Legal Obligations re: Grandbabies

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JJJ, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    If a minor child (A) has a baby (B), are the parents of A legally obligated to allow her to bring B into the home? If not, what happens???

    Kanga wants to get pregnant by 15. She can't even take care of herself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She did point out that no one in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) can have sex with boys cause someone is always watching them! Take God for small favors LOL!
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    You are really making me nervous with this question. LOL! I'm glad you elaborated- I thought you were going to say that K was already pregnant. I am VERY glad to hear that they are being watched well in Residential Treatment Center (RTC).

    As far as your question- I think that unless the child/parent and the "grandparents" sign over their rights, then they are held to some responsibility- but I heard that about 15 years ago and it was in a different state.

    I have told my son that any child he conceives will be his responbility to raise and pay for and make sure they are taken care of- not mine- so he better make sure he's old enough and mature enough and willing enough to do all that before he conceives one. And if he tries to walk away from the baby by claiming that he doesn't think it's his, he'll have to show me results of the blood test proving that he isn't the father before he'll be welcome back in my home.
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Apparently, a pregnant teen is medically emancipated but not legally emancipated, meaning you are still legally and financially responsible for the teen and she still has to follow your rules. Teen makes medical decisions about baby. I can't find it for sure but I'm guessing since you're financially responsible for teen, you're also financially responsible for the baby (hypothetically speaking!).

    Here's the ILCS Statute - I haven't slogged through it all to check out grandparents' obligations for a minor child's child. I'll keep looking.

    I did find a statement that in no state does pregnancy automatically confer legal emancipation - it only confers medical emancipation.

    Sounds like something Residential Treatment Center (RTC) may want to consider.:faint: Reality testing, anyone? Sigh...
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What in the heck does she want a baby by age 15? Let me send her Hailie for a week, that will change her They are just breaking her from breastfeeding and she is so not the happy camper. She cries for an hour just to go to sleep at night without her "ninny"! I cant see a 15 year old difficult child putting up with a screaming toddler who wants to breastfeed.

    I dont know what your legal obligations are if a child has a baby and refuses to give it up and wants to live at home. Seems like you have to keep your child unless you want to be charged with abandonment and the baby comes with the child. Of course, then you have the problem of who is going to support the baby because momma and daddy are probably too young to support said child.

    Glad I didnt have girls.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    OMG! Don't ASK questions like this! ;)
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That's what brought on the situation that I'd heard about years ago. Adau of a friend of mine got pregnant as a teen and would not agree to put the baby up for adoption as her parents wanted. They worked out an agreement with the boy (teen father) and his parents because they did NOT want this boy and his family being a part of the baby's life and decision-making regarding the baby. It is a shame, in my humble opinion, that they couldn't work out something better, but they said that unless the father and his parents agreed to sign over rights, they would be paying child support. The boy was obviously too young to work enough to pay any child support, so that meant that his parents would have had to pay it.

    Of course, this left the parents of the daughter/mother to pay for the full support of the baby. Then, in order for the daughter to finish school, the parents had to make sure the baby had a sitter.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well from what I understand...and I could absolutely be wrong...neither mom or dad are legally responsible for monetary support until they are adults. Now how that works out realistically is anyone's guess.

    For example....Corys daughter has an older half brother on her mothers side. Does that make sense? Baby's momma L. L had a baby when she was 19 for a boy who was 14. Result was Keyana's older brother Cameron. Now Camerons father, nor were his parents, responsible for child support until this year when the boy graduated high school and went into the military. Odd...the same year his son started school is the same year daddy

    Of course, L was an adult and why she wasnt prosecuted for having a baby with a 14 year old is beyond me but she lived with her mom and her mom has raised Cameron his whole life.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    husband and I were considered legally responsible for Aubrey until the day Nichole turned 18. Any legal/medical decision regarding her required out signature as well as Nichole's. In a pinch....they'd use her Dad's because he was over 18.....but they still always wanted mine next to his as a backup since he didn't have custody.

    I dunno how the actual laws are written. But this is how it worked out in reality for us. Nichole could make no decision about the baby without one of her parents present to back it up. Maybe that is because she still lived at home........Maybe they were just covering their fannies? I dunno. Like I said, though.......

    If your daughter is underage, I'd imagine you'd still be legally responsible for her, pregnant or not. I do know that Nichole's 13 yr old friend was emancipated by her mother because mother did not want responsibility for the baby. And boy, did that turn out to be a mega disaster all the way around with the baby coming up the big time loser!! :(

    Maybe it's time to put her on the bc shot so you won't have to worry as much about any surprises.

  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    A thought in a different direction - have you asked her what she expects from a baby, at 15? WHat does she expect the baby to give her?

    I remember reading an article years ago in Readers Digest (I would have been fifteen at the time, myself) of how girls from a particular neighbourhood always followed a certain pattern - pregnant as teens, often to a series of fathers, usually because they were trying to fill a gap in their lives with the unconditional love of a baby. The author had taken a particular girl under his wing, trying to help her by getting her to attend school, find a sense of direction, feel some value about herself - and she still got pregnant at 15. Because everyone else around her did.

    I'm not saying this is why Kanga wants it, but for a lot of the girls in the story, they had certain expectations of how their life would be after they had a baby, full of rosy-coloured dreams, but the reality was also the trap, they couldn't say, "This isn't the dream, it's a nightmare, I want to turn back the clock," because life doesn't work that way.

    If she is dtermined to get pregnant, then she will find a way to circumvent birth control. The best preventive is her own mind and her own determination, but you need to find a way to plug into this. SHE needs to want to avoid pregnancy, and for this she needs to have a better understanding of her own desires in this as well as some realistic idea of what to expect, not some rosy ideal.

    Babies having babies - a nightmare.

  10. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    My sister did volunteer work for a program that supported un-wed mothers. She agrees with Marguerite. The mothers would get pregnant to receive the unconditional love of an infant. They when the infant became a toddler they could not deal with it and actually got pregnant again for the love of the second baby. Leaving the toddler to grow up by him/her self. Frequent disasters.

    Provide her as much education about the responsibilities about being a parent as you can. Don't just tell her, she will never believe you. You are of course her mother and there for know nothing. Have her see a mother struggling. Talk to a teenager mother who is having troubles dealing. Change a few diapers. And make the center aware of her wishes.

    Good luck!
  11. jal

    jal Member

    You may want to try to create a spread sheet regarding the cost of raising a child for its first year of life. My difficult child's first full year of daycare cost us $11,000 and that was in 2002. Add up diapers, formula, all the clothes, dr visits, medications if needed etc. Maybe show her on paper the actual reality of the cost of starting to raise a child and then discuss with her how she plans to pay for all of this being 15 and with no formal or at least h.s. education.

    I don't know the laws regarding your actual financial/medical responsibility to the child and I don't know if a rational approach of sitting and discussing costs will help, but I think to drive home also the point that just because you have a child does not mean that that child is going to love you and make you feel what you are searching for or missing. This will be a completely defenseless infant who relies on her to get up at its becon call, feed on demand, comfort on demand and to be cared for both emotionally and financially.

    It gets me so angry that girls these days so young are focused on having babies. When I was that age we girls were focused on sports, school, dating and just being a teenager. We never even thought of having a child. I never wanted kids until my bio clock started ticking around 27 and even then husband and I took a year to decide if it was right for us and we had stable jobs and a home of our own and look what life dealt us? A smart, loving difficult child who has issues. And what if she ends up with a difficult child? Is she going to run around like we all do to all the psychiatrist and therapist appts & IEP and PPT meetings. medications checks, medication costs, blood work, hospitalizations? How will she do it when she isn't even old enough to drive? (Stepping off my soap box - sorry!)

    I agree with-putting her on the BC shot. Also, will she make sure that the PSD doesn't have any STD's before she decides to have unprotected relations?
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh dear.
    You've gotten some great ideas here.
    I'm just sending support.
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Can you get one of those electronic babies for her to carry around?
  14. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I have no idea what the answer is, but just had a thought about birth control... can you have her get the monthly Depo Provera shot, or one of the bc implants as a precaution?

    Can the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) conduct some type of "parenthood" class for the kids? I'm thinking of the kind where they are responsible 24/7 for a week or two for a "baby" that cries, etc. to give them a taste of what it's really like to be a new parent.

    Hope you don't ever have to deal with an unplanned pregnancy with her. :(
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    A slightly different thought in the direction of babysitting. Can you get her to do some babysitting? Paid or unpaid, although paid would be preferable because then it wouldn't feel like punishment. But the unpaid could be done first, call it "training" or "apprenticeship". She can also indulge her need for love of a kid, by loving a child she has to care for. Or tutoring - can she tutor a younger child in, say, reading or simple maths? All the skills she will need as a mother, she will need to learn.

    We live in an increasingly nucelar society. We don't have the extended family experiences we used to, in the days of tribal living. Instead, we have parents (often only one), grandparents are far less on the scene to teach by example and share their wisdom, and we have fewer children in the family so we have fewer siblings to learn from. We don't have numerous cousins underfoot, either.

    So how on earth can our kids learn how to be parents, except from what they themselves received? It's just not as much as it used to be.

    I grew up desperate for the day when I could be a mother. But I waslucky - my sister lived next door, plus other sisters visited for long periods, so I got plenty of hands-on experience with nieces and nephews. I would take them for long walks, I would teach them about the world, about nature, about the world around us and we would talk. My sister bottle-fed her kids so she handed them over to me from a very young age. I was a very inexperienced but constantly unpaid babysitter. Those kids filled an importnt niche in my life.

    A song by an Aussie folk singer Judy Small, "Maiden Aunt", tells of the joys of playing with other people's kids and the extra joy of giving them back at night. Judy loves kids, but has none of her own. A number of her songs are about some wonderful things she does with children in her life, including the "Manly Ferry Song" which describes a lovely day going to the beach on a Sunday with a young girl she knows. That young girl played the kazoo on the record album that has that song.

    So maybe if she says she wants to ahve a baby at 15, tell her that you want her to be able to achieve that dream but do it with confidence; which is going to require a lot more experience. And learning now, before she is pregnant, is what is needed because it's much harder to pick up a toddler and change a dirty nappy when you've got morning sickness or are too huge from a pregnant belly. Sciatica hurts when you have to carry a big kid on a pregnant hip.

    Another option for her to consider - what life career does she want to aim for, if she wants to have kids young? Teaching is a good career path because you're on holidays when the kids are. You might stll have work to do, but you can do it at home. So now, before she gets pregnant, is the time to work on that potential career path. It's a lot harder to study after you have kids. Again, I speak from experience. Trying to keep my babies quiet at the back of the lecture hall was tricky (I used an old phone book and let them rip it to pieces, then cleaned up the shredded paper later). Finding out that my apparently supportive lecturer who had said, "sure, bring your kids along!" was marking me as absent for every class I had the kids, made me really angry. But when you have kids, especially if you're a young mother, people (especially men) can treat you like your brains are permanently on vacation.

    So who do you know who has a young baby who could use a break? Your daughter will enjoy having someone look at her with gratitude. And it should open her eyes. If she comes home form her first session convinced she wants a young baby, don't be alarmed. Just keep it up. The first episode of croup should cure her. And if not - then she will be a much more capable young mother.

  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Great idea, Marg!
  17. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Marg - alll of that would make sense if she actually liked children. We still live more of a extended family life style and she was around younger children and babies frequently when she lived at home. She hated it. She never wanted to hold the babies. I'd be afraid that she would hurt a child if she was allowed to babysit (plus I don't think anyone would hire a girl in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) to babysit).

    I think she sees this as a way to tie herself to her "baby daddy" - who is all of 12!!! - and to "prove" she is grown-up. There is so much distorted thinking here.
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Then, if babysitting (for real) is out, I like the idea of talking to the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and pushing for the dolls that cry, need diapers changed, has to be fed and held, etc. They have a classd in mainstream school and a program in our county detention that uses those. It's a special kind of doll used for classes and the kids have to keep the baby with them 24/7 plus take care of it. If they don't, the baby cries so loud you can hear it all thru the building. LOL!
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    If she doesn't like babies this is rather scary. Sadly, we cannot really control when our children have sex. I would talk to the "baby daddy" parents if at ALL possible, go for the electronic baby thing, and keep working on this through therapy.

    Having a child with someone does NOT mean they will stay with you. It is sad she thinks this will tie her to a person.

    If her doctors think it is OK I would certainly go for the depo shot or some other form of birth control.

    I am so sorry. I know you must be incredibly worried!
  20. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I still would push for te experience factor, either a real child with supervision, or a doll. But if she is open about not liking children, ten surely she has t recognise that being stuck with a kid who is crying at any hour, needs attention pronto regardless of how you're feeling, and makes you feel very out of control and inexpereinced - is NOT a good thing to face, without some idea of what you're getting into. What on earth does she think will happen, if she goes into this with a dislike of children plus no experience? Does she expect that her offspring will be born talking, walking, capable and independent, as she perceives herself to be? A sort of mini-me? Because however old she is, it takes that many years of hard work to get there.

    I wouldn't be standing for any talk about "I want a baby" until she has proved to me that she's not talking through her arse (as we so genteely say Down Under).

    Workshop the outcomes with her.