Treading lightly on this one

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by neednewtechnique, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. neednewtechnique

    neednewtechnique New Member

    Okay, I need some general parenting thoughts from some of you who I trust. Our difficult child, as most of you know, was placed in our home by CPS, and has been allowed only supervised contact with her BIO mom up to this point. We are facing a difficult situation, because on July 19, CPS will step out and leave full custody of our difficult child to my husband and I. When this happens, the judge will make recommendations for visitation, but there will be NO VISITATION ORDERS in place for her and her bio mom. The judge will instruct us and her bio mom that if we want Court ordered visitation, we will have to hash it out in family court, which we are trying to AVOID. We have already been given an idea of what the recommendations will be, which is that visitation remain as it is when they step out. The thing is, we would like to get to a point where our difficult child is allowed to see her mom without us standing over their shoulder, but we don't see how that will be possible. If we decide that visitation should stay supervised, I think that bio mom is going to get upset and drag us to court (chances are we will get what we want as long as our requests are reasonable, they already warned us that the family court judge will ALMOST ALWAYS order to agree with the recommendations of CPS) so we aren't worried about winning the case in court, we just don't want to have to GO to court at all. We were thinking of doing the progression from supervised, into monitored, then to unsupervised, the same as CPS would do, but those progressive changes would HAVE to be made based on bio mom's progress through her drug rehabilitation. Right now, CPS has been monitoring bio mom's progress very closely, they get copies of all her drug court records, her parole agreements, and random drug testing for themelves on top of the drug testing done by the drug court officers and her parole officers. Once CPS steps out, we will have NO WAY of GAINING ACCESS to ANY of that information regarding mom's progress without a court order or a signed release from her.

    The hard part is, that I am almost sure that her bio mom thinks that as soon as CPS steps out, we are just going to let them visit when they want without anyone supervising, and I am afraid that when I tell her that we won't be allowing that right away, she will get upset and refuse to sign a release for us to monitor her progress, and just try to drag us into court. Don't get me wrong, I would not COMPROMISE our difficult child's SAFETY by allowing her to spend time with her mom alone before we are sure that they are ready JUST to stay out of court, but does anyone have any advice on a good way to approach this subject with her bio mom or any other creative ideas on ways to do visitations that would allow us to ensure that our difficult child is safe and that bio mom is satisfied enough to keep us OUT of court?????
     
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    If biomum is so much in denial that she believes tat with CPS out of the way, she will have free access to her daughter - then I have a number of deep concerns for you.

    1) That sort of denial also goes hand in hand with, "I'm not really an addict, I can stop at any time, and a little bit now and then won't hurt me. I've already demonstrated that I can go off the drugs, I've done it in rehab many times before." In other words, without CPS breathing down her neck it is far more likely she will begin with sneaking some drugs now and then and we know where that's likely to go.

    AND

    2) If she's thinking that you will just hand daughter over whenever biomum crooks her finger, then ANY restrictions you try to put on, she will perceive as you blocking her access, possibly with a view to permanently blocking her further down the track. After all, the aim of every foster parent is closed adoption - or at least, that's the fear and belief of many relinquishing parents. So no matter how you try to reassure her, she won't believe you if you are not giving her free access to her daughter.

    I'm sorry, but I think you need to prepare yourselves for court.

    You can try and go in gently, but you could end up giving her too many concessions, and STILL end up in court.

    This is not going to be easy.

    Marg
     
  3. kris

    kris New Member

    <span style='font-size: 11pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #663366"> to be very honest i wouldn't even attempt to do this with-o an appropriate court order. bio, trust me, is going to fight you tooth & nail & will use difficult child to make your lives miserable in the process. she will undermine everything good you have been trying to do. difficult child will become more & more hostile towards you & husband if she percieves ~~~ and she will see it this way ~~~ that you are interfering with-her & her mom.

    i say get that court order. if mom improves & things go well the court order can always be amended or even dropped down the road. actually i'm surprised cps is leaving you guys on your own with-this if they are recommending continued supervision.

    one other thing....is there anyone (who you can trust) who might be willing to do the actual supervision? it puts you & husband in a bad position if you take this on esp if any disputes arise. you want some one with-no vested interest to be able to weigh in if a dispute arises.

    kris
    </span> </span> </span>
     
  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I hate to say, but I totally agree with marg and kris. The only way to resolve this and make sure that difficult child's best interests and safety remain uppermost, is to get a court order.


    Sharon
     
  5. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    If you let the court mandate the visitation it takes you out of the picture as the perceived "bad guys" coming in making trouble for child and bio mom. As much as you don't want the court involved it would make life easier for you with your difficult child. If enough road blocks are put in front of bio mom would she give up and go away? She may come out of this looking like the fun "grandmother" who gets to do stuff with her kid, but when the hard part of child rearing begins she hands her back....not a position I'd want her in....makes difficult child think she is Santa....

    I'm glad I have never faced this with my kids....sending you strength in whatever choice you make.....
     
  6. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I agree with going the family court route. It doesn't sound like bio mom, at this time, going to be safe & sober.

    I wouldn't take the chance with-o the family court visitation order.
     
  7. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    CPS also placed difficult child in our home. While CPS was still in the picture, they required visitation with-biomom to be supervised. When difficult child was permanently placed with-us, we asked that the same visitation requirements be put into effect. The judge granted the supervised visitations without blinking an eye.

    If supervised visitations are appropriate now, I would think it would be appropriate after CPS and the court steps out of the picture unless something has vastly changed to the better for a long period of time. Unless the laws are different in your state, I'm thinking the judge is creating an immediate unnecessary problem where there should be none.

    I'm not sure you can avoid court. Even with-the supervised visitation ordered by the court, difficult child's biomom could have petitioned the court to amend visitation at anytime up until the time I adopted him. She wouldn't have gotten it, but she had the legal right to try.
     
  8. Just keep swimming

    Just keep swimming New Member

    I agree with the others who posted before me. There is no way I would do unsupervised visits for either of my adopted kidlets. It would not have been a safe choice for either of them.

    Not sure why you are wanting to avoid court but I would be pushing for court mandated supervised visits with the supervision being someone "official". I, of course don't know all the circumstances with your situation, but with my kids, I would never have agreed to doing supervision myself. Too uncomfortable for all involved.

    Sorry, no good advise here, just understanding hugs!!!!
    Vickie
     
  9. neednewtechnique

    neednewtechnique New Member

    Thank you all for such wonderful advice! As always, I knew I came to the right place!

    I am starting to agree that, as you have all advised, a court order is the best way to go. We have been informed that while CPS and the judge and our difficult child's GAL will make RECOMMENDATIONS as to what visitation should be, they will not enter an order unless we go to family court. We have also been informed that in 99% of all cases involving CPS, when recommendations are made by CPS, the FAMILY COURTS will support those recommendations, so I don't think that getting the supervised visitation will be a problem.

    The other big thing is, her bio mom just started working some crazy hours (m-f 7-7) which has made it nearly impossible for CPS to handle the supervised visitation, becuase their visit supervisors don't work the right hours, and her caseworker has asked me if I would be willing to supervise. At first I didn't think it would be any big deal (bio mom and I have a decently workable relationship), I had supervised before on special occasions and "extra" visits, but yesterday I did the first "regularly scheduled" supervision, and I am not sure it is going to work out. See, when CPS supervises, bio mom is the "parent" and she is the one responsible for "parenting" during a visit, and having me there, I felt that I should step OUTSIDE the parenting role and try to be JUST THE SUPERVISOR, and let bio mom handle our difficult child's behavior problems during the visit, and she just DOESN'T handle them. I had SUCH a difficult time yesterday watching while bio mom gave into her every want and wish (she didn't even ask NICELY and mom was practically throwing whatever she wanted at her). Pretty much choosing to ignore our difficult child's socially unacceptable behaviors, or just giggling at her when she did something obnoxious!!!!! It was TOTALLY unbelievable!!! Then if that wasn't bad enough, it was time to go, our two hours was up and suddenly I AM THE BAD GUY because I am taking her away from her mom when she doesn't want to go!!!!! It is unfortunate, but I simply don't know what else to do, I am going to have to call her caseworker and tell her that she is going to have to make other arrangements.

    This is partly another reason I think we will hard time working things out among ourselves after CPS steps out...if there is no court order, we WILL be responsible for supervising if mom were to agree to it, and I just don't think I can do it! If we get a court order, then the courts will appoint a supervisor and it will be off our hands again.
     
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Yep. Get the court order to back up your plan to step up bio Mom into unsupervised visits. difficult child's safety is first.

    Hugs
     
  11. kris

    kris New Member

    <span style='font-size: 11pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #990000"> the situation you described is exactly why i cautioned you against you supervising the visits. you simply must fine someone else to do it. cps probably won't but they should have an agency or two that provides this service...it will cost but you can request ~~~ in court ~~~ that bio pay half or some reasonable percentage. the catch is that if the fees don't get paid they will suspend visitation.....and report the problem to the court. thus leaving you & husband out of the fray. with-o outside supervision it will be a big broohaha every time it's time to end the visit & you will ALWAYS BE THE BAD GUY! you are trying to build a better relationship with-difficult child....not add more stressors.

    it's worth the expense & the hassle of getting the court order in my opinion. will save you a ton of angst & just general crap down the road. i do understand why, after having to deal with-cps all this time, you would be reluctant to go the court route, but you need to protect yourself.....and difficult child.

    good luck.

    kris
    </span> </span> </span>
     
  12. neednewtechnique

    neednewtechnique New Member

    Well, we won't be stepping up to unsupervised visits for a LONG TIME yet, and when we do, there will definitely be a court order before we allow it. For right now, we are planning on settling for going to court with bio mom and getting visitation arranged for supervised and having the court appoint a supervisor for us.
     
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