Telling My Adult Daughter That I Took Custody of Her Son

Updated on September 28, 2006
B.K. asks from Tulsa, OK
14 answers

i have just taken custody of my 9 mo. old grandson. he has been in our home all but 3 1/2 months. from birth to 4 1/2 mo. he lived w/my husband and i so my daughter could get it together so she could be a good mom. she had him about 3 1/2 mo. then decided she couldn't deal anymore for awhile and needed a break so she left him with us again and left state. in order for him to have any medical care i had to get custody to be able to authorize anything. my daughter is under the impression that i will keep him till probably school age then let her have him back. that's not fair to him. my daughter will not listen to reason when i tell her and accuse me of stealing her son from her. how do i tell her without it destroying our relationship? she knows she can call him anytime and that she can always come see him. by the way my daughter is a self-mutilater when stressed. she is 23 and has already lost a daughter to d.h.s. in texas at the age of 19. all family members are behind me on this.

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So What Happened?

my husband i was awarded emergency temp custody on razeon's 9 mo. birthday and have a court date for full guardianship on Nov. 13th. I did tell my daughter that i had to get guardianship in order to provide any needed emergency services or get any aid for him. she was upset of course but handled it well. 3 days later she cut herself again. I have begged her to get help for herself. to be open and honest with her pschologist and get to the root of her problems so she will be around for razzie. she said she is afraid i will take razzie from her and i have assured her that she will always be able to see him and talk to him on the phone. she said she knows that she will have to settle down when he starts school, because he will need stability then. in the next breath she said that i could keep him during the school year then she will take him during the summer. razzie has already adopted me and my husband as his parents, but my daughter will always be his mother. pray for my daughter's recovery. i want to thank everyone for their responses. god bless.

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answers from Tulsa on

To tell you the truth, she won't ever be truly okay with it. However, she may come to accept the situation in time.

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answers from Springfield on

thank goodness that he has you to care for and love him. your daughter needs to get her life together and quit thinking her kids are a ping-pong game. he needs love and stability forever. Not just when she feels like parenting. my grandparents raised me for a time due to my mom's addiction problem. they stepped in and took over for my benefit! you are doing this for him ,not a punishment to her. she's the one that messed up. let's hope she's not out having more children to dump somewhere. may God bless you and your family.

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answers from Kansas City on

Were I you, I would move to adopt your grandson. I don't know that there's any way that you can "keep the peace" with your daughter. What you have to decide is this: which is more important, that an innocent child have a normal, stable home life, or that your daughter is happy with you? I know which one I would go for, even though it would NOT make her happy. She doesn't get to be the one everyone is struggling to make happy anymore. She gave that right up when she gave birth to her son.

I think you already know what you need to do. God bless you for taking him in. It sounds as if your daughter believes he is a pet who can be moved from home to home without repercussions. I am sure he has bonded with you, and you to him.

I have seen what being bounced from home to home does to a child, as a teacher.

Good luck!


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answers from Kansas City on

I believe it's very commendable for you to want to care for and love your grandson this way. But I would like to caution you on a couple of things. First of all, you are still the child's grandmother. Your also your child's mother. That means, you need to want what's best for both of them, not just your grandson. Your daughter has a terrible problem with the cutting and whatever emotions are driving her to do such a thing. Someday, she'll have to deal with it or it could lead to something much worse. As her mother, you should not want to see her spiral any more out of control. I absolutely believe you need to tell her that you will do anything to keep your grandson safe. That means she needs to get help. But I don't care if it takes 1 year or 10. If she does get help and she does get her life together, you need to step aside and allow her to try and forge a relationship with her son. That is what will be best for both of them.

I've watched these types of scenarios play out for years in the lives of my daycare children. All kids want and desire to have a good relationship with their parents. Even though your grandson will likely see you as his mom now and for several years to come, he'll figure it out eventually. He'll know he has a mom out there and he could resent you if he feels your standing in the way.

It sounds like you really do want what's best for your grandson and I imagine your tired of dealing with your daughters issues. I'd love to pray for your daughter. If you ever want to keep me abreast of just some of the current details I'll keep you all in my prayers.

Hang in there



answers from St. Louis on

You need to call a lawyer. If/when you sue for custody, there will be a hearing (probably several) at which your daughter must be present. She can either sign over her custody rights, or you'll have to prove through DCFS or another state agency that she's unfit. Either way, if you do pursue legal custody, then the dept. of family services (or whatever the equivalent is in MO) will become involved, and probably visit your homes several times and/or make you attend parenting classes, esp. if you seek foster care payments from the state.
My mother had custody of my brother's daughter for 2 years, when she was 8 and 9 years old, after her mom was arrested on drug charges. The state finally awarded her custody (the mom) after that time, even though she continues to fail her drug tests, and routinely skips her visititation sessions. My neice also told the judge that she did not want to go back to her mom. She also have 3 other kids farmed out to other relatives. I've been told most judges have the opinion that kids are better off with their parents, even if their parents are obviously unfit, so it's an uphill battle. My mother lives in IL, so the procedures may be different in MO. Either way, you should concentrate on what's best for that baby, and not his mother (as hard as that is). Good luck.



answers from St. Louis on

I think it is great that you want to assist your daughter. You obviously care about your grandson a lot. However, I'm not sure that you should have sought custody without discussing it with her first. By shutting her out to make decisions for her son you are not doing her (or your grandson) any favors. She needs to learn how to be a parent/adult, but it sounds like you're still treating her like a child. She obviously has some problems- are you doing anything to help her? I know I'm an outsider, but it just seems that you're enabling her by just taking over her son's life. If she isn't there now to help (even in small ways that are manageable for her now or just being around) she isn't ever going to be there and while I'm sure you're very loving you're still not mom. She needs to be taught to be there and she needs to be taught responsibility. She also needs to be treated for whatever problems she is having.

I hope that this doesn't come off as too harsh. I am sure that you are doing the best you can to fix the problem at hand. However, I'm not so sure that you're looking at the big picture for your family.



answers from Springfield on

Wow Barb that is really a sad thing to try and deal with. I haev never been threw that but I have helped a friend threw it. When her parents did it to her. I did learn that after a few months she will see that its for the best. Maybe you should just sit down and tell her that she can see the child and call the child whenever she wants but its unfair to be flopping the child from place to place. When the child is older then she will understand. When it has values and moral and physical support. Not saying that your daughter cant give that it jsut sounds like she has problems giving tht too her self. Believe it or not the first years I think are the easiest it gets harder as they get older. Good luck and my prayers are with you



answers from Oklahoma City on

Watch out you may have a whole new family before your done...My sister in law has had these same kind of problems and her mother took her son a long time ago and lied to him about who his mom was until he was over twelve. He thought his mom was his sister! After him she had a little girl and eventually mom stepped in and took that one too... then she had two more boys and got the girl back for the most part...Now she doesn't really have the coping skills because being a mother isn't a choice its an obligation. She has always been given a way out so easily that I can't help but think she says to herself oh well if I get strung out Mom will take them...So now Mom says if you screw up again your kids are going to foster care and I think it helps her to stay out of trouble. The twelve year old wanted to live with her at first but quickly realized that it wouldn't work out.

The funny thing is I've heard stories of the past and Mom wasn't any better than her own daughter when she was raising them...stripping, drugs, men not enough food ect. It is hard being a young mother especially these days.

You did steal her son, she will always see it like that, they are always the victim. Not the child she left, god no he would have been just fine for 3 months without you or her right? This is never going to be an easy situation and my mamabear instinct always gets me angry a little when I hear about this kind of stuff. Truth is the child is just more important right now, and as long as you are giving her access to him and communicating with eachother there is hope...But you can't save everyone and you don't want her having more kids to neglect.

If this happened to me I would steal my child in the middle of the night if I had too, and you would never see or hear from me again. But that is because I love my kids so much and I could never leave them, been there since day one. I see so many mothers who suck... I just don't understand how they can be so worthless when it comes to their own...

Just do your best and don't try to manipulate your daughter into screwing herself over or use her child as a tool when you are angry. Try to give her the support she needs and be honest with her about your feelings and what you are trying to do. Don't lie to her and explain your intentions...whatever they are. Don't lie to her child about who he is, thats just awful...and good luck because this is not easy and it feels pretty yucky all around.



answers from Kansas City on

Good for you, you are being a responsible Grandparent! Although it is difficult, you have to keep your Grandchild safe and living with a mom who self-mutilates (unstable) is not a safe place for a child. Your daughter has proven that she can not take care of her children. Children are not like cars, you can't just drive them when you have somewhere to go. It is a full time job. Maybe in time, your daughter will realize what you are doing for her and her child. It sounds like she needs psych. help and possibly some parenting classes.




answers from Rockford on

Maybe try to have a social worker or someone talk to her and let her know that taking her son from you when he's probably basically seen u as his mom since his real mom wasn't there would be very confusing and devastating to his well being.



answers from Springfield on

You would know better than anyone when the right time to discuss it is, but don't let it go too long without a discussion. My opinion would be something over the phone at first so that if she reacts badly over it, it won't be in front of the baby. Make sure she knows that the baby's best interest is your only priority, and you don't want to see another grandchild lost. She needs to get help for herself. Realize that she can get him back if and when she can prove herself to be a fit and stable mother, but if she can truely do that, she will be at a place in her life to appreciate the fact that she has a good mother there to help her keep her child from being sent into foster care, which would be harder for her to see him then than when he is with her family, or from something bad happening to him when she gets stressed. She could hurt herself badly enough that she couldn't prevent him from getting hurt somehow also. I think you are doing a very admirable thing by putting your life on hold to make sure your grandbaby is safe and being well taken care of. Good luck to you, your daughter, and grandson. I hope it works out for all of you.



answers from St. Louis on

Don't worry about your daughter. Worry about what is best for the baby. Your daughter can take care of herself, the baby can't. If she is not ready to care for the child, eventually she will grow to understand that this was best for the baby. Babies need a stable loving environment, where there is dependable caretakers. If she is not ready for that.........

I bet she will come to understand and forgive in time. She will realize that this is not an attack on her, but the best thing for her child.




answers from Wichita on

What is dhs?
Everything happens in God's world for a kids went to see thier grandparents for the summer while I lived in a Recovey home,this was the choice I made to be there. While there the GP's took custody w/o telling me THAT ruined our relationship,them NOT telling me. Had they told me I wouldv'e agreed due to the fact that I needed to "get my life together".
Tell your daughter,if she gets upset so be it. In the end she will realize you are only doing what is best for the child,not for you or her's sake. PRAY the answer will come. Take care



answers from Lincoln on

All I want to say is that you are a trooper! You are doing the right thing here as your daughter is not ready to care for her children yet. Just explain that you needed to do it for medical reasons and that when she is ready, she can work toward getting him back one day. Keep working hard!

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