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Old 01-21-2010, 09:37 PM   #1
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Adopting a family member??

Hi everyone. I'm a frequent poster on the thrify families and have just recently mosied my way over here. I'm going to copy and paste the email I recently sent to our pastor asking for prayers (because it's just TOO long to type out a second time)

Hi. Last year, my younger brother (and supposedly his girlfriend) asked Shane and I to adopt his youngest son (him and his girlfriend have two children). We thought about it, did a lot of soul searching and agreed. We started to prepare for him only to have his girlfriend tell us she didn't want us to adopt him or have any legal rights but to just "take care of him" until she was ready to take him back. We told them we couldn't do it. I just couldn't bring myself to take a child into my home for a short time, especially during such important years, and then send him away. It would have broken our hearts, his heart and Olivia's heart when she lost what would be essentially her brother. We just were not willing to do that to our family. We were so sad but decided it was the best thing.
Not too long ago, they contacted us again, this time saying they *definitely* wanted us to adopt him. They said they just couldn't take care of him, they were terrible parents (which is completely true, buT I won't even go there or I"ll get myself upset) and they needed someone to adopt him. My brother told me if we didn't, they'd put him up for adoption because they couldn't take care of him anymore. They keep saying how young they are and they don't get to do anything bla bla bla (They were 17 when their first was born). Then my brothers girlfriend got on the phone and said that they would do power of attorney so she could keep getting the WIC and give us the formula. To me, it sounded like she wanted us to take Carson but her keep him under herself so she could continue to collect all of the money she gets for him. She also said that if he wants to move back with her, he should be able to. We talked about it AGAIN, and said no. It's either forever or never. I'm too selfish to do anything else. God bless those people who can do foster care but I just can't bring myself to do it> I can't give up a child.
So today, he calls me AGAIN. He says it was a misunderstanding and that they DO want us to adopt him completely, give up their parental rights etc etc. Then SHE gets on the phone and says the same thing. I must have 'misheard' her. They DO want us to adopt him and it's forever.

Our hearts are so hurt over this. We want him but we have so many fears and I'm to the point where all I can do is pray for guidance in this decision and situation. Hence this VERY long email. I've actually never written an email like this but I'm at my wits end and don't know what to do. Can you please pray for guidance for our family...and if you have any ideas, please, feel free to share them.


So we've discussed it and pretty much agreed that yes, we will adopt him. We're going to start out with legal guardianship because A. it's faster and gives us legal rights right away and B. we simply don't have the money right now to start an adoption.

My brother and his girlfriend want to pay for the attorney...I might let them pay for half since I'm quitting my job to be a STHM in 2.5 months. I have a lot of anxiety about them changing their minds or taking it back or something. I know it's their right, but that doesn't mean I don't fear it.

Another problem is that we absolutely cannot stand my brothers girlfriend. She is completely insane...and I'm not exagerating even a little bit. She desperately needs to be on medication for bi-polar but she refuses to seek treatment. I have just said that I want to do whatever is the best for Carson but quite honestly, if she's having one of her little freak outs (which, literally, is daily) I will not allow her around him. That poor kid is already going to have a lot of questions and I don't want to make it harder on him.

Has anyone experienced adopting a family member?
If so, have you had problems with one of the biological parents? How did you solve this?
Did baby call you mama and dada? That is my intention and my mom (and brothers girlfriend) thinks its weird. I told them that I will NOT stop him from calling me mama...that's not fair! my DD calls me mama, but he can't? I'm sorry but if I'm raising him as my own, I'm mama and DH is dada. Simple as that..right?? Or am I insane?

I need advice, support, help...I need it all!

Thanks mamas!

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Old 01-21-2010, 09:45 PM   #2
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Re: Adopting a family member??

Wow. No advice, I just pray you find the answers that you need mama!
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:28 PM   #3
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Re: Adopting a family member??

My husband's stepmom and dad are in a similiar situation actually.

Her neice is a drug user and they've had Joshua since he was basically out of the hospital, He's 4 now. They have legal guardianship over him but I do have to tell you at basically any point that she would want to come get him, She could. I've also heard them say they have to renew it every so often, I don't know if this is normal or special to their case.

I'd personally skip the legal guardianship since it's too iffy and they CAN change their minds down the road. Contact a lawyer and get started with the adoption process. From my understanding the adoption process for adopting family members is a lot like domestic adoptions. You'll probably need a homestudy and then obviously a TPR, etc. Adoption doesn't have to be THAT expensive, As in 15k or more.

We were already matched with a Mom when we went to our lawyer. I can lay out the costs we've spent so far for you to maybe give you an idea. Although it could be cheaper or more expensive in your area.

Texas Lawyer: $1,000 (retainer)
Louisiana Lawyer: $1,500 (retainer)
Home Study Application Fee: $150
Home Study: $1,452
FBI background check: $18 each - 2x = $36
Fingerprints: $10 per person - 2x = $20
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:21 PM   #4
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Re: Adopting a family member??

most states don't require a homestudy for adopting a close family member and since he is your nephew that is close enough. Call an adoption lawyer in your town and ask them. I adopted my DD-6 from a surrogacy done by my sister and it was $600 total!
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:34 PM   #5
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Re: Adopting a family member??

I found this for you on the Minnesota state website. It looks like you need a background check but not a homestudy or adoption study like they call it.
https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/...2009&id=259.41
259.41 ADOPTION STUDY.
Subdivision 1.Study required before placement; certain relatives excepted.(a) An approved adoption study; completed background study, as required under section 245C.33; and written report must be completed before the child is placed in a prospective adoptive home under this chapter, except as allowed by section 259.47, subdivision 6. In an agency placement, the report must be filed with the court at the time the adoption petition is filed. In a direct adoptive placement, the report must be filed with the court in support of a motion for temporary preadoptive custody under section 259.47, subdivision 3, or, if the study and report are complete, in support of an emergency order under section 259.47, subdivision 6. The study and report shall be completed by a licensed child-placing agency and must be thorough and comprehensive. The study and report shall be paid for by the prospective adoptive parent, except as otherwise required under section 256.01, subdivision 2, paragraph (h), 259.67, or 259.73.

(b) A placement for adoption with an individual who is related to the child, as defined by section 245A.02, subdivision 13, is subject to a background study required by subdivision 2, paragraph (a), clause (1), items (i) and (ii), and subdivision

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/...009&id=245A.02
Subd. 13.Individual who is related."Individual who is related" means a spouse, a parent, a natural or adopted child or stepchild, a stepparent, a stepbrother, a stepsister, a niece, a nephew, an adoptive parent, a grandparent, a sibling, an aunt, an uncle, or a legal guardian.
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Old 01-22-2010, 06:47 AM   #6
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Re: Adopting a family member??

Quote:
Originally Posted by misidawnrn View Post
most states don't require a homestudy for adopting a close family member and since he is your nephew that is close enough. Call an adoption lawyer in your town and ask them. I adopted my DD-6 from a surrogacy done by my sister and it was $600 total!
We had to do a homestudy and my DD is adopted from my sister. My sister is drug addicted and we got Sophia at birth. We DID have to do a home study. The laws have recently changed in a lot of states. Please make sure you get a lawyer and do everything legally. Family adoptions can get pretty ugly, (well it has in my case) and I know that if she wasn't legally adopted, my sister would take her back (she told me). If you want to talk more with me, send me a pm and I might be able to give you a little more inside to my story, and things you might want to try and avoid.
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:46 AM   #7
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Re: Adopting a family member??

you mamas are fab!! thanks for your help!
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