DEAR ABBY: My niece (age 25), despite numerous warnings against getting pregnant, deliberately did three years ago. This was a result of an affair with a man who is in a live-in relationship with another woman.
My niece ended up in the hospital and had to have some serious surgeries. She lost her job and moved in with my sister and her husband. She's working again, but she and her daughter still live with my sister because she doesn't earn enough to support them (and gets no help from the father). She has recently announced that she's pregnant again by this same man!
My sister says she feels compelled to support my niece because she is concerned about her grandchild(ren). How do the rest of us "opt out," without seeming mean or judgmental? I feel sorry for the strain this is putting on my sister, but she keeps asking family members to help out as she is only working part-time and her husband is on disability. I don't feel it is our responsibility to keep supporting this self-centered, irresponsible adult. HELP, please! -- AUNTIE NO MORE
DEAR AUNTIE: Unless you and the rest of the family want to support your niece and all the children she may have, draw the line. Tell your sister that "the family" will chip in one more time, but the money must be used so she and her daughter can consult a lawyer about how to compel the deadbeat dad to assume his responsibilities toward his children. There are also state child support enforcement agencies that can help her.