Seeking Advice for Daughter-in-law.....

Updated on October 17, 2006
L.W. asks from Austell, GA
7 answers

My daughter-in-law (married my son five months ago) insists that an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her little boy (3 at the time) and she has no clue as to her son's whereabouts. She says the father never signed the birth certificate (making her the only custodial parent). She said the ex's mother mentioned guardianship papers from Judge Sidney Nation's office at the Rockdale County Courthouse, but she insists she never signed anything. Since the child will be school age soon, I told her unless guardianship papers were forged, I'm sure they can't register him for school, without legal custody papers. Anyway, my daughter-in-law gets depressed, and cries frequently, missing her little boy so bad. She said she notified the authorities at the time, but nothing ever came of it. I'm confused about the whole thing. I'm not sure what or if there is anything I can do to help. She keeps telling my son, she will keep looking for her son, and that when she finds him, he will be living with her. I told her she should go to the courthouse to see if there were any papers filed without her consent. That would be a starting point. And then maybe get the authorities involved again. Anyone in the legal field have any good advice?
Thanks, Mom Again-L.

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So What Happened?

I would like to thank all of you for your advice and information. It has been very helpful and I have been doing some research on my own. But have not been able to go to the courthouse at this time. I also believe it is possible that my daughter-in-law's ex (or his mother) is hoping to keep the little boy away from her long enough to get her for abandonment. I am just watching for things unfold gradually. My daughter-in-law insists that as soon as she gets her driver's license reinstated, she is going to begin searching for her son. Which will be very soon. We shall see.

More Answers



answers from Memphis on

I work in the legal field. You gave her the right advice go to the Court house and see if any papers were filed. If there were papers reguarding change of custody there would have been a court date. If papers were signed giving over custody they would have to be notorized which the notary is suppose to check id. Hire a private investigator to find her son if she can afford it. This is kidnapping its weird the cops are not doing anything. If papers are not at the Court house she needs to go to Juvenile Court. I dont know what state this is in some cities have seperate courts.



answers from Atlanta on

Get the form to apply for a birth certificate, help her fill it out and mail it for her. You can also apply for a social security card or a copy of one she was already issued. There should be shot records as well. I would have the information mailed to my home, all to help her. If she is depressed she will not do any of this but should not object to you helping,
doing it for her. If she truely gave birth to a child someone is claiming this child on tax returns. You should quietly go to the courthouse and search yourself. Most things are public record and the people at the court house will tell you how to start searching. Do you know the ex's parents names? I would get all the information I could and if she has been honest, then I would help her and suggest that she see her regular doctor about the depression. Your son might even know more than he's telling you. Be careful!



answers from Atlanta on


There may be more to this story than you are hearing. I don't know your DIL and hate to judge people, but my ex-SIL signed away her rights to her first son and allowed my dad and step-mother to adopt him (and even change his last name) when he was under a year old. He is 8 1/2 now and knows all this.

She later re-married and had another son. She and hubby # 2 are also now divorced and share joint custody of that son. But when she meets new people that don't know her and the history (unfortunately we live in a small town and it's always hard to get away from the skeletons), she tells them she is a single mother of 2.

Before you get too upset at the situation, and the fact that your new DIL isn't "doing" anything to find her son, you might want to go to the courthouse yourself and check out all the facts. Custody papers, etc. should be open records that you can get copies of.

Good luck to you. No matter what the real story is, your DIL needs to get counseling to deal with her inner turmoil and gain the ability to live her life in peace and happiness.



answers from Memphis on

As expensive as it is... I would hire a lawyer. He can access more records than you can alone, and can do more about educating on the process/procedures/laws involved in what has happened, and what her best course of action would be.

If you guys can do some of the research on your own, that is a headstart for the lawyer.

A lot of counties, such as Shelby County TN and Desoto County MS publish case information online. Not detailed paperwork usually, but if he actually did file for guardianship then there should be at least a record that it happened, and a case number. Using this case number she could go to the courthouse and obtain a copy of whatever he filed, or whatever was ordered.

I'll pray for your daughter-in-law!



answers from Atlanta on

i have to say that this story is really strange....if his name is not on the birth certifcate i would think that it would be very hard to get guardianship. my fathers was on mine and when i went to live with him the school would not let me enroll because he was not my legal guardian. i smell something fishy...

not to be ugly, but does she have some mental problems possibly? it just sounds very strange?



answers from Memphis on

I would check on the missing persons list and also the association for missing/ exploited children.
If the name is not there, then no file/complaint has been made...
Another possibility is that custody may have been taken away from her for some reason and she is ashamed to tell.
You should ask her some questions and get really involved Like say lets call the news channel and see if they will run a story on the missing child, If it's a hoaz, she will not want to make those calls.



answers from Huntsville on

In the movies, people can always disappear without a trace... Nowadays with the internet, it is pretty hard. I would think it would not be that difficult or even very expensive to locate this guy. If she really has a son, and he was really kidnapped, she should run, not walk to the district attorney's office and try to do something. Crying is great to relieve tension, but it sure doe not get anything accomplished...

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