Help! Not sure how to categorize this...


Well-Known Member
Hi and welcome

Sorry you have to deal with this.

I encourage you to seriously consider postponing the adoption.

There may come a time when you might need to distance yourself and your youngest both physically and financially from Sal.

Many of our difficult kids became progressively worse as they went through puberty between the ages of twelve and fifteen. You don't know what you may be dealing with in the future.

You won't be able to keep your eyes on your baby 100% of the time as he becomes mobile and busy. You can't trust Sal around a younger child, and you can't be there a every moment.

I knew a couple that adopted a 10 year old and weren't told the truth about some of his issues. By age 11 he had grown tremendously and was bigger and stronger than their two older (also adopted) kids. He started sexually and physically acting out, and they had to call the police several times. He was put into a facility and the parents had to pay support to the state until he turned eighteen. They had barely finalized the adoption when it got so out of control, yet they were blamed as if they were the cause of his problems.

That dad and grandma are trying to sweep this under the rug is concerning. And grandma attempting to let Sal hold the baby is a real worry. I would put a stop to that immediately.

I'm glad you are taking this seriously.

Does Sal have any behavior problems at school?


Well-Known Member
I forgot about having to pay the state. We paid until the adoption was dissolved. We werent blamed. Everyone was very kind to us.

I would not legally adopt Sal.


PyschMom...please listen to the experts who have posted. They have lived through this. Trust your instincts. What would be worse is if you didn't, and your baby ended up being abused. How would you ever live with that knowing what you know now? Add to that he is a danger to others as well. I am so sorry but I agree you need to take baby, dogs and get out until Sal is placed in residential treatment and not ever living with you again. The marriage with therapy can survive or not. . But your survival and the baby's is the top priority right now. Hugs...we are all here to support you and help you.


Roll With It
Listen to your instincts ALWAYS. They are there to protect your child. They are right 100% of the time.

The times I made the bad mistakes with my kids are the times I ignored my instincts, and I promise that the other parents I know say the same things. The parents who lived through difficult kids, anyway. My oldest has aspergers and was VERY violent with my daughter. From the time she could move on her own, I could not leave her alone with my son. If they were alone in a room for even 10 seconds, my daughter had a bruise or was bleeding. Every single time.

If I had to use the bathroom, my daughter had to come with me. If my husband was home with the kids, my son had to come with him. The child had to stand in the tub with the curtain closed. We did this for YEARS. Think about YEARS without even enough privacy to pee alone. THAT is what this adoption will mean to you. You will have your baby SLEEPING in your room. My daughter slept with us because she often was scared to sleep alone. She told us all sorts of things, monsters under the bed, bad dreams, you name it. Then we discovered her brother was coming into her room to beat her in the middle of the night. Or to try to choke her or smother her. My oldest didn't try to sexually abuse her. Your oldest will. He has already shown sexual acting out, so that is in the mix and it will stay there. It means that you will have your baby in your bedroom for many years for safety. Cameras and locks are not enough and won't always keep Sal out of the baby's room. Even as a baby, Sal may be attracted to your youngest. Can you take that risk, do you want to live this way?
Do you want to try to explain all of this to a babysitter? Or not explain it and risk Sal having time alone with your youngest? What about when your youngest is talking and goes to a friend's house and tells them what Sal does? How do you deal with that? Your baby won't EVER be able to have a sleepover if Sal is in your home. It won't be safe to have other kids there. Sal will try to attack one of them. I have been there and done that.

You cannot imagine how painful it is to explain why you cannot have your daughter's best friend over to reciprocate a sleepover because the best friend might be assaulted or smothered in her sleep by your oldest child. I had to do that. I was lucky, because it was a family friend who was generous enough to understand my pain. They loved my daughter enough to give her a house key and tell her to come over any time, any hour when she needed to get out of the house, when it was too much. My daughter was SEVEN. God help me, my daughter needed to use that key more than once. Most families NEVER have anyone who offers their child that escape hatch.

I am sorry that much of our advice seems to be to get your baby away from this troubled child. I know you wanted more hopeful advice than this. Many of us have been though much of this, and sadly a child who will do this often has been so damaged he CANNOT live in a family setting with younger or more vulnerable children and with pets. He will continue to perpetrate on them the way he was perpetrated upon, even in the small amounts of time he is left alone. There just isn't a safe way for him to live with your baby or a pet. I do know that there are few professionals who deal with reactive attachment disorder, which truly sounds like what he has. There used to be a group of specialists in Evergreen, Colorado who were the best in this. I don't know if they are still there.

Here are some books on Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)

Nancy Thomas is supposed to be one of the best experts on Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) from what I know - When Love is Not Enough: A Guide to Parenting With Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) - Reactive Attachment Disorder
Reactive Attachment Disorder - Facts You Simply Must Know Before You Decide To Adopt by Lanette Neal
If you search "reactive attachment disorder" on amazon you will find many more books on the subject. the second book is one I don't know much about, it was just one that was from a parent's perspective after adopting 3 children who had Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) though the parents didn't know it and had no clue what they were in for. I thought it might be helpful. It sort of seems like what you are in for with Sal. You really don't know what he endured with his mother, though you are pretty sure it was awful from what you are seeing now.

I am sorry you are in this position. I do BEG you not to go through with the adoption right now. I know it seems awful, but it is the best thing for your child, and that MUST be the first thing on your mind. You MUST protect your baby at all costs. You cannot let Sal hurt him and Sal will. He just will. He may not even realize it is wrong, it is after all what was done to him, so he may think he is supposed to do it. But you know better. Don't ever let him near the baby. EVER.

Follow your instincts no matter what. No matter what.

pigless in VA

Well-Known Member
PsychMom, I know all of this is tough to digest. We here are truly worried for your safety and your baby's safety. The way you describe what Sal did with the dog is calculating. It's also bound to be disturbing to the dog. I think you are actually fortunate that you discovered what was happening. Think how horrible it would be if you discovered this when your own beautiful baby boy was 5 years old and had been molested by Sal. It isn't a stretch to think Sal will take advantage of a child when he is clearly taking advantage of a dog.

Sal has some serious issues. Issues that no amount of love can resolve at this point. I suspect that some horrible things have happened to him. He doesn't understand normal sexual boundaries. I'm so sorry that your husband is playing ostrich at the moment. I won't tell you what to do, but I will say that if I were in your shoes that I would take the baby and go stay somewhere else. I know you love your husband. I know he loves his son. But you cannot sacrifice the safety of your baby boy for this teenager who is obviously disturbed. I would remove myself in order to regroup, negotiate with my husband, and see what can be done about getting Sal appropriate help.

Many warm hugs.:group-hug: