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Temp custody of my niece

A littleinformation about the situation first. I am 20, my sister is 24. She has a 4 year old daughter that I want to get temporary custody of. I live in Ohio and they live in Pennsylvania. My sister recently lost he daugher, my other sister is supposed to care for her but she has too much going on, my mom isn't healthy enough, the father has no rights, and her mother is unfit. She doesn't have a home, bounces from bf to bf and lives with them, she can't keep a job and often goes a long time without one, and she is on several different drugs, mostly pills and something she shoots up. What can I do? This little girl told my mom she has no home. Can I get something notarized? Just temporary, until her life is together. I'd like to avoid taking her to court. I want my sister to do this of her own free will, I don't want to force it unless I have no other options.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 5:07 PM on May. 10, 2013 in General Parenting

Answers (12)
  • It is possible, but the first step is getting your sister to be willing to give up custody.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:18 PM on May. 10, 2013

  • You need to talk with a family lawyer. Or perhaps you can try calling your local CPS office and they may be able to help you. Or find a low income legal ciinic

    Answer by tntmom1027 at 5:19 PM on May. 10, 2013

  • She is somewhat willing, I just spoke to her on the phone. How would I go about doing this so that I do not get in any trouble for taking the child to another state? I have a 2 month old son and I don't want to risk getting into any sort of trouble. CPS is already involved and they gave temporary custody to my eldest sister, would I have to go through them?

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 5:22 PM on May. 10, 2013

  • You might consider guardianship, which is basically a step down from custody. You can actually write something up yourself, have your sister sign it, and get it notorized, saying that her daughter will live with you and be under your care for some specified amount of time, and that you have permission to make medical decisions for the child. It's not official custody, it's just a voluntary care arrangement. A friend of mine's grandma did it when he was in high school for basically the same reasons you mentioned about your sister. The thing is, since it's voluntary, you can't make your sister do it. She can sign, but she can also rescind the agreement at any time. If you want something with more teeth in it than that, you'll have to go to court or get CPS involved.

    Answer by Ballad at 5:23 PM on May. 10, 2013

  • Oh, I didn't realize CPS was already involved. That's a different story. Does your oldest sister want you to have custody? Is there a reason the child can't stay with her? You'd have to go through CPS since they're already on the case, but you could probably get a home study done in your state and then ask CPS to decide if you can take over your niece's care from the sister who has her now.

    Answer by Ballad at 5:26 PM on May. 10, 2013

  • My oldest sister is working 2 jobs right now and has a daughter that is 8 so she really doesn't have the time or money to care for her. The reason I didn't want to involve CPS is because my living situation isn't exactly perfect and I have felonies on my record, a stupid decision I made when I was younger. I rent a 2 bedroom right now and I just started a new job. I doubt they would want to give me any type of custody because of this. I just don't know what to do and my family is afraid she will end up in foster care or with her biological father, he is on drugs also, a lot more than my sister. He is also abusive and unpredictable, he is there one day and gone the next for months or years at a time. My sister is willing to sign something for me to have her here with me for awhile. Is there any way to uninvolve CPS at this point? Would I be able to have my niece visit for an extended period of time? A few months, the summer...

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 5:32 PM on May. 10, 2013

  • What are the felonies for and how old were you at the time?

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 5:35 PM on May. 10, 2013

  • 19 and they are felonious assault and breaking and entering. I got into a fight with someone at their home so the charges were pretty severe and I opted out of a trial to avoid going to jail because I just found out I was pregnant, I know it was only a year ago but a lot has changed since then and it was a stupid mistake I will always have to live with and now I will have to try to raise my son on a servers income until I can get it removed from my record. The problem is that my niece can't wait that long. We are afraid she will end up in foster care or dead. Her mother takes a lot of pills and is unable to wake up no matter what is done to her, this has happened more than a dozen times. It happened earlier today actually which is why I am finally trying to do something about this.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 5:41 PM on May. 10, 2013

  • The problem is that since CPS is involved in another state, you might not be allowed to take the child without clearing it there first. You could always ask--I don't know what the policies would be for extended visits--but I'm sure the agency wouldn't look kindly upon your oldest sister sending the child to you in another state without permission while she has custody.

    Answer by Ballad at 5:42 PM on May. 10, 2013

  • I will call CPS first thing Monday morning and try to find out about an extended visit. A few months away from her daughter might help my sister realize what is important, at least that's what I am hoping for. Thank you all for your time and for your helpful answers.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 5:46 PM on May. 10, 2013

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