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Help!! Could this Step Parent Adoption be the right choice?

Posted by on Jan. 2, 2014 at 9:53 PM
  • 40 Replies

 

Poll

Question: What choice would be the best choice for my DSD emotionally not just right now but for the rest of her life. Read Post below for more details.

Options:

Make BM stay and fulfill parental obligation

Adopt SD and remove BM from her life

Adopt SD and remove BM from financial obligations while still allowing them to visit every so often on our terms


Only group members can vote in this poll.

Total Votes: 21

View Results

First I will start with a little background information. My DH and I have 2 DD's. The oldest of which is my "step daughter." I put it that way because I don't like to use the term as to me it makes our relationship seem less meaningful. We have been together since she was 5 months old and had our other DD 11 months later. He left BM right after my SD birth due to mental illness (BPD) and threats of killing herself in front of my SD. For 2 years it was a battle to keep her and we walked away with us having full physical and joint legal and her paying child support. She has been continuously unstable having moved over a dozen times since 06' and had over 30 jobs. She is permitted every other weekend and every Wednesday night 2/3 of which she doesn't take and when she does its inconsistent. Initially my SD didn't want to go and she would cry and throw temper tantrums however the past couple years she has started looking forward to it or at least being ok with going.

Here is the issue: This past year BM moved to the opposite side of the country to live with her mom due to financial reasons. 4 months ago she was put in contempt of court for failure to pay child support. She has still been coming to see my SD occasionally and spoiling her as usual mind you. Then last month they put out a warrant for her arrest. She was arrested this week and posted bail the next day. However she still isn't out of the woods. She has a bail hearing on Monday that my DH was told he could go to. We found all this out today from the case worker.

He decided to call BM to find out what is going on and she just broke down saying she can't go back to jail as she has a mental disorder and can't work so she is filed for disability (something she has been saying for 2 months). However she is trying to use this as a reason for not paying and is panicking about the hearing. During this conversation she brought up the idea of me adopting SD instead. Now normally we would jump for joy as we never thought this day would ever come or those words would ever come out of her mouth. Especially after all the times we have brought up her instability and mental games she would play in the past with us and my SD. This time she seems so desperate and lost.

My DH tried to give her the option of leaving for a year and getting her stuff together but she doesn't want to do that. She won't even entertain the idea. Instead she wants us to tell her this is the right thing to do and go forward with the adoption process. We told her this needs to be her decision and she needs to weigh the differences to do what's truly in the best interest of SD.  A lot of her reason for doing this are because she says I am a great mom and she will never compare. She thinks this is the right fit so my SD will have a good life. She also stated it's too hard to do this as every time my SD is with her she refers to me as Mom and always calls her by her first name. This was a shocker to us since she has always known I wasn't her BM and she was free to call me anything but has always called me mom and her mommy "FN" (something she started doing at home on her own).

So here we are in this predicament of trying to do what is the right thing by my SD. She has a connection with BM and loves her but is only 7 and gets angry about how many times she gets let down or lied to already. So we are faced with trying to figure out do we go through with the adoption process and let BM walk away scott free no financial or physical obligations so she can straighten out her life and hope to have her stuff together by the time my SD is an adult (which could emotionally hurt SD). OR do we make her buck up deal with the consequences of failing to pay for her child support and continue to allow our SD to be exposed to her unstable lifestyle of moving from one place to another staying at hotels every so often and never knowing if the next time she says she will get to go see BM is the truth or just another lie BM told her. I would gladly adopt my SD in a heartbeat as she will always be just my DD and that would not change either way I just don't want to be the reason her BM gave up her rights. Any input, past experiences or anything really would be helpful at this point since my DH and I just want what's best for my SD without putting this choice on her or being forced to make the decision that wasn't even our idea.

by on Jan. 2, 2014 at 9:53 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Tillymommie
by Silver Member on Jan. 2, 2014 at 9:59 PM

I don't think adoption is the right choice

family4ever0608
by Member on Jan. 2, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Tillymommie- I was wondering if you could give me your reason for saying its not the right choice. That would be greatly appreciated. TY

HopesNDreams
by Silver Member on Jan. 2, 2014 at 10:08 PM
2 moms liked this
You do nothing. None of this is your choice to make and you should not be giving any input to BM.

If BM manages to qualify for disability at any point, your SD will also get a check. If BM's crazy lifestyle results in her early death, your SD will get a support check. These are the only potential support details you have from the type of BM in your situation.

BM is likely going to walk away. If she does and is gone for a year or longer without ANY contact, then start discussing adoption. Anything before that point is premature. The only thing you need to be dealing with is helping that little girl deal with the mentally ill adult in her life. In addition, that type of mental illness has a high incidence of being passed on. Typically, it emerges in adolescence or young adulthood. You will need to potentially be prepared for that as well.

I've had your experience. You are worried about the wrong things right now. Change your choices:
1. Therapy to deal with a mentally ill parent
2. Not telling SD when mom is coming until one hour before when BM has confirmed and the visit is definite
3. Disregard all issues of support, adoption, visitation in favor of focusing on SD
4. All of the above
MommyTo5Boys
by Member on Jan. 2, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Wow this sounds almost exactly like our situation up until the adoption part. Everything else is almost the exact same situation, kids age, mom's BP, Mom's non-payment of support, failure to visit (altho with us she hasn't seen them in years and is currently in prison). We dream of the day BM will say this to us, altho I have also though about it and can not decide if I would do it under the circumstance of her only doing it to avoid jail .... I don't know what I would do if that situation ever came up either.

Anyway, no one can tell you what is right or wrong. You just have to do what is right for you and your family. Have you talked to SD about this? How does DH feel? 

 

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family4ever0608
by Member on Jan. 2, 2014 at 10:28 PM

 I realize her being on disability is going to benefit my SD. This is not the issue. I have input because BM wants my input on what she should do. My SD is already in the process of getting counseling as up until this point we were doing parental therapy by recommendation of the therapist due to her age. Also we do not tell her about her visits with BM its BM who is telling her about the visits and leaving it to us to tell my SD when she doesn't come why she isn't there. We are trying to make the decision that is in my SD best interest. Given the circumstances I dont know what more we can do. We are only entertaining the Idea because BM wants it to be this way.

Quoting HopesNDreams: You do nothing. None of this is your choice to make and you should not be giving any input to BM.

If BM manages to qualify for disability at any point, your SD will also get a check. If BM's crazy lifestyle results in her early death, your SD will get a support check. These are the only potential support details you have from the type of BM in your situation.

BM is likely going to walk away. If she does and is gone for a year or longer without ANY contact, then start discussing adoption. Anything before that point is premature. The only thing you need to be dealing with is helping that little girl deal with the mentally ill adult in her life. In addition, that type of mental illness has a high incidence of being passed on. Typically, it emerges in adolescence or young adulthood. You will need to potentially be prepared for that as well.

I've had your experience. You are worried about the wrong things right now. Change your choices:
1. Therapy to deal with a mentally ill parent
2. Not telling SD when mom is coming until one hour before when BM has confirmed and the visit is definite
3. Disregard all issues of support, adoption, visitation in favor of focusing on SD
4. All of the above

 

HopesNDreams
by Silver Member on Jan. 2, 2014 at 10:32 PM
1 mom liked this
BM wants it to be that way to absolve herself of responsibility. Until you do it. Then she will attack because you are trying to steal her baby. It will be a endless spiral into hell.

Just tell BM you will look into it. Let her walk away if that is what she wants to do. Live your lives. Be happy and pretend she doesn't exist for as long as she will allow you to. If she disappears long enough, then pursue the idea of adoption. If she is truly gone, it will be much easier.


Quoting family4ever0608:

 I realize her being on disability is going to benefit my SD. This is not the issue. I have input because BM wants my input on what she should do. My SD is already in the process of getting counseling as up until this point we were doing parental therapy by recommendation of the therapist due to her age. Also we do not tell her about her visits with BM its BM who is telling her about the visits and leaving it to us to tell my SD when she doesn't come why she isn't there. We are trying to make the decision that is in my SD best interest. Given the circumstances I dont know what more we can do. We are only entertaining the Idea because BM wants it to be this way.



Quoting HopesNDreams: You do nothing. None of this is your choice to make and you should not be giving any input to BM.

If BM manages to qualify for disability at any point, your SD will also get a check. If BM's crazy lifestyle results in her early death, your SD will get a support check. These are the only potential support details you have from the type of BM in your situation.

BM is likely going to walk away. If she does and is gone for a year or longer without ANY contact, then start discussing adoption. Anything before that point is premature. The only thing you need to be dealing with is helping that little girl deal with the mentally ill adult in her life. In addition, that type of mental illness has a high incidence of being passed on. Typically, it emerges in adolescence or young adulthood. You will need to potentially be prepared for that as well.

I've had your experience. You are worried about the wrong things right now. Change your choices:
1. Therapy to deal with a mentally ill parent
2. Not telling SD when mom is coming until one hour before when BM has confirmed and the visit is definite
3. Disregard all issues of support, adoption, visitation in favor of focusing on SD
4. All of the above


 

family4ever0608
by Member on Jan. 2, 2014 at 10:34 PM

 We have talked to her and she said she would be sad if BM went away for a long time but she would be OK if she can see her some times as long as BM doesnt lie about it than she would be mad. My DH is questioning her motives on wanting me to Adopt my SD but also in the same position as I am about what choice is in the best interest of my SD emotional well being.We have not told my SD that her BM is thinking about this as she is only 7 and cant fully comprehend the situation especially when we haven't all come to a decision on what route to do.

Quoting MommyTo5Boys:

Wow this sounds almost exactly like our situation up until the adoption part. Everything else is almost the exact same situation, kids age, mom's BP, Mom's non-payment of support, failure to visit (altho with us she hasn't seen them in years and is currently in prison). We dream of the day BM will say this to us, altho I have also though about it and can not decide if I would do it under the circumstance of her only doing it to avoid jail .... I don't know what I would do if that situation ever came up either.

Anyway, no one can tell you what is right or wrong. You just have to do what is right for you and your family. Have you talked to SD about this? How does DH feel? 

 

 

family4ever0608
by Member on Jan. 2, 2014 at 10:38 PM

 You actually make a great point about that. Thanks for your input.

Quoting HopesNDreams: BM wants it to be that way to absolve herself of responsibility. Until you do it. Then she will attack because you are trying to steal her baby. It will be a endless spiral into hell.

Just tell BM you will look into it. Let her walk away if that is what she wants to do. Live your lives. Be happy and pretend she doesn't exist for as long as she will allow you to. If she disappears long enough, then pursue the idea of adoption. If she is truly gone, it will be much easier.


MommyTo5Boys
by Member on Jan. 2, 2014 at 10:41 PM

If she willing signs over rights though and you 2 do agree to it and then BM changes her mind claiming it was her BP that made her do it I wonder if the adoption will hold up???

Does SD have a Law guardian? 

Quoting family4ever0608:

 We have talked to her and she said she would be sad if BM went away for a long time but she would be OK if she can see her some times as long as BM doesnt lie about it than she would be mad. My DH is questioning her motives on wanting me to Adopt my SD but also in the same position as I am about what choice is in the best interest of my SD emotional well being.We have not told my SD that her BM is thinking about this as she is only 7 and cant fully comprehend the situation especially when we haven't all come to a decision on what route to do.

Quoting MommyTo5Boys:

Wow this sounds almost exactly like our situation up until the adoption part. Everything else is almost the exact same situation, kids age, mom's BP, Mom's non-payment of support, failure to visit (altho with us she hasn't seen them in years and is currently in prison). We dream of the day BM will say this to us, altho I have also though about it and can not decide if I would do it under the circumstance of her only doing it to avoid jail .... I don't know what I would do if that situation ever came up either.

Anyway, no one can tell you what is right or wrong. You just have to do what is right for you and your family. Have you talked to SD about this? How does DH feel? 

 



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HopesNDreams
by Silver Member on Jan. 2, 2014 at 10:43 PM
As long as BM is in the picture in any way, there is nothing you can say to SD that wouldn't be soul crushing. There is no amount of love that you could have for her that could ever balance out the idea that her mother is willing to just give her up. It would be different if BM was gone. While she is in and out, it just looks like she wants to dump SD and move on to better things. Seven year old interpretations of things simplify it down to very cruel explanations.

Quoting family4ever0608:

 We have talked to her and she said she would be sad if BM went away for a long time but she would be OK if she can see her some times as long as BM doesnt lie about it than she would be mad. My DH is questioning her motives on wanting me to Adopt my SD but also in the same position as I am about what choice is in the best interest of my SD emotional well being.We have not told my SD that her BM is thinking about this as she is only 7 and cant fully comprehend the situation especially when we haven't all come to a decision on what route to do.


Quoting MommyTo5Boys:

Wow this sounds almost exactly like our situation up until the adoption part. Everything else is almost the exact same situation, kids age, mom's BP, Mom's non-payment of support, failure to visit (altho with us she hasn't seen them in years and is currently in prison). We dream of the day BM will say this to us, altho I have also though about it and can not decide if I would do it under the circumstance of her only doing it to avoid jail .... I don't know what I would do if that situation ever came up either.


Anyway, no one can tell you what is right or wrong. You just have to do what is right for you and your family. Have you talked to SD about this? How does DH feel? 

 


 

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