I am not a single mother, but I know that the ladies on this forum are generally a good resource, so I thought I would try asking here for some advice for a relative. I'll call her Mary.
Mary is 16 and has a 6 mo DD. She lives with her parents. She is adjusting well to motherhood, is still BFing, and has a lot of family support. She is starting her junior year of high school this fall and plans to use our state's PSEO program to start college. Academically, she is a very bright girl.
Mary and the baby's father are still involved (boyfriend-girlfriend). She brings the baby over to the BF's house (well, parents' house as he is also 16) on weekends. The BF also visits her house. Mary's parents do not allow the pair to be home alone together/spend the night at each other's houses.
Mary's parents are barely scraping by, as her father lost his job last year, but they chose to forgo formal CS from the BF because he is also in high school and works a part-time job at a fast food restaurant to help contribute. Their stance on the matter is that the most important thing right now is to get Mary and her BF through high school and they didn't want to heap any additional pressure on the BF.
Despite the money issues, they have a nice little house and they baby is in a very stable, loving environment. Mary's mother will care for the baby while Mary has class.
The BF's parents have decided to pursue joint custody with what sounds like a ridiculous schedule for an infant (15 days on, 15 days off ). The GAL said they BFing was not something that would factor into the decision-making. The father of the baby is actually happy with the current arrangement - it is just his parents who are not.
So at this point, Mary is terrified of losing her baby for 15 days at a time. Her parents have no idea how they are going to pay for a lawyer, home studies, etc. Mary's parents are afraid that the two kids will take the baby and run off together to avoid the custody arrangement.
Any advice, resources? Things were going so well in a situation that was definitely not ideal - it seems so terrible that the BF's parents want to mess it all up.