I have been researching online and calling every place and it appears that applying for this stuff is going to open a big can of worms. First, there is some clause that keeps popping up on application requirements that says something like I have to "assign my rights to dept. of medical assistance or applicant won't be eligible". What the heck does that mean? What rights do they expect me to sign over? Then, I would have to agree to let them establish paternity with "absent parent" (lots of luck on that one) and try to obtain child support from him. Does this mean we have to wait all the years it will take for them to find him and establish paternity? Does this mean that if they do get him into court and require that he pay child support, that he will be given parental rights- (as in visitation and others)? difficult child was not born in this state- in the state where he was born, they told me that even if the parent was not paying court-ordered child support, they would have parental rights. I never pursued it because social services there told me they knew the father and his history and the baby would be better off without him in his life- so I moved here. The lady here told me that I should have already filed for custody and guardianship of difficult child. (I have no idea if she is right or not.) But, geez, I am his bio-mom; his father's name is not even on the birth certificate because in the state I gave birth in, if the father doesn't show up and "claim" paternity, the mother cannot list the father. No one else has ever raised or supported difficult child, so why do I need to file for custody? This lady here, though, says that if I establish custody and guardianship, that even if the state goes after him, they will not give him (the father)parental rights. I'm not so sure I believe that. Not only do I want to avoid that can of worms like the plague, but you know this means I would have to discuss all of this with the GAL and get her approval or else she is going to stir up more with social services, custody, judge and everybody. I don't see how I can go through all this and them not find out that difficult child has a gal and then they will contact her. Does anyone have any experience with even a portion of this? Can anyone offer any insight or suggestions? I can't afford another attorney to ask.