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Old 05-23-2008, 07:36 PM   #11
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Re: Desperately need help with open adoption (long, sorry!!)....

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Originally Posted by nevergivingaway View Post
Well, first of all - if the father is fit, I do not think you should be trying to keep his son from him. And from what I'm getting - he may be irresponsible but that doesn't equate unfit.

As far as the natural grandmother of your adopted son, I think you should lay some honest ground rules. Simply tell her what the boundaries are, ask that she respect them or else explain what the consequence will be.

For example - you could say, "We will expect that you visit with your grandson one time a month for 2 hours. This will need to be on a day that we all agree. We expect that we will always be present.... etc, etc, etc." Then explain that as important as a role as she plays in his life, you want to provide your children with a structural family unit and therefor drama and commotion is not welcome.

Don't play baby and essentially mislead her because you want to adopt her other grandchild. That's manipulative, coercive and ethically wrong.

wow, just wow. I wish that you re-read the OP post and realize what she's saying.

OP, please disregard this comment. It is hurtful and I wouldn't wish this kind of comment on my worst enemy.

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Old 05-23-2008, 08:01 PM   #12
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Re: Desperately need help with open adoption (long, sorry!!)....

Nevergivingaway, I would like to know how you would feel if a court stepped in and took your 11 month old from you. The OP has raised this child from birth. The father seems to be a biological donor ONLY. What a callous thing to say.

To the OP, I am so sorry you are enduring this. I would ask your adoption lawyer what rights if any you have to exclude the b-grandma entirely. She sounds like a crazymaker. Also, could you file some kind of formal complaint to someone (I don't know who) about the agency you contracted with for these adoptions? They sound like they are not providing the kind of sensitive and empathetic assistance that situations like this require. I am so sorry!
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Old 05-23-2008, 08:41 PM   #13
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Re: Desperately need help with open adoption (long, sorry!!)....

I would never, ever permit visitation away from me, even in an open adoption situation, not with a toddler, not for quite awhile into an open adoption relationship. When the child was older if you had an honest and trusting relationship then yeah. But, I don't let *anyone* take my toddlers out of my supervision and it wouldn't matter if they had biological ties to my child.

In your shoes, I would tell gma that with everything going on, with the court case and your pregnancy, its best for your family and your children that all contact be in written form for now, and that you will let her know when your stress is reduced and you feel like you can handle anything else again. And, then I would stick with that boundary.

Open adoption agreements are not legally enforcable. They have no teeth to them in any state. And, they only apply to the birthparents in the first place. If you win the appeal, gma has NOTHING to stand on irt contact with your children. She can puff like a peacock all she wants, but she's got nothing to stand on. She can't exert grandparent rights when parental rights are terminated because legally she's no longer recognized as gma.

And, I'm sorry but imo no birthfather should be allowed to show up when a child is 5 months old and attempt to regain custody. I'm not comfortable with limiting the timeframe to 48 hours as I've seen some states do for birthparents. But, imo by 6 weeks, if a birthparent hasn't exerted their parental rights, they shouldn't be allowed to come back. The child is already bonded. And, even if a father says he didn't know, for me best interest of the child would be paramount and who a child has bonded to is what is most important. And, I say that as a birthmother.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:12 PM   #14
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Re: Desperately need help with open adoption (long, sorry!!)....

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And, I'm sorry but imo no birthfather should be allowed to show up when a child is 5 months old and attempt to regain custody. I'm not comfortable with limiting the timeframe to 48 hours as I've seen some states do for birthparents. But, imo by 6 weeks, if a birthparent hasn't exerted their parental rights, they shouldn't be allowed to come back. The child is already bonded. And, even if a father says he didn't know, for me best interest of the child would be paramount and who a child has bonded to is what is most important. And, I say that as a birthmother.
Not trying to hijack the thread, but since it's being discussed......
This would not be an issue if the law were followed in the first place. The fathers are also parents and they are supposed to have to surrender their parental rights as well. Otherwise, it is not an ethical adoption.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:25 PM   #15
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Re: Desperately need help with open adoption (long, sorry!!)....

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Originally Posted by sourpatch_babe View Post
wow, just wow. I wish that you re-read the OP post and realize what she's saying.

OP, please disregard this comment. It is hurtful and I wouldn't wish this kind of comment on my worst enemy.
Thank you so much!! I really appreciate this!!!

Actually, he was 15 months when he was moved from our home and it has been very painful! As TestifyToLove mentioned, it should be all about who the child is bonded with, but we've learned that this doesn't mean much in the court system. They basically just look at who the "natural" parents are and disregard us. We've had the Judges tell us that we are not his parents and need to stop acting like it!! It's just so hard to understand how they can think that when we are the ones who were there in the nicu with him for a week, named him, raised him!! It just doesn't make sense to me and has totally destroyed my confidence in our Justice System.

Also, we have kind of complained to that adoption agency. I mean, they know that we blame their lawyer for us losing the initial case, but they still seem to think that there was nothing that could have been done differently. It's hard because they DO have a lot of successful adoptions and have a lot of bmoms that they counsel & minister to....maybe they just don't know how to handle a "botched" adoption. Idk. But we will definitely not be having anything to do with them in the future, and I do have a different perspective and would have different advice for people wanting to adopt.

As for the gma, yes we need to discuss this further with our lawyer and find out what he thinks she could do. I know that the bmom wants ds with us, so I don't know that she could be influenced by her mom (if that's what would need to happen for her to mess things up for us).

I'm curious though....do you not let your kids go out with your own parents or IL's? See, I wouldn't have a problem with that, so I wouldn't be able to tell the bgma that we don't allow ds to go out with anyone. And she expects to have the same "rights" they do so....that's why she's getting upset, I guess. I just hope we'll be able to figure out some boundaries & stick with them. We're seeing the counsellor again next week with the bmom to try to come up with something.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:30 PM   #16
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Re: Desperately need help with open adoption (long, sorry!!)....

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Originally Posted by seahawk View Post
Not trying to hijack the thread, but since it's being discussed......
This would not be an issue if the law were followed in the first place. The fathers are also parents and they are supposed to have to surrender their parental rights as well. Otherwise, it is not an ethical adoption.
Well, what happens if the bfather is nowhere to be found....moved, changed jobs, phone numbers, etc. Then what are you supposed to do? Our bmom only knew him for 2 months and had only met one relative (who lived in a gated community that she wasn't able to access). Although I do think the agency could have found him sooner, it was still difficult and we had no leads....
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:53 PM   #17
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Re: Desperately need help with open adoption (long, sorry!!)....

I wasn't implying that it was your job to find the father or that you broke the law. Obviously, if your husband could do it, the agency (who is the one getting all the money) could have, and much sooner. It is their responsibility, as they are supposed to be the professionals.

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I'm curious though....do you not let your kids go out with your own parents or IL's? See, I wouldn't have a problem with that, so I wouldn't be able to tell the bgma that we don't allow ds to go out with anyone. And she expects to have the same "rights" they do so....that's why she's getting upset, I guess. I just hope we'll be able to figure out some boundaries & stick with them. We're seeing the counsellor again next week with the bmom to try to come up with something.
I know this wasn't addressed to me, and I am a big advocate of keeping natural families together, but I don't believe that the fgma should have the same "rights" as your biofamily (because, like it or not, contact or not, this woman IS a part of your family now). I do think the kids should be able to know her (my opinion only, my dad is crazy as a bat, but I make sure my son has a relationship with him, no matter how trying). However, the relationship with the fmom is much more important and you aren't extending the rights of a mother to her, so it doesn't seem like you need to extend gparent rights to the fgma.

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Old 05-24-2008, 06:49 AM   #18
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Re: Desperately need help with open adoption (long, sorry!!)....

No, my babies and toddlers don't go with gparents. And evenso, its different. Your parents and your DH's parents are known and trusted by you. There is a long term relationship established. We still don't allow any of our kids alone, unsupervised with Dh's step-dad. He married MIL 4 years ago and we still know almost nothing about him. He maybe a perfectly wonderful person bit he has thrwated all efforts to get to know him. So, if MIL won't be there to supervise, we make sure one of us is.

You don't have an established and trusting relationship with this woman. In fact, she's been unreasonable and bullish for the relationship you have had. Would you leave your son with her if she were anyone else? And, at the end of the day, you don't have to justify yourselves. You are this child's legal parents. What you say happens in his life is LAW.

Despite the bullying you've recieved, what you decide is right for your son is the only thing that matters. No counselor can make you do anything else. No lawyer can make you do anything else. No judge would make you do anything else (even if she were recognized as a legal grandparent, grandparent rights can only be applied when the nuclear family is no longer intact). You don't *have* to reason with you. You don't *have* to justify yourself. You simply have to say what is going to happen and stand your ground.

There's just nothing else to be said but what you decide is right for your family. Gma can attempt to bully you, but all she has is the force of her personality and her ability to guilt and manipulate.

(Not going to discuss birthparent rights on this thread. I think its a disrespectful tangent for this poster. But, I'll be glad to discuss my opinions on a different thread if someone started one.)
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Old 05-24-2008, 11:35 AM   #19
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Re: Desperately need help with open adoption (long, sorry!!)....

ok, i haven't read everything but i wanted to comment on the unsupervised b-gma visits...when our son first came to live with us (almost 1 yr ago), he was almost 3 and had been having weekly unsupervised visits with both b-gmas (but NO contact with either b-parent)...he was more bonded with his maternal b-gma so for a time we allowed unsupervised visits with her (not weekly, mind you) until she allowed his b-mom to talk to him on the phone at christmas. now she (the b-mom) is in jail and social services, not us, stipulated NO contact with her so we got really upset even though it is also our personal wish that he not have contact with b-mom until he is old enough to choose. that said, it was a good experience for him in that he was glad to hear her say that she loved him, etc...but the b-gma violated our trust and our adoptions worker supported us in taking away her visits with him...now we have a tentative agreement where his paternal g-ma can see him on supervised visits twice a year (christmas and b-day in july - we have other issues with her that led to this decision that i won't go into here) and maternal g-ma is invited to his soccer practice once a week...when she is able to make it, she gets to see him...we did that partly to put the onus on her to maintain her access to him...anyway, she has yet to come so we'll see how it goes....
we do allow visits and even overnighters with our parents but that's because we have a basis of trust with them...we do not have that with his other grandparents although admittedly they have to work a lot harder to gain our trust...lol...
so hope that helps a little bit and i am so sorry you are going through this crap with everybody and everything...we've been very lucky to have had a super fantastic worker who has been very supportive of our role and i wish that could have been the case for you....good luck and be strong for those kids!
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Old 05-24-2008, 12:13 PM   #20
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Re: Desperately need help with open adoption (long, sorry!!)....

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Originally Posted by TestifyToLove View Post
No, my babies and toddlers don't go with gparents. And evenso, its different. Your parents and your DH's parents are known and trusted by you. There is a long term relationship established. We still don't allow any of our kids alone, unsupervised with Dh's step-dad. He married MIL 4 years ago and we still know almost nothing about him. He maybe a perfectly wonderful person bit he has thrwated all efforts to get to know him. So, if MIL won't be there to supervise, we make sure one of us is.

You don't have an established and trusting relationship with this woman. In fact, she's been unreasonable and bullish for the relationship you have had. Would you leave your son with her if she were anyone else? And, at the end of the day, you don't have to justify yourselves. You are this child's legal parents. What you say happens in his life is LAW.

Despite the bullying you've recieved, what you decide is right for your son is the only thing that matters. No counselor can make you do anything else. No lawyer can make you do anything else. No judge would make you do anything else (even if she were recognized as a legal grandparent, grandparent rights can only be applied when the nuclear family is no longer intact). You don't *have* to reason with you. You don't *have* to justify yourself. You simply have to say what is going to happen and stand your ground.

There's just nothing else to be said but what you decide is right for your family. Gma can attempt to bully you, but all she has is the force of her personality and her ability to guilt and manipulate.

(Not going to discuss birthparent rights on this thread. I think its a disrespectful tangent for this poster. But, I'll be glad to discuss my opinions on a different thread if someone started one.)

I couldn't have said it better myself. Although I wouldn't let my kids stay unsupervised with my own family because I know them much less a woman who sounds as if she would kidnap your child given the chance. And I say kidnap because she no longer has any legal ties to him. where adoption is concerned, grandparents have no voice or vote. If bgrandma really wanted your son to stay in the family, she should've taken him in herself instead of allowing him to be adopted out, kwim? I worked in the courts system and this is the kind of person that you want to stay away from. They only cause problems and you'll be dammed if you do, dammed if you don't with her.
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