It stands to reason that if you marry somebody who already has children, you have to treat those kids as if they’re your own. You don’t get to pretend you can just wipe the slate clean and start a new life with your partner as if their literal human children are just part of an erasable past.
Except that’s exactly what some stepparents do. And some take the sentiment quite literally.
A woman named Natalie posted a heartbreaking request in a Facebook Photoshop help group, which has now gone viral.
“Can anyone remove the center kid?” she wrote, offering up $10 for the request.
According to a screenshot she shared of a text conversation with the photographer, the “center kid” is, in fact, her stepson. Natalie wanted him out of the photo because she wanted to have a picture “with just my boys.”
And it looks like she got her wish, as the person who posted about the incident on Twitter also shared what Natalie’s Facebook picture looks like — an edited version of the original photo, without her smiling stepson.
The conversation between Natalie and her photographer also reveals that there were no photos taken without the oldest child during the actual shoot, suggesting that either his dad wouldn’t allow it or Natalie, on some level, knew leaving him out was wrong.
But the end result is ultimately still the same, and people were devastated on his behalf.
And some shared their own stories about living with stepparents or stepchildren.
But some of the best responses were ones who “fixed” the Photoshop job for her.
If this story sounds familiar, it’s because it isn’t the first time the internet has gotten up in arms about a stepmother asking Facebook to ‘shop her stepson out of a family photo. And while it undoubtedly won’t be the last, either, hopefully the public shaming will make some people think twice about being a jerk to their stepkids.