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-   -   Raising other people's children, WWYD? (http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1449565)

DevotedAuntie 10-02-2012 06:09 AM

Raising other people's children, WWYD?
 
When my niece was born (3/12) I made the commitment to help raise her, well my sister did ok for the first couple weeks, but after that things changed and she had her less and less. By 5 months I had her full time, her Mother doesn't take her at all anymore. She rarely even spends any time with her. She will come to my house and not even look at the baby half the time. It makes me sad to say it but she is a neglectful unfit mother, and doesn't even attempt to meet the needs of her children.

CPS was involved and said that the kids cannot go back to her house until she cleans it (which she didn't), she lives in absolute filth and it's unsafe for children. She is also being evicted. She has a job making decent money, but her money seems to disappear. I suspect drugs. I do not have legal custody. My sister agreed to it and then before we could get an attorney she changed her mind. I am documenting everything and plan to take it to court without her consent if I have to. At this point if she tried to take the baby I would have to tell her no, and if she took her I'd have no choice but to call CPS.

The family has always financially supported the kids, my sister rarely pays for anything for them. My mom has stepped up and done a lot for the kids, and she picked my nephew(7yo) up a few weeks ago and he is living with her (she raised him until 5 1/2 and imo that is the best place for him even though it meant separating the kids)

The baby's Dad and I have a decent relationship and I totally support him having time with her. He picks her up about 3 times a week for 3-4 hours. Any longer than that and she freaks until he brings her back to me. He has acknowledged that she has bonded with me as her primary caregiver since birth and it's best that she stay with me and has not filed for custody.

He was paying my sister CS(70-100/wk) in cash until their court date, even though she didn't have baby K she still got CS. I was completely supporting K then also. I talked to Dad about it and he stopped giving her CS and told me that if K needed anything to let him know. I have gotten $20 from Dad and about $70 from Mom. I am really struggling financially right now. I do meet all of K's basic needs and will continue to, but she would have so much more if they contributed. I kind of feel like they owe it to her. According to the CS guidelines they would each pay around $75/wk. I'm not saying that I even expect that but they don't contribute anything on a regular basis.

That turned into a novel, so If you're still with me thank you! I guess I'm just looking for opinions, advice, maybe someone else has been in this situation? I really feel like I have been put in a tough spot and I don't quite know how to handle it.

ccserrano 10-02-2012 10:02 AM

No advice just hugs.... And baby k is lucky to have you.

iwiamandaiwi 10-02-2012 10:20 AM

Re: Raising other people's children, WWYD?
 
I am so sorry that you are struggling but i am glad that those poor kids have someone they can depend on. Just curious but why does that father not go for custody if the mother is an unfit parent?

DevotedAuntie 10-02-2012 01:34 PM

Re: Raising other people's children, WWYD?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by iwiamandaiwi (Post 15759008)
I am so sorry that you are struggling but i am glad that those poor kids have someone they can depend on. Just curious but why does that father not go for custody if the mother is an unfit parent?

He and I talked about it when it became obvious that my sister was getting worse not better. He wanted to at first, but when we talked about the realities of it he decided not to. She has basically lived with me her whole life, she has a very strong attachment to me and will scream at night until he brings her home. Nothing will soothe her, and he sees that bond and doesn't want to take her from everything she has ever known.

On top of that, he simply isn't able to parent her full time. He tries his best, and I've always told him that's all anyone can ask of him. He loves her very much, but he just isn't able to be a full time single parent. He has very little family support. He also lives with his mother who is an addict, he knows that's not the environment he wants his child in. He's working on getting his own place and once that happens I may try to gradually work up to being able to do an overnight. Right now he has more time with her than Indiana parenting time guidelines for a child her age, and I think it's enough to let him know that is all he can handle on his own. He could take it to court and fight to take her, just because he is her Dad. Instead he really thought about what was best for her and made the decision to give her a stable life with a stay at home "mom" and to have a relationship with her that doesn't overwhelm him with responsibility he's not ready for. I really respect him for that.
Who knows, he may one day be able to parent her full time, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Until then we will continue to work together to give K the relationship with her Daddy that she deserves.

DevotedAuntie 10-02-2012 01:38 PM

Re: Raising other people's children, WWYD?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ccserrano (Post 15758923)
No advice just hugs.... And baby k is lucky to have you.

Thank you..She is what my world revolves around and I don't know what I'd do without her! I feel like I'm the lucky one :)

kelly679 10-02-2012 01:44 PM

Re: Raising other people's children, WWYD?
 
Cps is involved? where is her social worker? If she's in foster care you would be her relative placement. If you get your foster license you can get pain monthly for her care. I

DevotedAuntie 10-02-2012 02:18 PM

Re: Raising other people's children, WWYD?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kelly679 (Post 15760133)
Cps is involved? where is her social worker? If she's in foster care you would be her relative placement. If you get your foster license you can get pain monthly for her care. I

CPS opened an investigation but when they did my sister no longer had either child living with her, I had the baby and my Mom had the 7yo. They didn't actually remove the kids because they were no longer in danger since she didn't have them.
I was a foster parent for several years and to be honest I thank God that the kids weren't with her anymore because I don't want either of them in the system even if they are placed with us. I've seen some shady stuff happen in the foster care system, and that's why i gave my license up. No matter what happens financially or otherwise I will do all I can to keep them from becoming wards of the state.

waterisntsomething 10-02-2012 02:31 PM

Re: Raising other people's children, WWYD?
 
Hugs. She is so lucky to have you and I am very impressed at the maturity of the father. One day when she is older they are going to have a great relationship with each other. I'm sure he really misses her but it's great that he recognizes that you are providing the most stable enviroment. I agree that you should take it to court and get things finalized, even if you have shared custody of some sort with the dad. There were times as a child my grandmother had to take me for weeks at a time b/c of my mothers mental illness. I ended up living with her my senior year of high school too b/c I couldn't deal with my mom. We have a great relationship it just wasn't a good environment for me at the time. I would definitely pursue child support from the mother. If you can't get anything from her maybe look into WIC?

DevotedAuntie 10-02-2012 04:11 PM

Re: Raising other people's children, WWYD?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by waterisntsomething (Post 15760400)
Hugs. She is so lucky to have you and I am very impressed at the maturity of the father. One day when she is older they are going to have a great relationship with each other. I'm sure he really misses her but it's great that he recognizes that you are providing the most stable enviroment. I agree that you should take it to court and get things finalized, even if you have shared custody of some sort with the dad. There were times as a child my grandmother had to take me for weeks at a time b/c of my mothers mental illness. I ended up living with her my senior year of high school too b/c I couldn't deal with my mom. We have a great relationship it just wasn't a good environment for me at the time. I would definitely pursue child support from the mother. If you can't get anything from her maybe look into WIC?

I know he misses her, he and I talk a lot about it and he's made it clear that he wanted her to be with him but he does love her and want whats best for her. I think more than anything he wanted to take her from my sister, and I don't blame him at all. I don't agree with how he handled it (he was responsible for the CPS report, his mom made the report but he asked her to and has since told us he did) but I wouldn't want my child with her either.

Since she's been here full time he has started to trust me, and knows that I am sincere when I say I want him to have a relationship with her. My sister tends to like to use her children as pawns and now that he knows that isn't the way things are with me he seems much more secure and doesn't feel so threatened.

I started to document things when my sister started going downhill and for the last month or so I have very detailed documentation. I'm thinking that she is probably going to keep putting it off until she backs me into a corner and I have no choice. She uses the excuse that if she signs Dad will be able to come take her and she doesn't want that. I think that's a bs excuse because he hasn't done that yet and without me having legal guardianship he would be fighting my sister for custody and she's unfit, she would never be granted custody if he did take it to court. Besides that in a guardianship case they're going to look at what's best for the child and just because he's Dad doesn't mean they would grant custody to him even if he did do that (which I don't think would happen anyway)

I do have wic, my sister gave me all the wic stuff and added me as a proxy months ago..mostly because she was too lazy to take care of it but that makes one less thing to worry about right now. I finally brought up child support to them today, through text because I want proof of what is said if I need it later. Still waiting on a response but I just sent them a few minutes ago so hopefully they will respond. I have financially supported her since she was born, and don't intend to stop now. Things are tight but we always make it somehow, but I do think she deserves her parents to support her too. Guess we will see...they've both volunteered but in the time I've had her they haven't done much. Honestly I don't think either of them even realize the cost of raising a child because neither of them have ever supported the kids.

kelly679 10-02-2012 05:01 PM

Re: Raising other people's children, WWYD?
 
OP if you've been a foster parent then you know how judges favor the mom's rights over the kids rights. I would hate to see you and this baby get heartbroken. If your not willing to seek help from foster care (and i know it can be dicey however we have had great people help too) Then perhaps its time to consult a lawyer / push sister for TPR. I know several people who have guarianship and it wasn't their favorite. I hope it works out well for you and this sweet baby!


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