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What should I do? Have niece through tribal CPS- In the ICWA (Indian Child Welfare Act) it states that a parent can take as long as they want to complete a case plan and their parental rights can never be terminated.

I used to be really close with my niece. But it seems like now that she is living with us I feel myself more fustrated and annoyed easily. I feel myself harboring resentment and anger towards her sometimes. Mostly because I see my sister in her. We've tried to break through the stubborness and laziness but it seems like were getting nowhere.
I am in Culinary School and I feel like I can't finish because of all the stress of the situation and to add to it I don't get to focus on my 3 year old and we don't feel like we can have any more kids because it seems my sister will never finish her case.
I am in a bind. I have 2 choices (remember IWCA laws). File for permanent custody or give her back. IDK if I am ready to raise a kid who is already set. I've tried counseling and there are no other relatives to take her. I don't know what the right thing to do is. Am I selfish for wanting to give her back? What do I do? PLEASE ADVICE!?

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Asked by sialighiosig at 11:59 AM on Jul. 6, 2010 in Relationships

Level 1 (2 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • First, she is not your child and as such, not your responsibility. You didn't mention why she was in your custody, but I think you need to talk to your sister and let her know how you're feeling. Tell her that she needs to step up and take responsibility for her child. Tell her that you love her daughter, but that your life is changing and that you need for her to be with her own mother right now. If she still does nothing, talk to her case worker.

    Answer by neebug3766 at 12:04 PM on Jul. 6, 2010

  • While it was honorable to take her in, your number 1 responsibility is to your child and your family. I would give her back.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 12:05 PM on Jul. 6, 2010

  • She is placed with us because the mother was physically abusive..I've tried talking to her and she seems to be growing backwards and the CPS worker doesn't have much to offer but the choices I've stated above. I love my niece so much it breaks my heart and I feel like such an awful person for wanting to give her back. I worry about where she will go, most likely a group home or foster..are the people nice? Will she get abused again? Will she resent me for giving her away? Will I resent myself for giving her away? I want to focus on my family, my career but how can I if I give her up and every day I am going to be questioning if I did the right thing. I honeslty do not know what to do, I feel like I am weak for not being able to do this..I thought I was strong enough, but its so different when youre in it. Does anyone have any experiences like this? Any hopeful stories? I need advice badly!

    Comment by sialighiosig (original poster) at 12:11 PM on Jul. 6, 2010

  • I don't think you should give her back... You made a commitment to that child... Should your sister get on the ball, and get her daughter back, yes, but are you ready to have no clue what is going to happen to her when they place her with a stranger?? I wouldn't want that on me!! And yes, I have been in the same boat as you when it comes to raising your "niece". My "niece" is now my daughter, and it has been the hardest, but most rewarding thing I have ever done! I also see my sister in her daily, and sometimes it makes me angry, but I have to remind myself that she is NOT my sister, and whatever my sister has done, is definitely not her fault. Maybe you could talk to someone about this, a counselor or someone.... Good luck with whatever you decide!

    Answer by AdoptingMyChild at 12:14 PM on Jul. 6, 2010

  • The only story I have is one of my mom's friend. Her mom was abusive in every way possible. She also is sikisphrenic(sp) Anyway at 10 she went to live with her aunt and uncle. They said at times they thought about giving her back. They didn't and now she is 33 years old and the manager of a resterant she has been working in since she was 16. They are sooo proud of her and I have spoken to her about it and she says that if her aunt and uncle gave her back she would have never had a stable home. She probably would have died or gotten into drugs because she would have felt unloved by all of her family. You have to remember she was abused by her mother. The woman who was suppossed to love and nurture her hurt her. YOu need to love her that is all. As much as she fights. I know my mom's friend said she used to hit kick and bite her aunt. Her aunt would just hug her tighter. Eventually she knew she was safe. CONT!!!

    Answer by delilahsmom1177 at 12:25 PM on Jul. 6, 2010

  • YOu also didn't say how old she is. Anyway this child doesn't feel safe. I understand that you are doing things in your life but now she is part of your life. Think of it as if you gave birth to her. What would you do? WOuld you consider adoption or just do what you had to do. She is now your DD and you have to treat her as such. She only has you in this world. Just think of it though when she is older and she thanks YOU when she is graduating high school. She is thanking YOU at hr wedding. YOU will be there when she has her first baby. Think of all the good once you get past the bad. GOOD LUCK. Oh and also remember everyday that you saved her and one day she will realize that!

    Answer by delilahsmom1177 at 12:28 PM on Jul. 6, 2010

  • I think it is wonderful that you stepped in and took in your niece. Your niece has probably gone through so much in her life. I am not sure how long you have had her, or how old she is, but please give her some time. Hopefully things will change. Along with lots of love she needs stability. I cannot imagine how your niece would feel either going back or being placed into foster care. Please don't have resentment and anger towards your niece she is not your sister. Is your niece in counseling? Maybe counseling will help. Honestly the decision is one only you can make. I imagine it will be hard, but you can do this. She was placed into your care for a reason right now it may seem overwhelming but hopefully in time everything will be ok. If you need a friend or someone just to listen you can message me.

    Answer by Kellyjude1 at 12:58 PM on Jul. 6, 2010

  • I think your biggest problem is your afraid to get close to her since her mother's rights can never be terminated. You see bad bad bad because if you see good then you will get your heart broken when/if her mother gets her back. Get permanent custody of her and then you would have to worry about her mother getting her back. Hopefully, you would be able to make your case on terminating her mom's parental rights eventually. It i sad for the little girl they should have a better plan for abused NA children.

    Answer by matthewscandi at 1:00 PM on Jul. 6, 2010

  • be careful of confusing her with your sister. it sounds like you want to make excuses to not make things work. it sounds like you care about her but there is alot of fear involved and you are letting your fear speak instead of your love. come from a place of love not fear and then you will know what to do.

    Answer by figaro8895 at 1:13 PM on Jul. 6, 2010

  • Most kids who are hardest to love are the ones that need it the most. How can you give her back to a situation where she is abused and or neglected. She is your family...better or worse. If you give up on her who can she count on. Lay down the rules of your home and is she does not abide by them make the consequences sting! Take away her phone or whatever is her thing at the moment until she listens and respects you.

    Answer by salexander at 4:20 PM on Jul. 6, 2010

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