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As step-parenting becomes more of the norm , why do we still b**** about not having any rights and not do anything about it?

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I never wanted to be a step-mom. I asked my current husband if he had kids before I dated him. He didn't, that was great! Yes, I have kids of my own. Now I have two more. Ones a step daughter who I love with all my heart. She showed up at 5 weeks old and her BM is very undependable. So badly that we got custody. Yes WE! AS IN MY DH AND I! AT 7 months old my sd had a visit with her BM. The neighbor called the cops because of a baby crying nonstop over an hour. We can only guess how long DD was alone. No formula. No diaper change. But it was long enough to leave sores on her from the urine and dirties. We estimated it was about six hours.
So I took her to all appointments, my DH worked outside of the home. I worked at home. The BM threw a fit. She never paid a dime of support. In fact it was me that payed a grand for birth costs
The county tried to charge my DH half of the birth cost. I told the CS worker no, the BM refused to tell him she was pregnant, CS had not gone through a the paternity process within the 3time months of after the birth where our insurance would have covered the full amount -our 1000 deductible . So we would only pay that. She had little choice but to agree to it.
I won't deal with being a step-parent. I am a mom. We now have an open adoption with the BM's parents. I've adopted my sd and have full rights. But just the other day my own DH got on me for saying the BM's name to DD instead of referring to her as your time mom or something of that sort.
I realized I still have to fight. So why doesn't anyone stand up and start a petition for a law. For more rights for step-parents so we stop getting STEP-ped on. I know there has to be a frustrated man or woman always of some power who could start something. I would sign a petition giving stepparents whose spouse had custody the rights to sign doctor and hospital forms school forms attend all functions. Do what we all do anyways only without a fuss. Stepparents should have the right to keep the children when the other parent passes away. But most end up in foster care if the other parent is seen as unfit. Even when it splits up half or stepsiblings the states don't care. Sometimes this happens if the other parent is just hospitalized or go's to jail for a time.
I have no clue how to start something like this other than to speak up. Then I just picture that old cartoon about how a bill is passed. Anyone else ready to speak up?
MY DH DIDN'T CHEAT ON ME! WE GOT MARRIED AFTER DATING 8 MONTHS DD WAS BORN RIGHT AFTER OUR WEDDING! WE WE'RE GOOD FRIENDS MANY YEARS PRIOR TO DATING.

EDIT: Now that I've seen so many great opinions I have ideas for this spinning.
NOTE: I never meant for this to be a thing going against any 50/50 custody situations. Or any situation were both birth parents and stepparents got along and really cared about all the children involved.
I'll use my case as an example. We have 6 children at any given time in our custody. 3 are my bc, 1 my adopted child, 2 are our nephews plus the grandparents of my ad have her half sister. My ex husband. Has no custody of our 3 never pays CS. Hasn't seen them in over 3 years. Yet I can't get a judge to take his parental rights. So my husband and I had to go through a CPS to make sure that my kids stayed with him and his sister if something happened to me.
My 2 nephews have been with us our whole marriage also. My SIL has full custody of the oldest and her and I share 50/50 of the youngest. Both bf are MIA.
My ad go's to see her grandparents and half sister everother week for 4 hours.
As you can see we've done our best to see that the childrens best interest is met. If there were laws for stepparents we wouldn't have to go through the red tape, cost the taxpayers money to look into my exhusband and run background checks though our part was taken care of when I adopted my DD. The idea I have is to make it so the cp is responsible for making his/her spouse the designated person who would signpapers, take over in emergencies, be the children's godparent in the will. Of course it wouldn't trump the rights of a fit NCP. But there's normally a good reason why a judge deems a parent unfit enough to be a NCP.
by on Sep. 10, 2012 at 4:25 PM
Replies (41-50):
loving2live
by on Sep. 11, 2012 at 7:11 PM
1 mom liked this
If a judge declares one bio parent unfit, the spouse of the other bio parent can adopt, solving the problem of legal stepparent rights. (otherwise I don't think stepparents should only have an extension of their spouse's rights, not their own.)

The problem comes when judges know that a parent is absent and not supporting a child, but refuses to remove their parental rights. THAT is what needs to be addressed in our country.
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chanizen
by Platinum Member on Sep. 11, 2012 at 7:12 PM
Who says the sm is the most sane person in the relationship? If you and dh divorced and got 50-50 (let's say).... Do I get to marry your dh and tell you how to parent your kids?

Can I put your child on ADHD meds against your will? Can I change their school and force you to pay half of private school tuition?

What if I convinced a judge you were a looney? What if i were a nurse and convinced a judge that with my alternate schedule and obvious caregiving skills. Then you would be ncp... Then do I get to be mommy to YOUR kids. Does that make you a ncp with NO rights because as the wife of the cp I SAY so?


Quoting MomGoingCrazy78:

I sign stuff for SD all the time, never been questioned about it. Didn't matter if it was for x-rays at the hospital or signing forms at school to administer medicine or even enroll her. I also take SD to dr. and dentist appts and eye exams. I have never once been asked for mom or dad to sign (they all know I am stepmom), but then again everyone knows me by now (it's been 7 years) and they know DH and I take care of SD. Each and every case is different and they should be looked at like that, not all grouped together. There are some stepparents who want NO responsibility whatsoever, that's their choice. Then there are those who do most of the work with their stepkids.


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loving2live
by on Sep. 11, 2012 at 7:14 PM
And I totally agree that if both bio parents are dead/unfit, the last Bio Parent should be able to leave the stepparent as guardian.
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saywhat2102
by Gold Member on Sep. 11, 2012 at 7:32 PM
1 mom liked this
So....in order for my stepson to stay with me if something happened to my husband I should have adopted him right away???!! I call bullshit! The child should stay within the home and to whom the child has been living with! If bm was alive that's one thing of course she would trump me but how in the hell would I even go about to fight her for him?! I'm sorry every sitch is dif and its a shame that I would have to adopt him without him being of age where he would totaly understand what I'm doing.
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jessiesluv
by on Sep. 11, 2012 at 8:25 PM

I didn't read everything, but I'm happy with what I got.

luckystars2012
by Gold Member on Sep. 11, 2012 at 9:47 PM

 

Quoting ShannaBee:

I think it's different between NCSMs and CSMs.

As a CSM: you live wih the child. I believe you should be considered a legal guardian/parent what-have-you. You should be able to sign forms, take them to doctor's offices, ect.

For a NCSM: the chiild is their on the weekends or whatever the custodial schedule is. I don't think a NCSM should have any "rights" or any involvment in things such as doctor's, school, ect.

I think it would be a scary world where an unrelated person can get right to your kid. I really don't think SMs should have rights. Maybe it'd be more convenient for a CSM to have an extension of her husband's rights but no actual legal rights unless she adopts.

It hink it should be case by case....we live several states away fromBM.  So when she had primary, but SS was here for visits, it was inevitable that sometimes he would be here with just me.  dad cant take 8 straight weeks off of work, kwim?  I work too but my job is flexible and I can work from home a lot, so it makes sense.  But if SS had broken his leg, or choked, or had an allergic reaction to something, I would not have been able to get him medical care without a special POA from dad.  BM couldnt exactly zip down here, and sometimes J could be up to 90 minutes away, or unreachable in a 3 hour meeting, or something.

Now that we are CP, I'm actually named as  joint CP with J in the new order, and I can handle anything and everything necessary to raising SS.  And No, J doesnt just leave it all on me, hes a VERY involved dad, but if the need arises, I can handle whatever happens. 

If it wasnt LD, and BM hadnt lost her kids to CPS, then it might be different. 

MomGoingCrazy78
by Lindy Lou on Sep. 11, 2012 at 10:31 PM


Quoting chanizen:

Who says the sm is the most sane person in the relationship? If you and dh divorced and got 50-50 (let's say).... Do I get to marry your dh and tell you how to parent your kids? I said each situation is different. In MY case, I do a lot for my SD. Not because I have to but because I WANT to, there's a difference. I go by the advice that DH gives me, I consult him when I take SD to dr and he makes the major decisions, but there have been times when he wasn't available at work, emergency came up with SD and I handled it (I also know how my DH thinks and what he wants done). So yes, I do help parent my SD. BM calls me for help with SD at times also. Yes I have even had to sign papers/dr forms because BM refused to show up for appt or whatever. BM knows this, it's not like she's not aware of what's happening.

Can I put your child on ADHD meds against your will? Can I change their school and force you to pay half of private school tuition? All decisions are talked about before anyone does anything, that should be a given in any scenerio. Schools have to be agreed upon if you want me to pay, etc.If it is going to be more beneficial for my child, then I would agree to change schools and I would pay. See, to me education is the most important thing besides health, of course.  These are things that are/should be spelled out in a CO. Yes I have gone against BM in a medical situation and dr. did what I asked. Why you ask? Because I had SD best interests at heart, not BM. DH told BM he would have fought her in court (and we would have won we later found out from a judge) if she would have tried to stop SD from getting the treatment that she needed and I was trying to get for her, BM did not want her to have it, "just because." Good reason, right?

What if I convinced a judge you were a looney? What if i were a nurse and convinced a judge that with my alternate schedule and obvious caregiving skills. Then you would be ncp... Then do I get to be mommy to YOUR kids. Does that make you a ncp with NO rights because as the wife of the cp I SAY so? Well considering my documentation that would be pretty hard to do (I am just a very organized person). That is why court battles are not pretty at all... But as a mom, I'd fight with everything I had, and with my family backing me up emotionally and financially (if I needed it) I could keep a court battle going until my child turned 18. That's just it, Id never give up on my kid/kids and the truth will always come out. Sometimes it takes a while, but eventually it always comes out. Guess that's why my husband has 50/50 of SD. I have soooo much documentation on BM that he could get sole custody. He doesn't want to take SD away from her BM, so he offered 50/50. That's one reason why I am so involved, him and I help BM with SD. BM is getting better at being mom and that's all him and I have ever wanted. SD benefits from having all 3 of us in her life and loving her, caring for her, etc. If my kids SM wanted to be involved, I'd invite her. I wouldn't mind someone else really loving and caring for my children when I wasn't around. Unfortunately for my children, their SM doesn't know that first thing about kids, and she's very uninvolved.
Quoting MomGoingCrazy78:

I sign stuff for SD all the time, never been questioned about it. Didn't matter if it was for x-rays at the hospital or signing forms at school to administer medicine or even enroll her. I also take SD to dr. and dentist appts and eye exams. I have never once been asked for mom or dad to sign (they all know I am stepmom), but then again everyone knows me by now (it's been 7 years) and they know DH and I take care of SD. Each and every case is different and they should be looked at like that, not all grouped together. There are some stepparents who want NO responsibility whatsoever, that's their choice. Then there are those who do most of the work with their stepkids.



soonergirl980
by Gold Member on Sep. 12, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Sp should not have rights at all. If you want rights adopt if you can adopt because of the other bio parent ih well. As a mother if my dh remarried and god forbid pass I shoukd be able to retain control over my child including who I allow in my chikds life. Period. Laws saying otherwise are such a violation of parental rights i despise grandparents rights as well. What if we both pass and I disagree with my child going to SP what if i want them to be with someone elsedo my choices get disregarded because of a marriage certificate? I dont think so. What about when you have multiple divorces and multiple steps? Are we going divide custody each of us get the kid one day a week?
momof2ex1
by Ruby Member on Sep. 12, 2012 at 1:11 AM
I completely 100% disagree. My ex is NCP and he absolutely was not deemed unfit. Being an NCP is not a punishment. Sure some cases have true 50/50. Not the case in all states. It's only one child. The child must live somewhere. You cannot divide the child in half. Two separate parents cannot split a child down the middle and both claim on their taxes. No way does my husband deserve more rights to my daughter than her own father. He is an involved NCP. He did not do anything wrong to get that title. He is not a bad parent or person. I am simply the residential parent and if I cannot do something for my child that requires assistance from another person, then that person should be her father. It does not automatically revert to my husband because I happen to be te custodial parent and he happen to marry me. No way. If someone wants rights to a kid, go have your own or adopt.
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momof2ex1
by Ruby Member on Sep. 12, 2012 at 1:24 AM
So what would happen if stepparents were given rights based on marriage and the status of the bio parent.

Scenario: BM and BD divorce. Each remarry. BD is custodial, giving SM legal rights to the child. BD and SM divorce. SM is granted visitation and ordered child support. (does that lower mom's obligation or is dad now banking off of two mom's?). BD remarries. New SM is given legal rights. So kid now has two bio parents, and 3 stepparents. The child's time is divided up between them all. BD and SM2 get divorced. SM 2 receives visitation and pays child support. (again dad is seriously banking he should quit his job but he can't quit his Job bc it is oh so important, so important he could never take off to actually be available to be a parent and take his kid to the dr.). Dad remarries yet again.

And before you say I'm being unreasonable. This all from a kid that had 3 stepmom's. All who thought that had some important role. All who thought they needed rights. All who thought they should be doing everything because dad just could not get off work to be the dad. Which is probably why the marriages ended to begin with.

And then what happens to the kid that is tied to so many different stepparents. I used dad as my scenario but how many of us know a mom that has had multiple marriages? My sister is going on 5.
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