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#1 of 21 Old 06-14-2010, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have a potential issue with our nephew down the road. My brother in laws son may need to be placed at some point. The Mom is drug involved- and the Dad is quite ill. DSS has been involved with this couple, and all of their other kids, ( some removed) for years.
We have known this baby since birth and keep a close eye on him, for whatever thats worth I am constantly torn between wanting to bond with him and trying to stay clear of the family. There would be so many potential issues with the family. Suffice to say that an older sister has had drug issues and has had her child placed, but she sometimes shows up wanting contact ( she's in prison now but only for another year. This little one is her half brother).
We have one child, and he knows this baby as his cousin. We wanted more kids and have thought of adopting from the system, but honestly were thinking of an older child. Our son is 8, and my nephew is 14 months.
Some days I want to grab the baby and hold on tight. Others I don't want to go near the whole situation. Can anybody offer some advice? Thanks so much.
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#2 of 21 Old 06-15-2010, 07:47 AM
 
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I can't offer any advice to you, but I did want you to know that I hear you. It sounds like you are really concerned about this child and curious about taking him into your family, but are torn because you so want to connect with him and give him love, but you are really worried about the relationship with the birth family if you did so, is that right?

Would it help if you heard other's experiences when they dealt with a "tough" family like the one you describe? Maybe if you had some ideas of how your family can stay safe and stable if you were to foster this child?

I'm hoping you get the support you need here.

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#3 of 21 Old 06-15-2010, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for responding. It was discouraging to see so many people read but then not say anything
This is all so new for me. You're right- I am very worried, on many fronts, about the baby. I would love to offer to pick him up for the day and have him play in our backyard, or bring him with us on a day trip once in awhile. My brother in law is here sometimes helping us out with things around the house, and I love him. But he has a history of lying, and can be quite volatile when he's using- which I now hear he is. Otherwise, he has a good heart and is friendly and appropriate to us and our son.
The baby's mom is using- a lot. She is not welcome here as we recently have seen a dangerous downward spiral with her. We have only known her for a year so don't know too much about her. We met her when she was pregnant and gave her lots of baby things, and she was sweet, appreciative. But- she is using so much and is unable to care for the baby.
I worry that my brother in law will ask us to take him. I worry that he is home, if its true that my bil is using- but also because he is ill and having radiation ( supposedly...?)
Thanks for listening.
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#4 of 21 Old 06-15-2010, 11:41 AM
 
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I think you need to follow your heart. Personally, because I am a Christian, I would be doing a lot of prayer.

I also think you should be involved in this child's life to whatever capacity you feel able.

If you believe the child is in danger, I think you need to call CPS. Even if you don't feel like you can take him yourself, he is likely better off in a foster home than with two drug abusing parents.

Is the dad your DH's brother? How does DH feel about the whole situation?

Wife to DH (06/10) and Mummy to DD (07/08).

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#5 of 21 Old 06-15-2010, 12:10 PM
 
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There is somebody in a group I belong to that is always asking for help. I'd really like to help her, but her life is SO unstable and she's got a history of violence with a boyfriend. I'm not sure if that person is her current boyfriend or not. So, I'm afraid to have my kids be around her family just because I don't want that type of influence in my kids' lives. I feel bad about this because I do think she needs help.

However, this is very different from your situation. This is a child you may be able to free from their situation.

So, I have no advice, I just wanted you to know that I hear what you're saying and I'm wishing you well.

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#6 of 21 Old 06-15-2010, 06:10 PM
 
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You might want to PM AndVeeGeeMakes3. She and her husband ended up adopting his sister's daughter and has been walking the delicate line of kinship care and adoption.
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#7 of 21 Old 06-15-2010, 08:23 PM
 
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If you believe the child is in danger, I think you need to call CPS.
This.
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#8 of 21 Old 06-16-2010, 12:06 AM
 
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I'm really sorry I can't stay to give a real reply. I'll be back tomorrow.

Wendy ~ mom to VeeGee (6/05), who has PRS, Apraxia, SPD, VPI, a G-Tube, 14q duplication, and is a delightful little pistol! I'm an English professor and a writer.
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#9 of 21 Old 06-16-2010, 01:52 AM
 
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Kanga2Roo,

I really hear the worry in your posts. You are worried for the child, concerned for yourself if you were to get involved, and also maybe unsettled also about not helping when you could... Are you really wanting to provide a safe place for this child as long as he needs it and hoping for some kind of clarity on how to proceed given all the factors (drugs mainly?) in the situation?

Would it help if you had someone professional looking at and assessing the situation formally that could also help your family with boundaries, address safety issues, etc if you did care for the boy once in a while or more regularly?

Is the state involved at this point?

How can we best help you?

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#10 of 21 Old 06-16-2010, 09:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yesterday- I drove by the house on my way out of town and was fed up. It was a beautiful day and there wasn't a window or door open. My bil recently got a job, so I knew the baby was alone with his Mom. ( until recently, he has been with him 24/7 and although he's not so attentive to some things, he loves his kids- takes them to the playground, cooks dinner, etc) I once again asked a friend to call children's services. We have done this before, as have others....
I was ready to walk in and get him, but I feel like I can't put my son at risk or have him witness anything inappropriate. By last night, I had decided to stay clear of it all. To just keep notifying authorities when we have concerns. It is mostly because of fear
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#11 of 21 Old 06-16-2010, 09:12 AM
 
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I'm confused. My windows and doors aren't open. So? Lots of people keep their doors and windows closed. CPS won't take a report because of closed windows and doors. If you need to make a report, then make the report. Not a friend. You. Reports have more power from the person who has actually seen the abuse or neglect. Your name can be kept confidential but you should be the one to report.
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#12 of 21 Old 06-16-2010, 09:56 AM
 
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I agree with Polliwog. If it's in your heart -- if there's something pressing on you as hard is it seems to me from your posts that it is --- then you need to call CPS. And call CPS. And call CPS. For every single time you see the child. And, IMO, you should make the effort to see the child as much as possible.

I totally get that you do not want to endanger your immediate family. I really do. DD's b-grandfather, my DH's step-father, is an incredibly volatile person. We can't even "read" bmom because she's so clearly under some very scary abuse spell that she hardly speaks.

We watched dd suffer for over a year. We live six hours away from where the live, but I knew, at every visit, that, first, the child was not safe, and second, that she would end up with me. I don't really know how I knew the latter, I just did.

Unfortunately, it took dd almost dying, after having had at least 8 CPS files opened and closed on her, for the state to finally take her. It wasn't that CPS wasn't doing their job. On the contrary, they would step in, offer services, make "threats," etc., and bmom would step it up. For a short time.

The reporters in our case were hospital nurses and daycare providers. I never called CPS personally because I did not have enough first-hand knowledge of the situation. CPS gets a really bad rap here and elsewhere and, of course, there are some bad apples. But, in our experience (and this isn't our first), they really are in the "business" of taking care of these kids.

Now, what I can tell you about down the road: this little one WILL be scarred from this. A lot of people will tell you that "kids are resilient" and that he/she can survive a lot, and that it's more important for him/her to be with his/her bparents. In an ideal world, sure, that's true. This does not sound like the ideal world.

In the other case with which we worked with CPS, what we had done with my sister's children was offer to babysit them, and then offered again the next day and the next and the next. Their mom was so out of it and so selfish at the time that she allowed us to just keep babysitting -- for a year, even though she saw that we got twin beds for them and set the household up as if they were living with us long term (which is what they were doing). She came to visit, but REALLY infrequently. Their dad, the same. We were ALWAYS open to whatever visitation they requested since we knew we had no legal standing. It's not an ideal situation, but, until we had to take one of them to the doctor (and couldn't because we didn't have any ID for her). When we did finally file a dependency and neglect petition (the qualifications for which were met by a lack of visitation for 90 days), my sister essentially kidnapped them off of our front porch (ladies, please don't pounce on that -- I know that's not a legal term, I'm just referring to the suddenness and violence of how she did it).

The reason we did it this way was because we felt like getting served with those papers would be a wake up call for my sister, that her pride would be bruised enough that she would snap out of it and start being a mom. Fortunately, we were right. She's had some bumps in the road, but she's doing great now, has a new husband, another child, and we all have a really wonderful relationship (that took some time, to be sure; she, of course, felt very betrayed, but has since thanked me). We made the decision not to push hard for custody of the children because we felt like they were old enough to call us when they were afraid (and they have) and we had enough access to them to observe their lives closely, on an almost daily basis. I did carpool for them for years so that I could be involved in their lives closely. We felt that it was the right decision for us, and I do think it's turned out well. My sister has turned her life around and, yes, the kids have some problems because of their experiences, but I think they're going to be okay.

Sorry if this is kind of rambly -- it's pre-coffee writing. Please let me know if you have any other questions about this sort of thing. In the end, I really do think you should call and call and call. AND work to be in this kiddo's life, however possible.

Wendy ~ mom to VeeGee (6/05), who has PRS, Apraxia, SPD, VPI, a G-Tube, 14q duplication, and is a delightful little pistol! I'm an English professor and a writer.
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#13 of 21 Old 06-16-2010, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for the replies, and I'm sorry about the misleading comment about the doors and windows being closed It just happened to strike me, on a beautiful sunny day as I drove to the beach with my son, that the baby was home- alone- with the Mom, and inside the house where nobody could see whether he was okay or not. I do not have the feeling that the Mom is violent, but quite possibly neglectful, so I had the thought of what is he doing all day? I should pick him up and be sure, at least for that day, that he was alright. He's too young to ask for help. I, too, have my doors and windows sometimes shut...and I guess that came across wrong, sorry again as I really appreciate everyone's support and advice.
Although we have had concerns about the mom for awhile, it has only been since Monday that I heard about my bil using. I heard this from a reliable source, and I called cps myself that day. We have been concerned since the past few weeks when he got a job and wasnt with the baby anymore. The mom had a drug injury a few months ago, spent time in rehab, has had therapists visiting daily, and is now to the point that she can hold him and walk....The therapists no longer come daily, and another relative of hers comes by almost everyday- we think because the courts have said she cannot be alone with him but this is sketchy.
Monday, she was in court- under some influence- for a larceny charge. It is unclear whether she is on legal or illegal drugs but she looks horrible. She has been suicidal.
So, yesterday, I convinced the person who saw her in court Mon and told me about my bil to follow up my call to cps. We were of course hoping that someone at the court would have also filed.
There was a search at the house a few months ago. Cps came later that night but the baby was not taken. According to my bil they wanted to see if they had food and diapers and see the baby- who was in pj's in his crib. At that time I talked to him about needing help- told him to call anytime or bring him up. Its even more tricky because the mom has recently stolen from my in laws- so everyone is understandably upset with her- which unfortunately sets up an adversarial attitude all around.
I am hoping that cps comes in when the mom is alone with the baby and they take him. I want him to be safe and loved, but really don't want to bring him here. I am afraid my bil will come after him/us- he lives right down the street. My bil is able to work now, while having treatments, and him working is a good thing. I wish he could be in a daycare so he can be watched closely and get proper care and stimulation every day. And I feel so so bad that I feel like I don't want to take this baby, if it comes to it. I feel awful making that decision with my head, and not my heart.
Sometimes it feels like I should offer to spend some specific times with him, but I know that I would not hesitate to file if I felt the need, and then my bil would suspect us- putting us in a very bad place.
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#14 of 21 Old 06-18-2010, 03:38 PM
 
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kanga2roo, I want to apologize as one of the people who viewed this post but did not respond. Your post title didn't indicate your exact concern, so I opened up the post to see if I could be of assistance or answer any questions. I don't have much of an expertise in family dynamics around kinship care for children, but I know there are folks on this forum that have lived it, so when I first read your concern, I wanted to post but didn't feel I could contribute anything. Instead, I hoped for you that AndVeeGeeMakes3 or others who have gone through this would post. I then checked back a number of times to see who was responding. So I am definitely part of that high view number.

In any case, I've continued to think about this situation. With both parents using, and so badly that mom has recently had a "drug injury," apparently experienced rehab without improvement, and also showed up intoxicated to court, I think your concerns for the baby spot-on. The longer this goes on, the more this child is cheated of years of his life. One thing I can contribute is that as a foster parent, I know the experiences of severe neglect to have longer-lasting and sometimes irreversable effects to a degree that outright abuse doesn't. Of course, I am not talking about "mild" neglect, but if there is a chance that this mom is unquestionably neglecting this child, this problem is especially dangerous.

I think it is okay if you don't want to take in your nephew. Kinship care is complicated and messy, and it isn't for all people in all circumstances. Perhaps there are other relatives, even relatives of the mother's who might make good placements should it come to that. If not, there are some great foster homes out there, and some foster parents who I am sure would be thrilled to have a chance to care for this little boy. There are bad foster homes too, but I have known a lot of foster parents in my time, and many are good, even great. Chances are that if he goes into care, it wouldn't be forever. You make a big leap when you start thinking/talking adoption. There is certainly a good chance that while your nephew is in foster care, his parents will be able to face down their issues, get help, and get well so they can provide the care their son deserves. It may be a long road, but in the end, if they succeed, it will be so worth it.

If you think there is a chance you might change your mind, you could express to the children's department that you might be interested in helping out by providing care for your nephew should at some point his parents not be able to, and you could get a homestudy just in case.

I would also not shy away from having a relationship with him, if it were me. I know you are worried about the anger and issues of retribution, but this child deserves loving, attentive people in his life who are willing to spend time with him. You wouldn't just be keeping an eye on the situation, but also giving your nephew the gift of moments of care and stimulation. Wouldn't he have loved to go to the beach with you and your son yesterday? What a gift that day would have been for him.

If he stays with his parents forever, if he is never removed from their care, he will especially be in need of people to be his stability through the years. If you can offer that to him, you can offer him a life raft.

I know you are afraid of your brother-in-law's anger in case you would discover something you would need to report. I have no doubt from what you have said that he would lash out angrily. But do you really consider him dangerous? Do you think he might harm you or your family members? If not, if it were me, I think I would probably end up deciding that I could live with wickedness so that the poor child wouldn't have to go without care. If you see true neglect, you have a moral responsibility to report. That's the way I would feel anyway.

It seems like you are aware, but do try to keep in mind as you evaluate what to do when issues come up that reporting is not equivilant to taking the child into your care. There are procedures in place at the department. They would most likely take him in, find a foster family for him, and then start figuring out if there were any feasible, safe, and willing kinship possibilities.

I'm pro-adoption reform, but not anti-adoption.
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#15 of 21 Old 06-19-2010, 05:55 PM
 
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"I am hoping that cps comes in when the mom is alone with the baby and they take him."

If that is what you hope for, then keep calling CPS. You don't want to raise him- there's no question of selfishness here. You want him to have a good life. There is a long line of nice, non-addicted people waiting to welcome your nephew into their family. It's ultimately not your call whether or not he's removed from the home - but if your BIL and the baby's mother are using hard drugs, it's your job to keep calling CPS until they bestir themselves to go out there and start dealing with the situation. You are the whistleblower. Protect your nephew.
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#16 of 21 Old 06-20-2010, 03:11 PM
 
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Please keep calling, whether it's CPS or a Preventive caseworker. You said there was some DSS involvement, is there currently a caseworker working with or otherwise monitoring the family?

I work in foster care, and I say this not to be harsh, but I work with children who have/had extended family members that knew about the extent of the abuse/neglect going on and for whatever reason, did nothing, and really only served to extend the abuse or neglect that was going on. They could have done something, even if it was just to pick up the phone and focus the authorities on these families, and they chose not to. And the kids are the ones who ended up suffering for it.

I can absolutely understand not wanting to provide placement for this baby, and I can understand, to some extent, not wanting to get involved, but I think you have to.
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#17 of 21 Old 06-21-2010, 10:28 AM
 
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Please keep calling, whether it's CPS or a Preventive caseworker. You said there was some DSS involvement, is there currently a caseworker working with or otherwise monitoring the family?

I work in foster care, and I say this not to be harsh, but I work with children who have/had extended family members that knew about the extent of the abuse/neglect going on and for whatever reason, did nothing, and really only served to extend the abuse or neglect that was going on. They could have done something, even if it was just to pick up the phone and focus the authorities on these families, and they chose not to. And the kids are the ones who ended up suffering for it.

I can absolutely understand not wanting to provide placement for this baby, and I can understand, to some extent, not wanting to get involved, but I think you have to.
To follow up on that, if you do not call, and keep calling, and the child does end up in foster care through some other contacts, your having not stood up could count against any of your potential wishes to continue some contact with it after placement. I know I've thought that I would NEVER let my child be around the people who stood on the sidelines, people who did have access to her and knowledge of the abuse/neglect she was enduring. Laissez faire just isn't an option or an excuse.

Wendy ~ mom to VeeGee (6/05), who has PRS, Apraxia, SPD, VPI, a G-Tube, 14q duplication, and is a delightful little pistol! I'm an English professor and a writer.
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#18 of 21 Old 06-21-2010, 11:26 AM
 
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I'm in a similar position right now, but not as severe. My husband's sister has 4 children and is now in her second CPS investigation. During the first one, in which it wasn't us that reported, we thought we would take the children if they were placed and planned accordingly. We had them this past Friday night to spend the night, ended up having to do our own CPS report, and really don't think we can take them now. Going from 0-4 children that all have some special needs is not doable for us, especially with our jobs and me going back to school. I feel badly, but I know my limits. That's not even taking the family aspect into it. So I feel your pain. Keep us updated.
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#19 of 21 Old 06-22-2010, 01:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sierra View Post

If he stays with his parents forever, if he is never removed from their care, he will especially be in need of people to be his stability through the years. If you can offer that to him, you can offer him a life raft.
BTDT, and this is my suggestion also. I cared for my 2 grandbabies last year for a few months, and learned about the intricacies of kinship care (I am already a state foster parent, but it is very different with family). I wish my grandchildren lived close enough that I could see them daily, to reassure myself that they are OK.

Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)

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#20 of 21 Old 06-22-2010, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have been away for a few days...I am thinking there has to be someone assigned to the family because of the mothers history- but actually, who knows? I have spoken to my bil and he has been appropriate and sober each time. I havent called childrens services since last week, when I was one of at least two known reporters. I saw my nephew a few days ago. My bil brought him over here when he made a quick stop in. He was clean and adorable with a big boy haircut. I have to work the next couple of days but am going to offer to take him with us on a day trip we have planned for Saturday.
Thanks to all who have chimed in to offer support. I will always call if I am concerned- and have unfortunately have had to do so for my bil's older kids in the past, too. I have no idea whats going on with the Mom, but plan to just go through my bil each time as we have before. I am hoping the news I heard last week about him using isn't true.
My original post was because he is ill, and I am concerned if it turns out to be life threatening. Right now, he is doing treatments and able to work, and I have decided to reach out a little more as far as my nephew and contact with him. It continues to be a bad situation and unfortunately I don't see it heading into better anytime soon, as long as the mom is around.
I so appreciate all of you who have offered support. This situation is not one I can talk to my friends openly about for many reasons.
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#21 of 21 Old 06-23-2010, 05:10 AM
 
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We have done ( are doing) kinship with 2 different family members. 1 we adopted, the other 2 we have full legal custody of. But wish we would have just done the whole foster placement, adoption route with them also.

It sounds like everything is better now, but I just wanted to mention that by doing kinship and adopting, we have lost contact with almost all of my side of the family. Almost all of them are drug addicts , and I refuse contact with them anymore other then letters to a email address. This has come after years of verbal abuse to us for taking the kids in.

*~Kelly~*
 Waldorf Mom to 9 blessings ~6 by birth and 3 by fost/adopt~

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