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Help With Custody Of Stepson, No Negative comments, Or Attacks I'll Report and block

post #1 of 127
Thread Starter 

My husband and I are trying to get custody of his three and a half year old son, who is currently in foster care, his mother is facing felony charges of endangering the welfare of a child (three counts) and leaving an infant unattended in a motor vehicle (2 counts). We recently found out that his mother's parents are trying to also gain custody of my stepson, but the caseworker said that the goal is to place him with a parent, so I'm not sure what thier chances are looking like. Neither one of us have ever delt with the foster system before and are not really sure how it works, when a parent is trying to gain custody of the child who was placed. We have a bedroom set up for him, I put his bed in the same bedroom as my 6 month old son, have a place for his clothing, all that stuff, I put my girls (ages 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 ) in the same bedroom my oldest in her regular twin size bed, and my middle in her toddler bed. I'm not sure what else there is to do right now to present our case in a manner to show how much we both, not just his father, but both of us want him here.

 

 

 

 

As I said above, No negative comments, or attacks or i will block and report, that is not why i posted this and I will not put up with it


Edited by BrascosPrincess - 4/3/12 at 12:41pm
post #2 of 127
Thread Starter 

also what kinds of things should we be asking? i've never dealt with the foster care system before nor have i ever been part of an investigation

post #3 of 127
Once he is placed with you (which is likely), he won't be in foster care anymore - he will be living with his dad. That will change things dramatically.
post #4 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

Once he is placed with you (which is likely), he won't be in foster care anymore - he will be living with his dad. That will change things dramatically.


That wasnt true for my son. He was removed from his bmom and placed with bdad after a short (one month i think) stint in a regular foster home. Dad was then given a plan HE had to follow too, psychological testing and such, he was given rules to follow (such as the baby couldnt see bmom outside of agency visits, but the agency did suspect they were living together at times or at least having contact)....he was supposed to bring baby to agency every week for bmom (and half sib) visits, but rarely showed. Because HE wasnt the one who had charges leveled against him (that happened later) there wasnt much they could do though to enforce his compliance. But i think the goal was to get the baby back with the mom and sister. I'm not sure what they do if she completed her plan and retained rights (in the end he lost him to, baby came to me, parents TPRd and i adopted.)

 

So, they MAY not just wash their hands of it if the dad gets him. Or they may. Depends on the policies in that state/county.

post #5 of 127
Thread Starter 


the mother is facing felony charges of endangering the welfare of a child, and leaving an infant unattended in a motor vehicle, i doubt they want the children back with her
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post



That wasnt true for my son. He was removed from his bmom and placed with bdad after a short (one month i think) stint in a regular foster home. Dad was then given a plan HE had to follow too, psychological testing and such, he was given rules to follow (such as the baby couldnt see bmom outside of agency visits, but the agency did suspect they were living together at times or at least having contact)....he was supposed to bring baby to agency every week for bmom (and half sib) visits, but rarely showed. Because HE wasnt the one who had charges leveled against him (that happened later) there wasnt much they could do though to enforce his compliance. But i think the goal was to get the baby back with the mom and sister. I'm not sure what they do if she completed her plan and retained rights (in the end he lost him to, baby came to me, parents TPRd and i adopted.)

 

So, they MAY not just wash their hands of it if the dad gets him. Or they may. Depends on the policies in that state/county.



 

post #6 of 127
Thread Starter 


i understand that will change things dramatically but right now he is in the foster care system and neither my husband nor i have ever dealt with any foster systems at all and we are not sure how to approach the caseworker with our questions and concerns and are not sure what things we should be asking to push us trying to get custody of him
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

Once he is placed with you (which is likely), he won't be in foster care anymore - he will be living with his dad. That will change things dramatically.


 

post #7 of 127

I think what most caseworkers want is to know someone is open and willing to work with them at Child Protection. Regardless of the legal status of the birth mom, they will have an open case for her and they will need to have case goals for her. Many cases start with Reunification as the goal, even if it doesn't seem to make sense to the rest of us. After a while if the birth mom doesn't do what they are asking her to do to get her child back, they will change the case goal to Termination of Parental Rights or Adoption. It really depends on your state whether the caseworker will also allow the child just to go to her father. They are obligated to make sure the child is safe once he is in their care, so they will need to check out any potential caregiver. It will be important to stay positive and open and ask a lot of questions about the child's needs.

post #8 of 127
Thread Starter 

ok not to make myself sound completely stupid but does anyone understand what all this means?

 

 

 

the child is without proper parental care or control, subsistence, education as required by law, or other care or control necessary for his physical, mental, or emotional health, or morals; a determination that there is a lack of proper parental care or control may be based upon evidence of conduct by the parent, guardian that places the health, safethy or welfare of the child at risk, including evidence of the parent's guardian's or other custodian's use of alcohol or a controlled substance that places the health safety or welfare of the child at risk

post #9 of 127
I could understand it, but taken out of context it's just jibberish. Where is it from? It sounds like a statute, but without knowing where it is from and having the full statute, it makes no sense.
post #10 of 127
Thread Starter 

taken from a certified letter he got in the mail about it, all i got is jibberish too... i dont know why they cant make crap easy to understand lol

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

I could understand it, but taken out of context it's just jibberish. Where is it from? It sounds like a statute, but without knowing where it is from and having the full statute, it makes no sense.


 

post #11 of 127

I think they are quoting in the letter the statute (or law) that they used to justify their removal of the child(ren) from her care.--- That the child(ren) were without proper care, food, control (as in discipline), that they would need for their physical or emotional development, that she placed him/them at risk,  and that this lack of care may have been related to her use of substances. That's what I glean from it.

post #12 of 127

What to expect from a caseworker is really hard to say.  Some are incredibly compassionate and others very no-nonsense.  Either way, expect them to be professional and be acting in the best interest of the child.  

 

That being said, I'd suggest that you and your husband prepare yourself for whatever they may require and do it to the best of your abilities.  That may include taking the baby to the prison to see his mother if they deem that to be in the best interest of the child.  If you and your husband are always doing the right thing - then chances are (no guarantees of course) that the courts will see him and you as the best option for a productive future for the child.

 

I'm really happy to see you both stepping up and doing what's best for this innocent child.   I wish you both the best of luck and hope to hear happy toddler stories soon.

post #13 of 127

My daughter's birthmother was in prison for neglect, but her goal was reunification part of that time.  It wasn't until months after the conviction and our daughter was placed with us that her birth parents' rights were terminated.  The goal will almost certainly be reunification at least until she faces trial.  If she is found guilty, then the courts may seek to terminate her rights.

 

Either way, as others have said, you will be expected to foster a relationship between the child and the birthmother until (or if) her parental rights are terminated.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrascosPrincess View Post


the mother is facing felony charges of endangering the welfare of a child, and leaving an infant unattended in a motor vehicle, i doubt they want the children back with her
 



 



 

post #14 of 127
Thread Starter 

the meeting with the caseworker this morning went very well, i liked the way she explained things and helped us understand more.

 

 

 

also, i've been thinking if my husband does get the full custody that he deserves, in which case i hope he does, how would i go about trying to find out how I can adopt? his mother hasn't relinquished her rights yet, and im not sure if she will, but it is just something i have been thinking about alot, i haven't brought it up to my husband yet i was waiting to see how her trial goes first.

post #15 of 127
Thread Starter 

right now the caseworker changed the goal to adoption, because its the most permenant placement, but she said she is looking for a permanent place for him with preferably a parent. so if thats the goal does that mean they are looking to terminate her rights because the goal is permanent not with her? this stuff is so confusing im ready to bang my head against the wall lol

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren View Post

I think what most caseworkers want is to know someone is open and willing to work with them at Child Protection. Regardless of the legal status of the birth mom, they will have an open case for her and they will need to have case goals for her. Many cases start with Reunification as the goal, even if it doesn't seem to make sense to the rest of us. After a while if the birth mom doesn't do what they are asking her to do to get her child back, they will change the case goal to Termination of Parental Rights or Adoption. It really depends on your state whether the caseworker will also allow the child just to go to her father. They are obligated to make sure the child is safe once he is in their care, so they will need to check out any potential caregiver. It will be important to stay positive and open and ask a lot of questions about the child's needs.



 

post #16 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrascosPrincess View Post

the meeting with the caseworker this morning went very well, i liked the way she explained things and helped us understand more.

 

I'm glad the meeting went well.

 

also, i've been thinking if my husband does get the full custody that he deserves, in which case i hope he does, how would i go about trying to find out how I can adopt? his mother hasn't relinquished her rights yet, and im not sure if she will, but it is just something i have been thinking about alot, i haven't brought it up to my husband yet i was waiting to see how her trial goes first.


I don't have first hand experience with adoption, but unless the mothers rights are terminated by the state - you will not be able to adopt. If the child is living in a stable home with his father (I say "if" only because he isn't yet - but sounds like he will be at some point hopefully soon), and your husband is granted sole legal/physical custody, and the mother has supervised visits, the state may not see a reason to pursue terminating her rights. Parents are generally not allowed to voluntarily terminate their rights, unless there is a step parent willing to adopt (which is you) - but if the state is not pursuing TPR, she would be under no obligation to terminate her rights. Parents don't generally allow step parents to adopt, even if there is a good reason to (its an ego thing).

 

post #17 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrascosPrincess View Post

right now the caseworker changed the goal to adoption, because its the most permenant placement, but she said she is looking for a permanent place for him with preferably a parent. so if thats the goal does that mean they are looking to terminate her rights because the goal is permanent not with her? this stuff is so confusing im ready to bang my head against the wall lol

 


(we cross posted)
If the goal is a permanent placement, your DH is a good fit for that because he is a parent, and he has a legal right to parent his son. If TPR is pursued, adoption would be the case plan (but that will take years - not months, and definitely not weeks). The state may not pursue a costly TPR case if the child is living with a parent, who has sole custody, and who is fit to parent. It wouldn't be necessary, like it is when the case plan is adoption and not placing the child with their non-custodial parent.

post #18 of 127
Thread Starter 

i know it won't be easy and she probably won't let me it was just something that i have been thinking about alot, and would really like to see how this all plays out, i'm not going to bring it up to the caseworker for a while, just to see where the case plan goes, and if it heads in that direction, but i do want to bring up my thoughts on it thursday night to my husband after my kiddos are in bed and see how he feels about it and what he thinks. I just wanted more information on the process because if it becomes an option for me, i would definately love to persue it, because to me he is not "oh yeah thats my husbands kid" but the way i feel towards him is like he is one of my own, i would love more than anything to be able to be able to make him one of mine too. but i think part of the problem is that i am starting to feel like the caseworkers and lawyers and stuff aren't really including me in anything which i think is ridiculous, because who do they think does 99% of the childcare?? my husband works overnight from 10 pm to 7 am, and sleeps all day until around 8 pm, and then leaves around 9:30 pm, which no i am not saying anything bad about him at all not what i am getting at, but all the childcare responsibilities are on me, excpet like his days off i may leave a kid or two with him while i do laundry or something but im talking everyday, i just dont see where im not included in anything when i have just as much to do with how his child is going to be taken care of, as much as he does. it just doesnt seem fair to me to place his son here with us, but leave me no real details about the trauma he has endured so that if situations with behavior or anything like that come up, i'll know how to handle it and what to do. i only know bits and pieces of the case that my husband has told me, but truth be told he didnt tell me that much because thats how much everything that she did to the children involved, and everything she let her boyfriend do to them, pissed him off. (sorry for language couldnt think of a better way to put it)

post #19 of 127
Thread Starter 

so i just checked my husbands email his ex wants him  to call herso i called to see what she wants shes calling back at 10:30 tonight.... im not playing games hope she knows it

post #20 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrascosPrincess View Post


the mother is facing felony charges of endangering the welfare of a child, and leaving an infant unattended in a motor vehicle, i doubt they want the children back with her
 



 


It may or may not matter. Reunification is almost always the initial goal. My son came into care because he was left alone in a car too. I dont know if charges were pressed against the mother (baby was not with her but a friend when he was left), but you really never know what the judge is going to do. My other son's bmom lost two prior children for abuse (she set one in hot water) and had been charged (dont know if convicted) with child abuse, and while they did not let her take the new baby home, reunification WAS the *initial* goal (and was changed to adoption quickly when it was clear she did not want him and would not return calls.)

 

 

 

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