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Caring1 05-09-2015 09:31 PM

Step Parent Question
I am a step mom married to the custodial parent of my step son with mom as the non custodial parent. Father has all decision making rights. My question is, am I allowed to attend (along with child's bio parents) a medical appt regarding ADHD for my step son? My thinking is, because I am married to the custodial parent and if he says I can, then maybe I should be able to. I will not be making any decisions during said appt, just there to listen and answer any questions from the doctor. Note: my husband shares time with mom, I am a stay at home mom and I am with said child more than father due to his job hours. I am here to put child on the bus and am with him when he returns. So I am just much of a parent to him as I am to my other two children.

katelove 05-10-2015 01:13 AM

I guess the question is, is your presence/input worth the angst with DSS's mum? With your DH and his mum there, there is a representative from each household. Can your DH adequately provide the information the doctor needs from your house and reliably bring back whatever the outcomes of the appointment are? Would it be better to give him written notes to refer to if he is not as au fait with the situation as you are?

You don't need to answer those questions to me :-) That's just how I would approach the decision.

All the best. I hope you can come up with a solution that gives DSS the best support with the least amount of stress for the adults.

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VocalMinority 05-11-2015 10:38 AM

As a "custodial stepmom" myself, I'd recommend going to the appointment, as long as it's OK with your husband, regardless of the mom's opinion.

It sounds like you spend more time being responsible for this child than either of his biological parents and that you spend as much time being responsible for him, as you do for your own children. (That's also the case for me, with my step-son.) If he has a behavior issue that is being addressed by a medical professional, it is best if ALL his parents - especially the one he spends the most time with - hear firsthand the results of his testing and the doctor's recommendations.

With my own (oldest) children, I am the primary caregiver, but I often encourage both their father and stepmother to attend meetings with, for example, their school resource teacher or tutors, so that all of us understand firsthand what the kids' needs are and can be on the same page, in addressing them.

You haven't said anything about your stepson's mother, but if she is hostile toward you, you must ask yourself: Is her hostility toward you more important than the obvious wisdom of having a child's primary caregiver directly involved in his care?

greenemami 05-11-2015 10:41 AM

Yes, you will likely be allowed as long as dad gives you permission. Though if mom and/or dss say they are uncomfortable with your presence, I believe the doctor has the right to limit who comes in to a certain degree.

I understand your reasoning. However I completely agree with PP that I would strongly consider whether it will make the appointment more difficult for all concerned-if you presence is likely to cause tension in the room, then I would not go.

And likely reminding mom that you are with her son more than either she or dad is will not be a helpful argument to make, even if it is true.

Your dh can ask the doctor to send home a written list of recommendations/instructions. Likewise, if you think he needs it, provide dh with a written list of symptoms, issues you'd like addressed. You can also be available during the appointment to answer any specific questions by text and/or phone if need be.

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