13 Parents Who Have Disowned Their Children Share Their Stories

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When a baby is born, new parents learn to love in ways they never knew were possible. It almost seems that your heart really grows bigger with each child. Watching that child grow up can be bittersweet as parents realize that one day that child will be an adult who know longer needs their parents to do everything for them.

Sure, parents want their children to grow and thrive. They want their children to become adults who can fend for themselves, who are wonderful citizens, and who have fulfilling lives. Yet, empty nest syndrome is real, and young parents can hardly stand to think about the day their children will no longer live at home.

While the thought of children growing up and becoming more and more independent can be one parents struggle with, the thought of disowning a child can be unthinkable. Seriously. How could a parent choose to disown their own child?

Reddit user thenotoriouswtf asked, “Parents who have disowned or genuinely stopped loving your child – what happened?” The answers Reddit users shared are truly eye-opening. Hopefully you have a good relationship with your parents and your children and can’t relate to any of the following scenarious.

  1. She Met a Child Predator

    Lettucelove185 wrote:

    I’m not a parent, I’ve never disowned a child. My parents disowned my oldest sister. I’m the youngest of three girls. My oldest sister had a horrible relationship with my father, blames me for getting in the way of their relationship. She had her first baby (to spite him) when she was 16 years old. My father refused to give her money because she met a deadbeat child predator, and got pregnant again, the again, and again. She constantly put herself and deadbeat before kids. Dad would send money to girls for Christmas and birthdays and never heard a thing, he finally gave up… She’s 30, has six daughters, and lives in a mobile home in North Carolina.

  2. He Molested 2 Boys

    HeidiU521 explained:

    My siblings and I have stopped interacting with my oldest brother. We found out that years earlier he had molested at least two boys. He was an adult at the time. He showed no remorse, and turned the story around to say that those boys were at fault. It was so disgusting to watch someone you grew up with treat people so poorly and show such a blatant disregard for others. The good news is that the remaining four siblings have become closer and we now are able to appreciate the good we see in each other. It’s true when they say that if you could pick your family it would look much different than it is!

  3. Great-Grandma

    zuzumotai explained:

    Not me, but my great grandma. This story is really sad but also interesting, so I thought I’d share it. She was a young creole teenager- french creole was her first language, and she was a quarter-to-half black like me, with tan skin and loose brown curls. She was born in Florida, but when things started getting worse for black people in Florida, her family relocated to Texas. For those who don’t know, creole people tend to play heavily into colorism. Although they are definitely mixed race, they prioritize light skinned people. The looser your curl, the lighter your skin, the more white you look, the better. Her parents had high expectations for her to marry a wealthy, light skinned man who would take care of her.Instead, she met my great grandfather. A poor, dark-skinned man jumping from job to job working for farmers and trying to make a living. The two of them fell in love. They were just teenagers. Her parents threatened to disown her if she continued seeing him, and like a rebellious teenager, she refused. They wanted her to do better. She wanted to be in love. They might have broken up eventually, if she didn’t get pregnant. But she did, and that was the end of it. Her parents basically said “you’ve ruined your life” and disowned her right there. The whole family disowned her. No one would speak to her- aunts, uncles, cousins, not a single person stood up for her. So she had no choice. The two of them moved to California, so he could get a job picking oranges. He built a house. They had their first daughter. She was 16. She never saw her family again.

  4. “A Weird Mistake”

    The_Loudest_Fart explained:

    My parents didn’t “disown” me… I was just a weird mistake. My mother never wanted a child. She bailed after a few months.My father was a single parent and ended up in prison (life without parole) when I was 14. I finally met my mother. She was a police detective by the time I moved in with her. She threw me out after two months. I am 30 now, and life is typically a little weird around the holidays, but I always get a good laugh when I tell people that my father is in prison for life and my mother is a cop. But then they get super awkward when I tell them that no… it’s not a joke.

  5. Abusing Sister

    13Lilacs wrote:

    I love my son, but he abused me. When he turned that violence on to his sister by choking her, I had to say “Good-bye”.

  6. “I Want Absolutely No Responsibility”

    Yardbird753 explained:

    My ex wife disowned my son.We both married young when I was in the military (high school sweethearts). She became pregnant 6 months into our marriage. I don’t think she connected with him at all after he was born. The most she did with him was Instagram photo shoots where she painted herself as #1 mommy. When he turned 3, I left the military. A year after that, she ran for the hills. I remember it like it was yesterday. I sat down with her at a local restaurant to talk divorce plans. We split all of our financials and material items down the middle. We finally got to custody for my kiddo (something I dreaded to discuss because fathers never gain custody in my area) and she tells me “I want absolutely no responsibility”. I was taken back and I asked if she was sure. She was. That one sentence hurt me more than anything else that happen during that time. My biological father wanted nothing to do with me and now I was seeing it happen with my own child but with his mother. I received full custody and she married within a year afterwards (she had another child too). Her parents try their best to be apart of his life but she still does her best to avoid him. He’s 7 now and used to it, but I know it weights heavily on him.

  7. “I Deserved It”

    pickmeacoolname answered:

    A little different, I was disowned, but I deserved it. I was an addict and a mess for a long time, my mom couldn’t keep bailing me out of trouble and watch me self destruct anymore. I wasn’t living at home, she came to see me one last time to tell me she was done, not to contact her, she would no longer have anything to do with me. She was in pieces, I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for her. But it was the best thing she ever did for me, once she cut me off my rock bottom came hard and fast. After a little while of living on the streets and my addiction consuming me, I made my way to a detox center, got a few days clean under my belt and never looked back. That was almost 15 years ago. After I was clean a little while I contacted my mom, and little by little we built a relationship again, and now we’re really close. I am forever grateful to my mom for letting me fall and letting me back into her life.

  8. A Lot of Very Good Reasons

    roxeal added:

    Drugs, violence, theft, repetitively trying to destroy his younger brother, becoming a danger to myself and others, mental health issues that he refuses to deal with any longer or take his meds for anymore. Just plain off the chain behavior that was too much for all of us. I wouldn’t call it disowning, as much as putting down boundaries and setting up fences to protect people who don’t deserve his treatment. He also tends to be very manipulative and leans toward narcissistic behavior, in that he will habitually lie about you to others and try to play the victim. This can be very damaging to relationships with people that don’t understand what’s going on, so I’d rather just not bring myself into the equation anymore, because it’s too costly and it’s not worth it. He lacks empathy and doesn’t know how to stop himself from his harmful behavior due to a developmental disability, although he will also admit that he knows what he’s doing and he knows that he is manipulative and playing games at times. When he was younger and was under the rules of being a minor, then he had all the help in the world and it was easier to deal with.

  9. It’s Hard to Love Him

    Veritech_ added:

    I wouldn’t say I’ve disowned or stopped loving my son, but it’s real tough to find love for him. He’s almost 14 (next month) and he’s currently out of our home at a treatment facility. He’s averaged two arrests a year for the last two years, and he’s attacked my wife several times, our daughters several times, and the neighborhood kids several times. He’s run away from school, run away from home, and tried to push me off the roof of our house (after threatening to jump off and hurt himself). We have become “that family” in our town where the police are called to our home on a semi-regular basis. He’s been getting more violent as he gets older (not to mention bigger and stronger) and I honestly don’t see an end in sight.The key fact I’m leaving out is that he’s been diagnosed as high functioning autistic and is also bipolar. That’s like putting walls around a tornado and expecting it to stay inside the walls. A lot of what has occurred he had little control over because of the way his mind is (where he’s constantly at war with himself, structure versus chaos), and my wife and I have tried desperately to give him the best life we can while keeping ourselves and our daughters safe, but I’m tired. It’s been 8 and a half years we’ve been going through this with him and I’ve been ready to throw in the towel on him for a while. But my wife refuses to let him go, so we wake up every morning trying to give him the best life for him and our girls.

  10. An Adopted Son

    Steph83 explained:

    Do adopted kids count? We adopted a 3 year old from foster care. Cutest, sweetest kid. He had a few issues, but we mostly figured it was because of his history. The issues escalated quickly. When he was 7 he hit our dog with a golf club. We had to keep him away from our dog and our cat. The cat disappeared – we assumed she got out and ran away. Found out years later that he killed it and threw it in the woods. The last straw was when he burned our home down. We sent him to a residential treatment center where he stayed for 2 years. During that time, he molested a roommate and became extremely violent. The insurance company told us that they wouldn’t pay anymore and we’d either have to pay for him out of pocket ($40k a month) or bring him home. We have younger children and it wouldn’t be safe. We ended up telling the state we wouldn’t bring him home. So now we have a verified abuse report against us because we wouldn’t bring him back (even though the therapists agreed with our decision). I don’t love him. I wish the best for him, but I don’t feel anything toward him.

  11. Molested His Sister

    craftythrowaway126 answered:

    I have disowned my oldest son. He molested my daughter, has been diagnosed as a sociopath and we have restraining orders against him. It isn’t fun and I never thought I would be that parent.

  12. Fear of Child Support

    ParrotParent shared:

    I asked my biological father at 28 why he never tried to see me after he and my mom got a divorce. He said he never wanted to try for any custody arrangement because that meant he would have to pay child support. So the fear of child support led him to stop talking to his nine year old. He’s currently doing the same thing to my two younger half sisters. Some people just really shouldn’t be parents.

  13. Jehovahs Witnesses

    Mizzscarlett2pt0 explained:

    As Jehovahs witnesses, my parents disowned my siblings and I several times since I was in my late teens. One of the JW “rules” is that you do not associate with others who know “the truth” but refuse to follow it, including family and Parents are encouraged to disown any children who have left the religion. The first time was when i was 19. It upset me, i was heartbroken and eventually they changed their minds only to do it again a couple years later and so on until i stopped caring and no longer attempt to be a part of their lives at all