A woman has been slammed for telling her adopted niece she couldn’t keep a family heirloom because it was for the ‘real’ family.
The original poster (OP), known as u/ivoryc0ffee, posted about the situation to Reddit’s popular “Am I The A**hole” forum where it received over 15,400 upvotes and 2,000 comments. The position can be found here.
According to a 2020 study conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Shinola, about 42% of Americans have family heirlooms over 50 years old.
Nearly half of the 2,000 respondents said their family heirloom was their most prized possession, with 29% hoping to inherit a piece of jewelery and 32% hoping for an engagement ring.
Around 77% of respondents said they enjoyed knowing their family history when they were growing up and more than half said their inheritance was one of their most prized possessions.
In the post titled “AITA for saying I will call the police if a family heirloom is not returned to my adopted daughter?” the 28-year-old said she met her husband 10 years ago when her daughter Lily was 6 months old.
After getting married six years ago, the PO legally adopted Lily who recently turned 11.
“In my family, it’s a tradition that the eldest daughter receives an old sapphire ring on her 11th birthday,” the post read. “The ring belonged to my grandmother, who gave it to my aunt, who gave it to me because all my cousins are men.”
The PO said she gave the ring to Lily on her birthday a few months ago since she was his eldest daughter.
“She loves this ring more than anything,” the post read. “She put it on a chain to wear around her neck to keep track of it, and in the months she’s had it I’ve never seen her take it off.”
Recently, when OP’s sister Mia, 24, dropped Lily home after hanging out, she went straight to her room and seemed quieter than normal.
“I thought maybe she was just tired, so hey [husband] and I didn’t immediately ask her what was going on,” the post read. “But later that night I went to see her because I wanted to be sure.”
When she went to talk to Lily, she saw that she had cried because Mia had taken the ring from her and said that she was supposed to go to the “real” oldest daughter. Mia told him that since she was adopted, she “isn’t really part of the family anymore.”
“The only reason I didn’t go to Mia’s apartment that night to pick it up was because I spent the rest of the evening reassuring Lily that she was my family, and that she is 100% my “real” oldest daughter no matter what. DNA is or what anyone else says,” the post read.
The next morning, the PO left Mia a voicemail saying she needed to return the ring, but she texted back saying she wouldn’t return the ring unless the PO had a girl before her. .
“But until then she would keep it safe to make sure I don’t give it back to ‘the wrong person,'” the post read. “So I told her that if she didn’t return the ring by 2pm that day, I would call the police and report it stolen.”
Mia told the OP that she “was ridiculous” and “overdid it.” She also implicated her mother who said she thought it was “going too far” to contact the police. Her mother also said that Mia was “only trying to follow the family tradition.”
More than 1,800 users commented on the post, with many defending the woman for threatening to call the police.
“NTA. She took a birthday present from your kid and then told that kid she ‘isn’t really family?’ one user commented. “Your sister is lucky you just said you’d call the cops.
“I would be VERY concerned about the other things ‘fun aunt’ said or did all those other times now…” another user commented.