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  1. #1

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    Getting custody of my nephew

    My husband and I have petitioned for custody of our nephew. My sister-in-law left him with an older woman for over a month and she reported him as abandoned. His social worker that we have spoken to feels that we have a very good chance of being awarded custody by the judge especially since we are the only blood relatives that have stepped forward to take him. My sister-in-law has been arrested and taken to jail since he was taken and is now waiting for her court date to arrive. (The charge is petty theft) To give you a brief history, she has been involved with an abusive boyfriend on and off for the past 10 years. He is the alleged father of this child although that has yet to be determined. He is currently serving time for a number of years for violations too numerous to count. They are both heavy drug users and my sister-in-law has admitted to prostituting when she needs drugs or the money to buy them. This is her fourth child and she does not have custody of any of the first three. They were all taken at birth or shortly thereafter for various reasons. My nephews case worker is trying to have him placed with us and to have all parental rights revoked. My question is, because of her past history and the fact that she does not have any of her children, will my sister-in-law be given the normal amount of time and opportunity to regain custody? Can we hope that maybe her rights will be taken in a shorter amount of time than that of a first offender (for lack of a better word)? My husband and I are thinking of adopting him but we also feel that he may be better off with an adoptive family so he never has to be exposed to my sister-in-law and her issues. There is a slight chance that she may agree to this if my husband askes her but we don't want to jeopordize any chances that we have to get him. She is the type of person who would later change her mind and say that we forced her into signing away her rights. In information or advice about our situation would be greatly appreciated. Thank you to all who take the time to read and respond to this.


  2. Moderator Honorable Colleague

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    I don't know if anyone here can offer you any advice. It sounds as though the you're doing all the right things.

    How old is your nephew? Does CPS believe that he is 'adoptable'? I only ask because sometimes older children are difficult to place. It seems preferable that your nephew lives with you rather than in a foster home.

    Since CPS is already talking about TPR, it seems that they may not be considering reunification. They're the people to ask though.

    I wouldn't bother asking your SIL about anything. Let CPS handle it. If her rights are terminated, legally your nephew will never have to have anything more to do with her.

    Good luck.
    I'm not a lawyer

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  4. #3

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    My nephew is 6mo. We have decided not to speak to her. She's too unstable and unpredictable. We only fear that once she is released, (which is next week), she will take him and leave the state. She has lots of "friends" in the next state and two have already tried to gain custody of him but thankfully CPS wouldn't approve of them. The court date for custody has been set for October but we are trying to get it sooner. Because noone has been in contact with my SIL in a long time, it took three weeks for CPS to track down any members of the family. By that time, "temporary emergency custody" was already given to the lady that he was left with and reported him as abandoned. There is a protective order in place but this will not stop her from taking him. She does not fear going back to prison. Thank you again for your reply. There may be no advice that can given but any unbiased opinions are welcome. Sometimes it helps to hear an outsiders view so you can act rationally instead of emotionally. Thank you again.

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    I don't know where to begin. Help please

    My sister is a supposed ex drug addict. I know that she is still doing drugs and so is her boyfriend I just don't have any solid evidence to prove it. My 18mth old nephew lives with her and my husband and I want custody of him. She neglects him and does not take care of him. Everything he needs to survive (food, clothes, etc) either my mother, or my husband and I provide for him. She lays around the house and sleeps all day and puts him in his pack-n-play and ignores him. I don't know where to begin to get custody of him without much evidence. DCFS is already involved but she keeps avoiding them or lying to them to keep custody of her son. Do I even have a leg to stand on. I want only what is best for my little nephew and I feel that is not being met at this time. Please help with any advice that you have.

  6. #5
    Moderator Samaritan & Scholar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashley W View Post
    My sister is a supposed ex drug addict. I know that she is still doing drugs and so is her boyfriend I just don't have any solid evidence to prove it. My 18mth old nephew lives with her and my husband and I want custody of him. She neglects him and does not take care of him. Everything he needs to survive (food, clothes, etc) either my mother, or my husband and I provide for him. She lays around the house and sleeps all day and puts him in his pack-n-play and ignores him. I don't know where to begin to get custody of him without much evidence. DCFS is already involved but she keeps avoiding them or lying to them to keep custody of her son. Do I even have a leg to stand on. I want only what is best for my little nephew and I feel that is not being met at this time. Please help with any advice that you have.


    Starting your own thread would be best.

    But, basically, if DCFS is already involved you're pretty much stuck with waiting to see the results of any investigation.

    If they do not find a reason to remove the child, that's the end of it. You will have no chance at getting custody unless both parents voluntarily agree to you doing so. If the child is removed, you can offer yourself as a potential placement.

    Bear in mind though, that the eventual goal will be to reunite the child with the parent/s whenever possible.

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