Need advice on getting custody of my grandbaby

Connie - posted on 08/21/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I live in Arizona and would like to get custody of my youngest grandchild...she is 15 months old. The mother has two other children(boys -9 & 6 yrs) and is in the process of moving in with her brother(who does drugs & drinks heavily at times),his girlfriend,their two children,her mother(who has been in and out of jail & also abuses prescription drugs) & her sister(who had all 4 of her children taken away from her by CPS for drug use). The mother does not work and depends on the state check she gets for her children as well as child support for her younger son. My husband & I have the baby every weekend and weeks at a time in the summer. I work for a school district, so whenever I'm off we have her. I worry about that child all the time.
The mother is in the process of trying to get disibility aid through the state for her mental conditions. She has been diagnosed as a manic depressant as well as being bi-polar.
Just last week she sent me a text stating that I couldn't get the baby that coming weekend and she would let me know when I could get her....but it wouldn't be anytime soon...she called me at work the next day and said "hey,do you want to get the baby this weekend or next weekend?" For the past 3 weeks in a row, when I get the baby on friday she has a diaper rash. I get her a healed up and by end of the week when I get her she has it again. I have tried to talked to her about agreeing to give us guardianship so that the baby has a stable & happy childhood. She always says that nobody is getting her baby ....that she is hers.. my 34 yr old daughter tried to reason with her and told her that her child is not a pet....This woman sleeps all the time. She takes meds for her mental condition as well as pain pills. I have gone to her apartment to pick the baby up and found her fast asleep, her 9 yr old asleep & the 6 yr old playing video games , while the baby was playing in the room @ 4 in the afternoon... The baby was soaking wet , her feet were dirty and she had on dirty clothes.She has no beds for her kids they all sleep on the floor. The baby sleeps with her on a futon mat on the floor. She had beds but flipped out one day and threw them out because she said they had bedbugs.....I would like to get CPS involved now that she will not have her own apartment. BUT I have been told they really don't help and in the state of Arizona it is hard to prove a mother unfit...

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Faith - posted on 01/31/2011

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The first thing you need to do is what we did. Contact an attorney who does custody cases. They will usually do a freee consultation and let you know if you have a good case to pursue, which is sounds to me like you defintely do. A lot of times,they will work with you if money's an issue to make monthly payments. We had to do this to get emergency and then permanent custody of our granddaughter and she wasn't in as bad a place as your is. If you really want her, that is the first step you need to take.

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Chris - posted on 12/10/2013

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It took me almost 7 years to get permanent custody of my grandkids. It is a long process and they give the parents a million chances before they will finally say enough is enough. My granddaughter was in 8 foster homes before they were able to place her with me (partly due to two different states involved partly due to more chances for the parents). But the first step is getting the state involved if you can’t get the parents to agree to it.

Granny - posted on 10/18/2013

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My husband and I would like to have custody of our 3 year old granddaughter before something bad happens to her. Her father is in jail now on 2 felony charges and the mother is facing jail time as well for the same 2 charges. Since the father has been in jail she has moved into her mother's basement where my granddaughter is being made to sleep on the floor on a baby bed mattress (no sheets mind you) like a dog, all the while new live-in boyfriend get to sleep in a nice cozy bed with her mother. This is the second guy she has met online and allowed to spend the night with her and the baby immediately after meeting him. The mother likes to sleep all day and leave the baby to fend for herself. My son has come home before to find the baby running water in the bathtub while mom was asleep. The mother doesn't comprehend danger at all. The grandmother they are living with had a son taken away from her years ago because she didn't like him peeing his diaper out and clamped his penis off with a clothes pin. She forgot to remove the clothes pin when she took him to a daycare or babysitter and they found it. They immediately called the CPS and he was removed from her care and raised by her mother from then on. I guess you can say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree there. We had emergency temporary custody of her for a couple of weeks, but the judge decided to give her back to the mom. The temporary custody order did nothing but make her angry at us to the extent that she will not allow us to see the baby. We haven't seen her in nearly 3 months. She doesn't even post pics of her on Facebook, which is no surprise seeing as tho she never took pride in taking pics of the baby. However, she will take pics of herself and/or her boyfriend to no end. She has never shown the baby any kind of affection. She very seldom even talked to her. Anytime we commented on how good the baby's hair was finally growing she would cut it (in a mullet no less). She wouldn't change a diaper to save her life. I lost count of how many times she brought the baby to us with a diaper that was soaked out or full of poop, feeling like it weighed 10 pounds. She had diaper rash to the point of blisters. On one occasion she brought the baby to visit and my daughter counted not one, not two, but seven bite marks on her from other children staying at the grandmothers home where she is now living. I have been thru this with CPS and the Ombudsman and what I get is "well, some parents make poor decisions and if we went after them every time there was a report, we would be busy non-stop". I'm like, "Are you flippin' kidding me. Isn't that your job?". I thought prevention was the idea, but apparently you have to wait until something bad happens and it's too late. What's a person to do? Please help. Thanks

Samantha - posted on 03/20/2012

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My mother is in a very similar position. Please let me know if you have filed for custody yet. We are planning on filing for custody as soon as we have gathered the paper work. We are in Canada, but it just helps to hear what others have gone through and just to have some support. Like you - we just want the best for my niece... I am slightly worried because I know how hard it is to get custody of a child when you are not a parent. I am hoping and praying that the courts see my nieces mother for what she is and us, for who we are.

Cynthia - posted on 02/23/2012

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Let me tell you from vast experience what hell it is to deal with someone suffering from bipolar. These unfortunate people are more often than not incapable of being stable enough to care for a child. It takes constant counseling, medication, and tremendous hard work just to function somewhat normally. Their brains just do not function like "normal". That, along with being surrounded by people drinking or doing drugs sounds like a totally unhealthy environment for any child. Do whatever you can to spare the child from this kind of life. If you have to call the state, do it. If you have to go to court and fight for guardianship, do it. I have a low tolerance policy for what the poor children of today's world are exposed to. They should have happy childhood's filled with joy. Not witnessing irresponsible adult behavior they will grow to follow. Do whatever is in your power and don't stop or give up. You will be saving a life. You may not be able to help the mother (after all, she is an adult) from making poor choices, but you can help that child.

Faith - posted on 09/27/2011

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Hi Connie, Just wondered if you have made any progress if getting custody of your grandchild. I really feel for you and the baby.

Amaryllis - posted on 05/14/2011

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you need to act fast the children are in danger. Your daughter sounds like my daughter, I have primary custody of her 2 children - its not easy, but first things first, these children protected services involved and by law, you are a "Mandated Reporter" Bless you and the children, Amaryllis

Susan - posted on 10/23/2010

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In Texas it too is hard to take a child from its mother.....what I did was call CPS for neglect due to my daughter kept leaving the 2 granddaughters with me with no regard I had to work and being back on time....many times with me protesting her leaving them to begin with cause I knew she wouldn't be back. But all they did was make her take parenting classes .....and drug test. She past hers but what that did do was create a prior case. Upon when another case became open all issues began surfacing. Suggestion to you is to create that initial opening and by calling for a well child check by CPS on the household.....can be kept confidential. If she is noncompliant or pending on what is found depends on outcome.....I ultimately obtained custody within 2 yrs. They put the kids with me as a foster basis and when she didnt have the kids around she didnt follow thru with requirements....out of sight out of mind. Wish you luck!

Dorothy - posted on 10/19/2010

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Hi! Have you gotten any help in this situation? I live in California. I have Guardianship of my 2 year old Grandson. He has been wih us since he was 4 months. It was a long process. Please let me know how things are going.

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