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Old 01-20-2012, 01:13 AM   #1
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Ugh...where to start?!

So abbreviations in this thread

L- is MY niece who is 3 months older then me. and is currently pregnant (6 months)
H - is L's daughter and is 3 years old.
D- is H's dad

4 days ago L dropped off H to stay 2 days with me. Today she calls me (After calling her for DAYS trying to FIND her) to tell me shes in Tennessee (I live in ARIZONA!)and won't be coming back to get H. Told me to "find her a home" that it "didn't matter where she went" then went on to tell me she's with the man who knocked her up and he doesn't want H around. Also that she doesn't view H as apart of her family.

So, After doing some hunting on facebook I find H's dad D..contact him and apparently he also does not want H. H's grand father (my brother, he is 25 years older them me) told while he would take H I would MUCH rather him not take her. He has no stable place to stay (he is couch surfing right now) and has no income. My parents would take H in a heartbeat HOWEVER, my parents are (much) older. While I love them to death I don't see them keeping up with a 3 year old.

Which leaves me and I am okay with taking H. My SO isn't so much on board but told me he will back my decision 100%...But where do I start? I have no idea wth I'm doing! My Niece has agreed to sign whatever paperwork we present her.

Sorry..im totally rambling...basically what do I have to do to protect ourselves in this? I don't want L to come back to us 10 years later and be all "SURPRISE IM TAKING H!".over my dead body.

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Last edited by igotmywings; 01-20-2012 at 03:27 AM. Reason: i swear i CAN spell!
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Old 01-20-2012, 03:14 AM   #2
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Re: Ugh...where to start?!

I wish I knew! This is a great thing you are doing.
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Old 01-20-2012, 05:32 AM   #3
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Re: Ugh...where to start?!

Get a consult with a family law lawyer. You can find a lot of free legal consults and that doesn't obligate you to use that attorney. I know lawyers are expensive but in the long run having one will pay off because like you said in 10 years you don't want to have a custody fight over it.
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Old 01-20-2012, 05:43 AM   #4
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Re: Ugh...where to start?!

Oh my word! My eyes were popping out when I read the conversation at the beginning of the OP. It's so hard to believe someone saying that.

I don't know much about this, so I just wanted to offer support and I hope that it works out great for your family and that sweet little girl. What a hard situation. I think it's great that you are doing all you can to take care of her. God bless you guys!
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Old 01-20-2012, 05:54 AM   #5
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Re: Ugh...where to start?!

First thing you need to do is get legal custody (so she'd have to go to court to have it transferred back vs. you just handing over the child). You may be able to file directly with your court or get an family law/adoption attorney to help. That way you can get her on your insurance and if needed, apply for gov't help. Then, if she's willing to consent, go for adoption. Best to get an attorney, if you can afford it (or get probono) as it is going to depend on your state laws. I'd do it quickly while mom is willing to consent. She's family - you are doing the right thing by keeping her.
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:20 AM   #6
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Re: Ugh...where to start?!

H is lucky to have you mama! i agree with pcjs you need to move quickly before her mother changes her mind. i'm glad this girl found a stable home that WANTS HER!!! how heartbreaking. i can't even imagine.
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Old 01-20-2012, 05:58 PM   #7
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Re: Ugh...where to start?!

Thanks for the advice you guys! I've contacted our lawyer that takes care of our shopping center and he got us in touch with another lawyer and we are slowly working our way through the process. I guess the firs thing we are doing is getting legal custody of her...i think? sorry my brain is totally everywhere!
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:05 PM   #8
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Re: Ugh...where to start?!

Wow, that is just insane. I am so sorry, but glad that H has someone like you. I hope the lawyer helps you quickly.
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:30 PM   #9
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Re: Ugh...where to start?!

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Old 01-21-2012, 08:16 AM   #10
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Re: Ugh...where to start?!

Legal custody is the first thing you should do. My SO sister decided to drop her kids off with us and all we got was guardianship. She and the dad came back a year later and took the kids back it was horrible. With legal custody she would have to go through the courts before she can take H back.
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