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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 (61-65):
ShannaBee
by on Sep. 12, 2012 at 4:36 PM


Quoting Pero1:

 

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.

 

What about the 50/50s though? Whilst I don't believe any stepparent is custodial (BPs are), in theory my DD's SM would be CSM 50% of the time. Why should she be considered a legal guardian/parent when there is a perfectly good (better than her) and involved BM (moi), who lives nearby, does 80% of the work anyway, pays 80% of all costs anyway etc. etc.?

You're right, Pero. I didn't think about a 50/50 situation. I may have to revise what I've said. I was thinking about CSMs who are CSMs by way of BM's death or abandonment.

If BM is still alive, has 50/50 then she is still around. So there is no need for SM to need any legal rights or whatever. I was thinking of the cases where there is no BM around.


 

packermomof2
by on Sep. 12, 2012 at 5:47 PM


Quoting Pero1:


Quoting thickerthan:

she shouldn't as I said I only wanted peoples ideas. I think your right. But maybe in the case if the bf passed on the sm with 50% should have visitation rights and since you would revive death benifits in lou of CS I think it would be in the childs best interest to continue as they had. Expecialy if their are other siblings involved. Or the SM and child are close.

Can't see the connection of the part in red!


In America your dependants receive SSI (your spouse as well) if you become disabled or deceased.  I think OP is thinking that mom needs to suck up to mom so that SM will pay the kids the benefits they are technically entitled to under SS...reality is no one has to go through the former SP for them.  The parent with custody can apply on behalf of the children. 

If one was required to go throug SM and she wouldn't pay UNLESS mom was willing to let a former SM in her kids lives I bet many women would forgo SS benefits altogether if it meant not having some woman try to pay off a parent.

As to the OP:

No, SPs, not even residential ones need rights. 

mom2boys664
by Bronze Member on Sep. 12, 2012 at 6:19 PM
So say if my stepsons mom doesn't see them for 10 years and they don't even know who she is because they were so young when she left -but because she refuses to give up rights and the judge wont take then away from her, if my husband died I (the person who's been in their life for 10 years and the only mom they have ever know) have no need for rights? That makes no sense to me. I agree there are issues to be worked out, but SM should not be a "legal stranger".


Quoting packermomof2:



Quoting Pero1:



Quoting thickerthan:

she shouldn't as I said I only wanted peoples ideas. I think your right. But maybe in the case if the bf passed on the sm with 50% should have visitation rights and since you would revive death benifits in lou of CS I think it would be in the childs best interest to continue as they had. Expecialy if their are other siblings involved. Or the SM and child are close.

Can't see the connection of the part in red!



In America your dependants receive SSI (your spouse as well) if you become disabled or deceased.  I think OP is thinking that mom needs to suck up to mom so that SM will pay the kids the benefits they are technically entitled to under SS...reality is no one has to go through the former SP for them.  The parent with custody can apply on behalf of the children. 

If one was required to go throug SM and she wouldn't pay UNLESS mom was willing to let a former SM in her kids lives I bet many women would forgo SS benefits altogether if it meant not having some woman try to pay off a parent.

As to the OP:

No, SPs, not even residential ones need rights. 


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
deb716
by Member on Sep. 12, 2012 at 6:50 PM

As a CSM I believe sp should have at least visitation rightsin cases of death or divorce whether they were csp or ncsp. The trickier issue is custody rights for the csp in the event of the cbp's death. I think that in the case of death of the cbp and the fitness of the other bp is in question the csp should be considered to retain custody. As another poster stated they should be considered a "relative" of the child. If the other bp has been an absentee parent, has had only sporadic visitation, has not paid co child support ,etc. then i think the involved csp should have the right to petition for custody of the sk. Then a judge should determine if it is in the best interest of the child to stay with the csp or if the remaining bp can provide a stable home for the child.  This would have to be done on a case-by-case basis. I think the presense of half-siblings should factor in also. Children who are old enough should have some say in where they live however their opinion should be the only factor for determining custody. There are so many factors to consider.

pdxmum
by Platinum Member on Sep. 12, 2012 at 9:10 PM

BUMP!

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