Though paternity tests usually make us think of Maury Povich, more and more people are coming to Reddit to dish about who they might (or might not be) related to. Last month, we learned about a piece of sh*t father via the “Am I The A—hole? (AITA)” subreddit who abandoned his postpartum wife for the first three weeks of their baby’s life.
He couldn’t fathom a world in which his daughter had blonde hair and blue eyes while he and his wife had brown hair and brown eyes, so he “demanded” a paternity test, threatened to divorce her if she didn’t comply, and then left to stay with his parents to “get some space” until the results came in.
Anyone who took high school biology will not be surprised to hear he was indeed the father and that Redditors were pissed. “I don’t normally jump to the leave him and divorce him tangent, but in this case, it’s the first thing I thought,” one person said. “OP needs to get a lawyer and file ASAP, then pack all his stuff and put it in the yard. Call his mom and tell her that she can have her son back permanently.”
Yikes! Well, it’s possible this latest DNA drama — courtesy of the slightly different “AITAH” subreddit — is even more outrageous … since it’s not coming from who you think it is.
“Plot twist: I’m the mother,” said the woman who originally posted (the “OP”). And it really was unexpected, because wanting a DNA test seems to be a notoriously male-dominated area. And because it’s not that she’s wanting a paternity test; it’s that she’s wondering if she is indeed this child’s mom.
There were unfortunately complications when her son — who she “loves insanely” — was born so medical professionals “whisked him away” before she got the chance to meet him. Then things got “really, really weird.”
“They brought him back to us finally and it’s so painful to admit but I looked at him and crystal clear thought, ‘Whose child is this???’” OP said.
It’s a thought that she’s “told. no. one. ever.” (Except for the entire internet now.) She said the thought made her feel “horribly guilty” and attributed it to baby brain.
“I was groggy and brainless from everything but still it sliced through my mind,” she said. “They tucked a super chubby, super ruddy, super lovable, and squeezable baby into my arms. But he looked nothing like any of my other kids when they were born. Or any of the other babies in the extended family.”
While everyone else was reportedly slim, long, and fair-skinned, he was pudgy and darker-skinned. (Time for a quick reminder that recessive genes are a thing!) “Many, many” years later, he still looks and acts nothing like his family. OP knows this can happen, but has always secretly wondered if something went amiss at the hospital.
There seemingly wasn’t a reason to press the issue until recently, when her son was diagnosed with a “heartbreaking disease” for which there’s no family history. Now she’s wondering if she should somehow secretly get a DNA test to learn of other potential health issues.
And, of course, to answer the question that’s been in the back of her mind all these years.
“But I don’t really know what I’d do with the information,” she said. “What happens if I learn he’s not mine? Do I just try to get the family history? Or do I break???? Do I tell him? Do I tell the family? Do I go after the hospital? Do I f*ck up his life?… screw telling his dad who would treat him like he was defective … What about his brothers and sisters?”
“Geez oh dear. Bring it on,” she told Redditors, knowing they would have lots to say.
Redditors were surprisingly tame and supportive, clearly feeling OP’s angst and wanting to assure her that she’s not the a—hole for wanting answers.
“Get a DNA test done to see if the [illness] is genetically based, so you can look out for it with your other children,” said the top comment with 3.3 thousand upvotes. “Perfectly reasonable thing to do. The fact that other things might show up is a bonus.”
“NTA. Baby swaps have happened whether intentional or accidental, if you’re genuinely concerned then do the DNA test.”
“If he’s not genetically yours, his birth parents might have other kids with the same defect and they should know as soon as possible. You’re doing those other kids a favor.”
One Redditor said OP should have done the test as soon as she had doubts, but another backed her up: “Years ago that wasn’t as accepted as it would be today. Also, she was in a brain fog from meds and doubting herself. You can’t blame her for not wanting to make a rash accusation while in that state.”
It feels like the “accusation” aspect could play a big role in Reddit’s reaction. OP was never accusatory or hateful. She seemingly loves her son regardless of her intrusive thoughts, and she didn’t flee (like that Reddit dad) as soon as she thought something was wrong.
One Redditor said the best advice in the whole thread came from someone who urged OP to speak to a healthcare professional (perhaps a therapist?) before going through with this.
“Make sure you’re mentally prepared for whatever the DNA result is. If he’s yours, you may be overrun with feelings of guilt for ever doubting or mistreatment, and if he’s not, you need to make sure you do everything that causes the least stress and anxiety.”
“Even if he isn’t biologically yours, he’s still the baby you raised. You are his mother,” one person said definitively. “Also, update us with what happens either way.”
When that update comes, we hope it says that OP and her family got the peace they deserve after all these years.
Before you go, check out some of Reddit AITA‘s biggest fiascos where everyone is to blame.