Daughter's bio mom is applying for custody

Lillian - posted on 06/07/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )




This may sound like a simple custody issue but I don't feel it is. When my daughter was 9 years old her bio mom (then my friend) lost her to foster care due to neglect. The kid was undernourished and filthy. The living area was filthy. Everyone who lived in that area had lice. My friend was not taking her bi-polar medication. We discussed me applying and getting custody of the child as she couldn't find anyother suitable family and friends. I was approved to be her foster parent and the little girl moved in. We had lots of behaviour problems at first as she was used to being allowed to run free. She didn't know how to keep herself clean. Homework was a struggle as she had a low frustration tolerance and would try to cop out by saying I just can't do it. SHe didn't like to be complimented to the point that she would actually go into a massive rage if someone said she was pretty or had done a great job. I worked with her and her workers really hard to get this done. Right from the get go my friend was a 2-4 hour a week parent even though she had an open ended invitation to come spend as much time as she wanted with her. I invited her to all the school functions and let her know about everything that the kidlet had going on. Her and her then boyfriend would come over for "parenting" meetings with me and it would turn into a poor them session rather than being able to discuss what was going on with the child. She would say that she was coming and then just not show up. She never phoned unless the child phoned her first. (It is still that way.) After the kid had been in fostercare for a year, where we live in BC Canada the child is automatically put on the permanent fostercare and placed into the adoption wait list. I still felt like my friend could have a chance so when the worker suggested we all agreed that I should get custody of her. The judge granted me sole custody and sole guardianship and my friend got reasonable and generous access. Again she stayed a couple hour a week parent. Then her and her boyfriend decided to move 6 hours away. We didn't hear from her for a month. I move to my hometown shortly after with my daughter. After I sent her a legal notice stating that she needed to start contacting her daughter more or I would have to follow the therapists advice and cut her off, my (by then ex-)friend vanished. She was sent several letters by my daughter all of which were sent back return to sender. My daughter was 11. Six and a half months went by and my daughter had started to heal from her past. I was able to hug her and give her a good night kiss, then I got a message from her bio mom on my facebook. She requested to talk to my daughter. I allowed it after my daughter said yes she would like to speak to her. Since then the behavior issues would reemerge. there was still very intermittent and spotty contact so we just did the counseling thing. She had only seen her once during the period of 2009- 2011. Surprisingly she actually showed up to visit that I invited her to discuss her continued visit and possible return to parenting my daughter. Instead the whole weekend was spent with my daughter being encouraged to be defiant and rude to me. She started pinning nasty notes to her walls which were aimed at me. She started telling people that she was moving back with her mom because I was physically abusing her (Not true). In 2012 summer, against the advice of her therapist, I allowed her to spend a total of 3 weeks all summer at her mom's. During that time, friends and families got texts about how unhappy she was because. no one was paying attention to her. I found out later on that her mom and her mom's current boyfriend were planning on moving her into their fifth wheel trailer. In mid sept, she overdosed on her ADHD pills. I have been taking her to see a psychiatrist who tried her out on anti depressants but she refused to take them. Her mom was contacting her maybe once a month if she was lucky. Things seemed to be getting better. She was seeing a mental health worker, she stated that my daughter has attachment issues. She even returned some of my I love you's where as before she would say No you don't. I thought she was responding well to treatment and our love. She was even talking about her future here with me, Then on the day after my birthday she started yelling and screaming at me that she was going to live with her mom and that she would make sure that if she couldn't she would run away and tell everyone that I was abusing her. I told her that she was welcome to try but that I hadn't been lying about the social worker telling us that it was permanent. Since then the mood swings have gotten worse. I have been threatened by her and told to kill myself and all this mostly out of the blue, most of the time after she has been talking to her bio mom or her bio mom's boyfriend. Both her mom and her mom's boyfriend are diagnosed bi polar on antipsychotic medications. They have also been encouraging her to runaway to them that they would hide her until her mom got custody of her. They encouraged her to make up tales of my abusing her as well as to be as mean and cruel to me as she can. I know that if her bio mom would drop back out this would tone down. I know I have all my daughters mental health experts to prove that this continued contact is bad for her mental health, but I also don't want my daughter who I have loved and cherished to hate me and decide to start running. Any advice, similar stories?


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Mary - posted on 07/01/2013




This is going on in every household in America that has a teenager believe it or not. I know that not being her biological mother causes you even greater concern, but that's what she uses against you to rebel. My 3 daughters 11, 12, and 13, use their grandmother against me. My 13 year old is the worst, her hormones are raging and she doesn't know how to control them, but she's learning. Boys are so much easier.

Your daughter needs extra love and discipline right now. Even if you are afraid of the possibility of her running away or returning to her Bio-whatever, don't let her see the fear. You Are Mom, point blank and period. Show her that you are in control, she knows how much you love her, she just needs to be reminded.

Remember that at this age she has a lot to deal with, hormones, school pressures, boy, ugh boys. She's also at that age where she is struggling to find her own independence while still desperately needing to depend on you. Whether she is biologically yours or not, this struggle was bound to happen eventually.

As far as the Bio-ummm-mom, Don't put too much energy into worrying about her. My sons Bio-whatever pops in every few years with that same (I'm ready to be a mom) attitude. My husband and I have had custody of him since he was 6 months old. Every time she popped in she would pop right back out. This left him so broken for months and we would have to help him heal all over again. He believed with all his heart that she would get it together one day. 17 years later, when she called just last month to say that she would not be able to make it to his graduation, my son came to his boiling point. He nicely told her that it was ok, he hung up the phone, came into the house, and exploded int tears as he angrily told me what happened. And for the first time he said "that's ok, she is full of it and now I know to never depend on her again". My husband and I always knew that he would figure it out on his own so we made it our job never to disrespect or speak bad about his bio in front of him. I'm sad to say that he is spending the first month of his new grad locked in his room depressed over this again, but as always, he'll emerge as my strong little butterfly lol.

Just love her, know that this is more "normal" than not, and be there for her because she'll need you when that woman lets her down again. Just a side note: Start accepting the advice of the therapists. I know that you want your daughter to be happy but as her mom you have to do what's best for her even if that means that you have to see her hurt. Learn this phrase "On the advice of her therapist..." the end.

Denikka - posted on 06/07/2013




Just because your ex-friend is a biomom doesn't make her a mother or a positive influence in this child's life. Honestly, I would cut off contact with this woman entirely. Go through the courts and get restraining orders if that's what you have to do.

Your daughter is at that rebellious age now, not to mention all the emotional problems she has to have from all this crap, and the biggest and most hurtful thing she can do to lash out at you is to threaten to run away to her biomom.
She's probably very confused. In many abusive situations, the child (while still young, but even at times well into adulthood) will end up defending the parent who abused them. They feel some type of loyalty to that person. Kind of like Stockholm Syndrome (the person who is abused feels sympathy and other positive emotions towards their abuser)

If things get better when she's not in contact with her biomom, then stop the contact. And start a VERY open dialogue with a therapist present as to why you are doing this. Just cutting off contact will lead to her hiding it behind your back and that will lead to many other negative things. She needs to understand why and come to her own conclusion about her biomom.

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