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.