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3 Bumps

guardian to the child if the parents die

My SIL asked my husband to be guardians to their children if they die. We havent been able to conceive :(, but if we did, they would probably be our natural choice as guardians as well. However, if we never conceive I dont necessarily want to change our lifestyle and have the financial burden of someone elses kids. How do I broach this w/ my hubby w/out hurting him? With my SIL? I hope this doesnt sound selfish and I know many may say it could be a blessing but I just think once we get over the idea of not having our own kids, taking on someone elses isnt necessarily something Id be eager to do. However, if we do eventually conceive and have a kid friendly lifestyle then naturally we would take this on, but I dont think we can necessarily say that to SIL. Ive never even met their children(oldest is 3yrs) b/c were not close in relationship or distance but all of us admire eachother, so I dont have any emotional connection.


Asked by hiyamommy at 4:54 PM on May. 29, 2013 in General Parenting

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This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • I agree with winterglow, the chances of it happening are small. If you turn them down is there an obvious second choice? If not recognize the fact that this is just a back up plan and give your sil the peace of mind of knowing that you will step up to the plate if her kids NEED you. And there is such a thing as life insurance, so the financial shouldn't be that bad.

    Answer by LoveMyDog at 5:07 AM on May. 30, 2013

  • There is always going to be a WHAT IF. You can't agree now to be guardian and IF they die and IF you don't have children change your mind and say no. It's not how that works. It's either you are or you're not. I do find it a bit selfish to be honest and your husband as just as much say in this then you do.

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 4:56 PM on May. 29, 2013

  • This is just my way of looking at things and it doesn't make it right or wrong for anyone else.
    My husband and I feel that family is family. Had any of us left children behind one of us would have stepped up to care for our family's "child" This goes for cousins as well. Family s family. Each of us asked this when we named/ asked tow individuals to godparents to each of our children. We are also godparents and named guardians for several others. That is what works for us. We simply would not think of leaving our blood relations in foster care or in an orphanage.

    Answer by Dardenella at 8:38 PM on May. 29, 2013

  • I think you're overthinking this. The chances are very slim (though not impossible) that both parents will die before the children are 18. I say you should get to know these children now. After all, they're your nieces/nephews and I'm kind of taken aback that the eldest is 3 and you still don't know them. I can't even begin to imagine discussing this kind of plan for children you've never seen in your life. So spend some time with them and you might find that the discussion about being their gardians becomes a whole lot simpler :)


    Answer by winterglow at 3:26 AM on May. 30, 2013

  • Thanks for your reply LostSoul. Im clear that we wouldnt flip flop in our responsibility, which is why were taking a hard look at it now. Its a huge commitment to ask and this is literally coming at us about 5 hrs after returning from the fertility doc w/ less then exciting news, so hubby and I are both sensitive right now. We both of course have just as much say in it, but b/c its so sensitive I wanted feedback on the best gentle approach with everyone as we talk thru our feelings.

    Comment by hiyamommy (original poster) at 5:10 PM on May. 29, 2013

  • I can definitely see how that would be a hard decision in your situation. However I would be honored that your sil trusts you with her kids. It's not likely that anything would happen to them even if you agree, but family is important and I would be happiest knowing my nieces/nephews would be safe and happy with me.

    Answer by missanc at 5:30 PM on May. 29, 2013

  • there is no "easy" way to say it
    you tell hubs and then the two of you sit down with the in laws and tell them.
    first decide if it is just fertility disappointment or if you and or him are not going to be willing to make a life change

    and i do not see it as selfish at all, honestly, i would have to think long and hard about taking on anymore kids. especially ones i dont know

    Answer by feralxat at 5:34 PM on May. 29, 2013

  • So, are you saying that if you can't conceive yourselves, you won't have any children? Adoption isn't something you'll be considering? How important is having children to you? Is it something that you want badly enough that you'll do any (legal) thing you have to do to have a child, whether your own or through adoption? Or is it just something that you want to do but if it doesn't happen, it's not the end of the world?

    If it's something you'll do anything to make happen, then I wouldn't base your answer to them on whether or not you'll conceive. Even if you wouldn't have children at all if you don't conceive, I still wouldn't base your answer on that. I would base your answer on whether or not you want to take on the responsibility of someone else's children, period. Whether you could afford to, would desire to, would be able to. Take your potential children out of the equation entirely, and decide.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 6:25 PM on May. 29, 2013

  • My thought is, it's better to come out and say no if that's what you want to do, for any reason. Otherwise, if od forbidsomething happens, you'll be stuck in a situation you don't want. Give them a chance to find the right person. The cuple my boyfriend and I originally asked said no, and while it was momentarily hard to take, I'm glad it happened so we could look for a more appropriate option.

    Answer by Ballad at 11:22 PM on May. 29, 2013