright and that putting myself first and saying no is absolutely ok. Love you, Redditers

  5. 5p0oKy8o0giE February 13, 2018 / 12:08 am

    Not your responsibility. I get it, you’re a nice person, you feel responsible. But you come first. Don’t sacrifice your life, please. Don’t be that doormat dealing with someone else’s problems.

  6. blackswan11 February 13, 2018 / 12:08 am

    Yeah… she can’t do this. She cannot force you to take them. It can be her wish as stated in her will, but no one is going to leave them on your doorstep without your consent. This clause in her will is not enforceable unless you agree to take them.

  7. therikaleigh February 13, 2018 / 12:08 am

    Honesty I’m just flabbergasted at the audacity of this woman. She wants the child that she gave up for adoption, to adopt her other neglected children ??? This is some next level narcissism and it’s super selfish of her to put this on you. You should remind yourself how ridiculous this situation is before anyone tries to make you fell guilty for saying no.

  8. zzeeaa February 13, 2018 / 12:08 am

    You can’t give away another human being in your will, so she’s really taking liberties with the way she’s representing this situation to you!

  9. DamnPurpleDress February 13, 2018 / 12:08 am

    If it happens, you don’t have to take them. You don’t. There are always other options – foster care, group homes, or if they are older teens living independently with state support is available. This is not your burden to bare, and anyone who says anything to you about family obligation can go kick rocks. You are not obligated to raise any children that you don’t birth if you don’t want to, or if you simply can not provide them with a lifestyle that would benefit them.

  10. idhavetocharge February 13, 2018 / 12:08 am

    Just as an idea, since you may not know this. If you did happen to take them in, they should qualify for survivors benefits, child support from the living parent, social security, foodstamps and medicaid and possibly even funding for college.

    If you don’t take them you can possibly ask to be appointed as an advocate for them. I am less sure how that would work.

    Either way you can still give them support, but don’t think you would have to support them on your earnings alone. There are programs and laws in place for exactly this situation.

  11. abermarm February 13, 2018 / 12:08 am

    I hope that it doesn’t come to it, but…if you did have custody of the boys, could you look into a place like Boys Town? They seem to have a good track record with at risk youth.

    But don’t feel badly about saying no to the responsibility of raising your brothers. You have to take care of yourself.

  12. eegrlN February 13, 2018 / 12:08 am

    She can’t “leave her sons to you” without your consent. Just say no.

  13. cinnapear February 13, 2018 / 12:08 am

    > It came out that she was leaving her sons to me.

    She can’t do this. People are not property.

  14. macimom February 13, 2018 / 12:08 am

    You dont have to accept the kids. They will be put into foster care or placed with another relative who is willing to take them.

    I would tell the boys that you arent equipped to care for them at your age but you want to maintain a relationship with them-then make the effort to have soem kind of relationship

  15. hotandcoal February 13, 2018 / 12:08 am

    Be truthful to her, ” I know you have both of your sons best interests in mind but I can legally refuse to take them in. I do not want the responsibility of two teenagers at this point in my life. I highly suggest you change your will before this procedure because you are not thinking about what’s best for me and given our past history( me being adopted and being raised by another couple) I think this is one request you should grant me.”

  16. currer-bell February 13, 2018 / 12:08 am

    Just wanted to give you a virtual hug. It’s clear that you have the boys’ best interests in mind and you sound pretty well adjusted yourself. Good luck.

  17. NakedStreets February 13, 2018 / 12:08 am

    I am absolutely not suggesting that you take care of these kids.

    But the kids may be eligible for social security benefits if their mother passes away, which could help if a family member adopts them.

    Regardless, her will doesn’t obligate you to do anything.

  18. Screwitletsdothis February 13, 2018 / 12:08 am

    I’m not saying to take the kids if you don’t want them, teenagers are a lot of work and you’re still young.

    If mom passes, her minor children will be able to receive benefits to help care for them. Even if you don’t take them, make sure family members get them signed up for social security to help offset the cost of raising them.

  19. bookwormsister1 February 13, 2018 / 12:08 am

    You’d only be semi obligated to take them if you had previously signed up and did everything when they were a baby to be their god parents. Even then you can still say no because that’s not a legal thing unless you did the extra paper work to be their legal guardian a long with the religious part of it.

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