Post # 1
Hello fellow bees I have a legal question or just hoping for legal advice. My cousin is an unfit mother to her two boys. She is six months pregnant and has expressed to
ME many times she dOesnt want this baby especially now that she knows it’s a boy. FI and I offered to take custody and at first she was Onboard. One week later she has changed her mind and wants to keep him. They will live in a tiny one bedroom apartment and she will have the bassinet in the living room wHile her and her other two share the bedroom. Today she asked if I could take him for a few months while she gets her head together. I haven’t said yay or Nay. I’m worried that can be traumatizing for a child to switch around so much. If she leaves him with me do I have legal rights to fight for him? He and his brothers are my godsons, if anything happens to them I would gaIn custody. The father of the unborn child is not involved and is into illegal business and her two boys are 5 and 8. Any help or advice is highly appreciated. Sorry for the long post
Post # 3
Unless she is legally declared unfit, you will have no rights to the child regardless of how long they live with you. You could got court and petition to have her declared unfit and then petition for custody, but the fathers would have first dibs, possibly then grandparents, no sure depends on the state. A parent can volunteer to surrender custody and name the guardian, the father will always need to sign off. If no father is named that may eliminate that, however if one comes forward he would have to be proven not the father if he wanted the kids.
Post # 4
The father giving up his rights wants absolutely nothing to do with Him. So I read somewhere that if after 60 days the parent provides nOthing for the baby the state can involuntarily take her rights away. Would that nOt be the case in this situation.
Post # 5
I agree with Jane. It really depends on your state law, and I am not a CA attorney. But states are VERY careful about crossing Ts and dotting Is before terminating parental rights. And just because you are the godmother does not mean that you have legal right to the children, unless you have a legal document that says that. If it’s just a baptism at at a church and you are the godmother, that means all of nothing when it comes to parental rights and legal custody.
Even if she wants to give you the child for a while to “get her head together,” you should petition in family court so you will have legal guardianship rights. You don’t want her to come back and just demand to take them back, or to claim that you kidnapped her kids. You also want to be able to take them to the doctor if needed, sign permission slips, etc. There’s a reason why forms say “Parent or LEGAL guardian.”
Post # 6
My parents took my baby cousin in shortly after he was born. It was considered temporary until they deemed the mother unfit (its a long process). But keep in mind that the mother can fight for custody at any point in time no matter how long the child has been with you. SOOO my advice would be to hire a lawyer if you’re able to – and do everything through CPS. Depending on where you live, they will be at your house ‘visiting’ very often.
And just a side note… My baby cousin’s father stepped in YEARS after all this mess and now has custody. It was devastating! Its all very messy and complicated but if you get BOTH parents to sign over custody it should be a different story.