AM I WRONG OR IS ENOUGH, ENOUGH?

Jennifer - posted on 03/18/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My husband and I have had temporary legal custody of our nephew ( his sister's son) since he was 3 months old. He is about to turn Two in May... and we are still battling her for custody. She was arrested for an assault charge and her two boys were taken from her custody - they have different fathers so the older brother ( which we visit almost weekly) was sent to his father and my little guy was sent to me because his father was the victim. The father skipped town completely and is out of the picture. She went to jail/rehab for 6 months and got out on January 2nd, 2010. she immediately got pregnant again! (that's the best idea ever when you don't even have your first two kids back) and had her little girl in October 2010. She doesn't pay child support but once every 5 months just enough to stay out of jail or enough to say that she pays us some... she only sees him about once a month for 20-40 minutes at a time, most of which involves her texting her friends not playing with him ( and not playing with her new baby either - weird to me). Even when she does see him its only if/because we drive 45 min to meet her so she doesn't have to use her gas money... Then she gets an attitude with me and disrespects me, trying to control details like asking me to not be there so she doesn't have to see me to see her son... its ridiculous! we are pushing for termination of rights based on only token visitation ( visits that are just to make her feel good or look like she cares but are not about gaining a relationship with him...) Am I wrong? should I still go out of my way to reunite them? It started out temporary with an estimated 4-6 month period, but its been two years with no progress and actually she sees him less now... anyone have thoughts or opinions?

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Cassandra - posted on 03/20/2011

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HELL NO YOU ARE NOT WRONG... Listen, the same rule that applies to men, applies to women as well... Just because you are part of the creation of a child does not make you a "dad" or a "mom"- you earn those names.. It comes with alot of caring, love, understanding, being their for the child emotionally and FINANCIALLY... It's a real shame that women like that do not realize the emotional agony they put these kids through- she will realize it one day, but that day maybe too late to turn back time.. Keep fighting for what you believe is right, follow your first gutt feeling, which is usually the right answer

Jennifer - posted on 03/20/2011

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yes we have been getting by without it - we have had him for 2 years and she has only made two payments of 500 dollars - it was nice when we got it but we did just fine without it... but that sounds like a good scenario where we have custody, but if she has visitation does that mean she still has parental rights? i am going to talk to my lawyer soon

thank you to everyone who has responded - I am open to suggestions and opinions

Christy - posted on 03/20/2011

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Talk to your/a lawyer and see about full custody with visitation for her. And you may have to chalk up the child support. Can you get by w/o it? Not saying it's right not to pay it but she probably on't ever catch it up.

Jennifer - posted on 03/20/2011

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yeah the major issue that we have is that she does see him and pay some support, but the thing we have to press is that we make all the effort and that she only pays what she does to keep herself out of jail or from more fines or whatever... I am waiting for a response from the guardian ad litem about if/when we can put it in action to the courts and start the process...
The part that bothers me the most is that he is talking, naming things, saying letters, counting, reading some words that he recognizes, making connections to relationships, and he has no idea who she is really because there is no real interaction there, and actually the last few visits he has shown signs of unwillingness, like pulling away from her or looking at her like she is crazy when she wants a "kissy" - he's like umm no thats only for my "Lee Lee" !!! (Lee Lee is what he calls me to lessen the confusion about titles)
So, in my opinion, even though we have been taking him, at this point its not good for him to be forced to play/interact with what he sees as this random person...

I have tried to explain to his mother that choosing to adopt him and raise him is not the "easy way out" or "what i want" necessarily, though i love him with all my heart and to me he is my son, but its whats best for him! he needs stability and nurturing and the best life he can have and he wont get that from her from what i can tell... and me taking on a kid at my age when i was a free woman before and didn't even have the 9 month notice to prepare - just surprise one day here is a baby for you to take care of! that is not ideal for anyone! I would not change my decision for the world because he is an amazing kid, but there is no way that he should go back to her!

I know to some it may seem extreme, but if we get this adoption, we will likely move away because she is nothing but trouble... he will know he is adopted and that his Birth mother loved him and we may even let her be in his life like on hollidays, but i want as little contact as possible because she is nothing but solid conflict and she is the type that i would not be surprised if she took off with him if she had the chance...

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First of all I would stop taking him to see her. IF she wants a relationship w/ him, SHE is the one that needs to put in all the effort. If she can't/won't do that it should be easier for you to terminate her rights. I've heard/read that there needs to be 1 or 2 years w/ no contact and no support in order to terminate rights, but that could be wrong.

Carolyn - posted on 03/18/2011

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I agree with the other ladies as well.

It is her responsibilty to get herself to and from any visits she chooses to make. I wouldnt worry about her gas money especially with her saving so much money not paying child support.

You already have custody of that little boy, the mother in all intents and purposes has stopped parenting the child, so I would make it official and go for termination of parental rights.
It is in the childs best interest, to keep him in a loving and stable home, with parents who care for him and can provide a life this woman clearly cant and chooses not to ( she cant even give him 40 undivided minutes).

I would try not to look at this as "taking away" from her, but giving to her son. She has already walked away from it, otherwise she would be doing everything she could to get him back, and it doesnt seem like she is.

Louise - posted on 03/18/2011

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I think you are right to battle for custody because he knows you as mummy now and giving him back would be heart wrenching to both of you. But saying that never close the door completly because sometime in the future he will ask who his mum is and you need to be able to tell him and also say you tried your best to keep contact. But again I do not think it is your responsibility to drive your child there it is up to the mother to get off her butt and visit her son. If she can not be bothered then it is no loss to you and maybe then you can get on with raising this lad as best you can. Good luck with the custody claim he is lucky to have you fight for a better life for him.

Jennifer - posted on 03/18/2011

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thank you for the reassurance - its just hard in a way because we never set out to take him away from her, but what else choice do we have? right?

Katherine - posted on 03/18/2011

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Oh no you are totally right. I would do exactly what you are doing. Termination rights seems like the best thing to do for this child.

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