Help! Weird custody/adoption situation

Enna - posted on 04/29/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )




I have a pretty complicated story, so I'm going to try to be as short as I can. My mom is in the process of getting legal custody of a little boy. Both of his parents are deceased, and he has no family that wants to be involved with him. He is the child of an acquaintance, so we are not related to him. My mom has gone through most of the process, he's been living with her since January, and everything is going great. They've done a home study, background checks, basically everything that needs to be done. They have what I believe to be their final court date coming up at the end of May (1 month). Sounds good right?

Well, here's the kicker: my mom just got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It's serious and she has to miss about 6 months of work, but the doctors believe they can get rid of it because it's very small and hasn't spread. She has two other adults living in the house that can help her (my dad and grandfather). I believe that they can all get through this and he will be just fine living with them. However I don't know what the court's going to say. (also, you may be wondering, my mom is 49 and the boy is 9.)

My mom is very upset and afraid that they're not going to give her custody, so I told my mom that if they won't give her custody, then I will try to get custody of him. It should be no problem for me because my family is in a good situation and he would fit right in. My two daughters would have to share a bedroom until we moved to a bigger place, but that's really the only thing that would have to change. I guess we'd have to get a bigger car. No deal breakers here.

Here's the other problem: My husband doesn't want to take him. I was completely shocked. My husband talked about what a great thing it is that my mom is doing, and how much he respects her for it. And I just assumed that my husband would support me in doing the same thing. If my mom can't get custody of him and we don't take him, he will go to foster care, and we will probably never see him again. Our whole family has welcomed him, and he feels like he's always been a part of the family. I can't possibly imagine letting him go like that.

My husband has his reasons. He doesn't think it would be good for our girls. The boy obviously has some emotional issues, which he goes to counseling for. No kidding, his parents both died, and they were not natural or peaceful deaths. My understanding is that he was neglected and exposed to drug use, but I have no reason to believe he's been physically or sexually abused. He's always been a perfectly normal kid every time I've been around him. I don't understand why my husband thinks he would be a problem. I understand what he's saying, but I completely disagree with him.

He worries about how it's going to affect the kids? How's it going to affect the kids when this kid that they really like and have totally accepted is suddenly taken out of our lives and we don't get to see him again?

What am I supposed to tell my mom? Sorry, I know you're really sick with cancer, and there's always the possibility that you could die from it, but my husband doesn't want to take the boy, just hand him over to CPS.

I never had any idea that he would disagree with me like this, or I would have discussed it with him before I told my mom we would take the boy. I know it's a big decision to decide to adopt another child, but I didn't feel like there was a choice for me here. It was the only option in my eyes. It's just naturally and obviously the right thing to do.

At any rate, we had a huge argument about it. Now I don't know what to do. I'm going to try to drop it and hope that there's no problem with my mom. I don't know what I can possibly do or say to convince my husband.


Linda - posted on 04/30/2013




I have lived through a similar situation. My parents adopted a baby with emotional problems and even though his birth parents were alive they were into drugs and he was born with addictions. As also being adopted myself you do not know what emotional problems come with the whole situation that kids are living through. I have three children of my own and my parents have 10 grandchildren. My youngest brother has sever emotional problems and is not allowed to be around any of his nieces or nephews. I agree 100% with your husband. You should do everything in your power to protect your children first. You do not know what will happen, you do not know the extent of his psychological problems. If your mother is willing to do it then I think that is great. But there are no other children that could be put in danger there. You don't want to make a decision now that could harm your children. I know first hand the dangers that you could face. And if something happened to your children you would never forgive yourself.

Kristi - posted on 04/30/2013




Gosh, talk about your 1, 2's! I'm sorry about your mom, she just jumped up to the top spot on my prayer list. She sounds like a pretty kick-ass kind of person though so if the docs give her a positive outlook and she's got great family support, she's that much closer to being cancer-free.

I can see why your husband might think the way he does. Fact (from your post)--troubled, young boy, bad parents, neglected, exposed to drug use...Stereotypical Assumptions--more likely to use drugs, to steal, to start fires, to torture/kill small animals, act out at home/school, prone to violent outbursts, maybe even sexually abusive...I have 2 innocent daughters, SEEMS like a great kid, awesome of my MIL but NO WAY, I'm risking my babies on him.

Rational? Not really...are they out there, a few but the media has society plagued with them or with who they are now.

Please forgive me if this is insensitive, I'm certainly not intending that but the question just hit me, for example...say your mom was already awarded custody and then was killed in an accident of some sort, who would raise the boy then?

I mean for most people, it's the other spouse. Would that be the case here? I have full legal and physical custody of my daughter with a no contact rule in order for her father. But, unless I have legal documents stating otherwise, technically, she would go back to him if I were to die. Then, generally people have the big what-if couple, who gets the kids if both parents die at the same time.

What if you approached your husband about custody of the little boy in that manner? Because seriously, right now, he has a choice, so to speak, because nothing is certain. Your mom is alive (and hopefully will stay that way), the boy is still officially a ward of the state so your husband is not really putting his final foot down. He might think he is but he's not and God willing, he won't need to. If the time comes, I don't think it will be quite so simple to just hand him back to CPS. Do you think, if push comes to shove, your husband could look in your mother's face and that little dude's face and with his head held upright, even, and say send him away? Do you think he'd be able to explain to your daughters why they're never going to see their friend again without at least partly lying to them?

I'm totally picturing a male peacock right now, bright blue chest puffed way out. Gorgeous, fancy tail on full display...Strutting around, letting everyone know he's there. Get a good look...cause this is what you'll be messing with if you come near me or mine. (actually, I think that's for mating but it works well here, too!) Friends, family and outsiders all know big, bad dad is around and he don't play 'dat! But, when the time is right and nobody else is paying attention, they lower their fancy tails, they exhale and they show the important people what they are really made of. I think your husband is a peacock. : )

I think Shawnn's idea of therapy is excellent. Time and patience are key. **Hugs**

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/29/2013




Wow! Ok, first of all, you aren't considering anything that I and my husband haven't considered a few times, and to be honest, I'm on your side in this one.

That boy needs a loving family, which he has now, with your mom, and your extended family! And I'd be MORE than anxious to bring him into my home, were I in your shoes! Ok, yes, your hubby may have some valid concerns, but ultimately, with counseling and love, pretty much anything can be overcome.

And you are also right about the whole "how it will affect the girls"...I do think it would be harder on them to suddenly lose him to the foster system.

I'm so sorry you argued, though. Would he be willing to sit down in a counseling session with you to see if it could be worked out?

Oh, and my prayers for your mother's condition to not be severe enough to even warrant worry about where the boy will end up. I hope that her treatment goes better than anyone ever expected! Good luck with everything!


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