TW: mentions of pregnancy termination. A man is asking if he's being reasonable to ask for his expensive baby gifts back after his sister-in-law terminated her pregnancy.
One thing people often disagree upon is etiquette and how certain situations should be handled in order to 'do the right thing.' Of course what one person thinks is 'right' isn't necessarily what others think and that can often lead to conflict. The giving and returning of gifts is often something that causes some drama, especially if the giver has spent a lot of money on the gift and feels that, for whatever reason, the gift should be returned. One man recently went looking for advice online after gifting his sister-in-law with expensive baby gifts only to find out she terminated her pregnancy and refuses to give back the gifts.
One man recently asked Reddit's popular AITA (Am I The A$$hole) forum for some advice on how to handle a tough situation. He explained that after years of trying to get pregnant, his wife's sister and her boyfriend were finally having a baby. Everyone was very happy and the sister-in-law even made a list of gift items she wanted and gave it to her excited family members. "We all went to town," the poster wrote. "We bought her a crib ($1200) and some baby clothes (about $200) in preparation. She also received other gifts from other family members," he explained.
Sadly, the poster's sister-in-law and her boyfriend broke up. "She decided to terminate the pregnancy because her boyfriend left her after an argument," he wrote. "He's not involved with her anymore. This is her exact reasoning and politics aside, she doesn't even need a reason. Free country, etc. But..."
He then went on to explain that when they asked for their expensive gifts back so they could return them, she refused. "We told her to return the baby items to us and she refused, saying she'll use them one day. Sure, but we can just get it back for you then. This is holding our money hostage. She still refused so we asked to be reimbursed at which she also refused."
He wrote that he and his wife decided that the gifts would just serve as Christmas and birthday gifts, but the sister-in-law wasn't happy with that solution either. "This caused a cacophony of chaos in the family with many upset with her and many supporting her. Never upset because she had the termination, but because she requested all of these things when she wasn't 100% sure she'd keep the pregnancy," he wrote before asking for advice.
Many concluded that the poster was in the wrong here. "Gifts don't get to come with strings attached," wrote one commenter, while another added, "Never give what you're not willing to say goodbye to, whatever the reason you gave it for. Not really sure why the cost of these over the top gifts are relevant." Another commented felt like the poster and his wife are being less than supportive. "Her whole world just collapsed and you're pressed RIGHT NOW about these items?" they wrote.
Still, others were left wondering what the etiquette is in a situation such as this. "Isn't the etiquette -- for instance -- that wedding gifts are conditional on getting married, and that the couple is expected to return them if the wedding doesn't happen?" wrote one confused poster. Another seemed to agree, writing, "If I give someone a wedding gift and then they call off the wedding, they give the wedding gift back. Why is it different for a pregnancy gift?"
Others sided with the poster and agreed that the sister-in-law should return the gifts. "$1400 is a whole bunch of money to give someone as a gift. You did that out of kindness and understandably didn’t pay that kind of money for the gifts to sit around unused," one commenter wrote, adding "I’d suggest giving it a little time and see if she comes around." Another wrote that if the situation were a bit different and she lost the child to miscarriage then the poster would be out of line. "When you buy wedding presents and a wedding doesn't happen, the jilted bride or groom still has to return presents. If it were a miscarriage, I'd say drop it and let it go, but she chose to end the pregnancy. She forfeits her right to the gift in my opinion."
There haven't been any updates on the post as of yet, but it seems that whatever the poster chooses to do, someone won't be happy about it. Do you think the gifts should be returned?