Student, 23, praised after sharing reality of raising 17-year-old ‘daughter’

A young woman has revealed how her life has changed after she became a parental figure to her 17-year-old sister, despite being just 23 years old herself.

Hunter Nelson adopted her half-sister, Gracie, almost two years ago when both her parents passed away.

She has gone viral for sharing stories of their relationship, including what it's like to help raise a teenager just six years older than her.

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And it raised questions from viewers, with some saying Hunter can't be a good parent to a teenager.

Explaining on her TikTok, the 23-year-old said she was in contact trying to find an appropriate placement for Gracie after her parents passed away.

Hunter said: "We tried a few different places and it just didn't work – they were going to put her in foster care because they weren't considering me as an option because I lived out of state and was so young.

"Then they told me I could file for guardianship, so I went to the courthouse the next day and applied for guardianship and was awarded it the next month in June."

Hunter, who majors in elementary school education, has since taken on the role of a mother and the pair now live together in Kentucky.

And she only has two rules for Gracie while she's living with her – she can't smoke, drink or vape and she can't lie.

Gracie agreed to the rules and believed that it would be dangerous if there were no rules for a 15-year-old.

She also clarified: "I don't call her [Hunter] mum or anything, we are still sisters. She's just a parental figure."

Hunter does not regret spending her early adult years taking care of her half-sibling.

"She could leave at 18 but I will never regret taking guardianship of her," she wrote.

"Even at 21 and 15, I would have missed out on the best years of her life and the best years of mine.

"She is my best friend in the making. I didn't lose my 20s but I did gain a lot."


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