How Much Say Should Grandparents Have in Adoption?

I just read this story about a couple adopting a baby from a little girl (she was 14) in Louisiana and it made me terribly sad. I think we can all agree that plotting to separate a parent and a kid in foul so I won’t even mention how this couple chose to look only in the states with the most ridiculous adoption laws (2 days, really?) and bought the family a $4,000 trailer home and a $2,500 truck. Instead, I’d like to talk about the grandmother.

In the article, it says:

“Most of our dealings were done through Stephanie — we spoke to Deana occasionally but she was quiet and didn’t say much. “We want to give up the baby for adoption,” Stephanie assured us over the phone several times. “Deana just can’t be raising a baby at this point.”

It seemed like it was all about getting the baby, “What should have taken 20 minutes of signing paperwork turned into a nail-biting 2½ hours — but they signed.” It seems like the family should get at least a week to decide if they really want to place the baby. It also seems like the grandmother was making the decisions for the mother.

Thankfully, it seems like they have an open adoption. The mother is 18 now and graduating from high school. I wonder how she feels about it though. She hid it from her parents for the first seven months. Was she worried about something like this happening? How much control do you think grandparents should have in situations where the mother is a minor?

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Making Mistletoes With Infant Feet

Mistletoes-Art-Project-2014Today, we decided to make a holiday craft art project for the grands. It was really easy, super cheap and incredibly cute!

We used:

1 sheet of white cardstock ($0.55)

1 roll of clearance ribbon ($0.99)

1 tube art paint ($0.70)

1 red marker (we already had in a marker set)

1 hole punch (we already had)

 

We started out by painting the baby’s feet with green paint:

Mistletoes-Feet

Then we stood the baby up and made sure that the heels overlapped:

Mistletoes-feet-paint

Then we punched two holes near the heels, colored in three circles to look like berries and tied the ribbon through the carstock and made a bow:

Mistletoes-Pair

Lastly, we hung the finished product in the hallway:

IMG_2351

 

Done!

 

How to Talk to Your Child About Death When You’re a Non-Believer

StreamSunset

My mother and grandmother are dead. His parents are both in their seventies. We don’t have a kid yet. There’s a very real chance that his parents could die before we add a kid to our family or while the child(ren) are still young.

I read this article about explaining a death to your kid when you are a non-believer and it really touched me.

#1 Explain what happened.

Give the facts as you know them and don’t embellish or lie to make it “easier”.

I told her that his body had stopped working, he had died, and we would not be able to see him again. She then asked me if the doctors could make his body work again. To which I had to reply with a simple no.

#2 Let the child feel how they feel.

Don’t say, “Don’t feel badly”. Of course they feel badly, someone they loved had just died.

She cried. I cried. We held each other.

#3 Include your child in the ceremony

The reason we have ceremonies to help us process what’s going on. Don’t keep your children from that.

My beautiful little girl held my hand, stepped into the river, where my father played as a child, and helped me put him to rest there. With our family surrounding us, we watched as he trickled, a beautiful golden stream, down the bends of his childhood. She looked to me and said, “Mommy, he’s everywhere.”

#4 Don’t try to “get past” it

It’s going to come up again and everyone is going to feel badly again ….and that’s okay.

My daughter will still ask occasionally if we can “fix” her grandfather and bring him back, and those days are always hard. Most days though, she tells me he is growing into beautiful flowers, making the world beautiful for her. Those are the days when I know that she is at peace and I did the best I could

We all have different feelings about life and death, but I loved the way this author put her experience into words. Please go on over to OffbeatFamilies.com and read the whole article.

Fair warning: get your hankies.

Adoption and Grandparent Visitation

GrandparentsRights

Wow! I never even thought about grandparents suing for visitation of adopted kids. Anyone can sue anyone else so even if the case gets thrown out or you win you’ll still have to hire an attorney, take time of off work, etc.

While reading up on foster care adoption, and things to be careful of, I came across a post on a board about adoptive parents being sued for adoption by the biological grandparents. I had no idea what even after you adopt a kid from foster care, the biological grandparents could come along and sue the adoptive parents! This is just more fear to put on my list about adoption.Anyhoo … you might want to consider that as well.

In California, our laws say:

Under California law, a grandparent can ask the court for reasonable visitation with a grandchild. To give a grandparent reasonable visitation with a grandchild, the court has to:

  1. Find that there was a pre-existing relationship between grandparent and grandchild that has “engendered a bond.”  This means that there is such a bond between grandparent and grandchild that visitation is in best interest of the grandchild. AND
  2. Balance the best interest of the child in having visitation with a grandparent with the rights of the parents to make decisions about their child.

In general, grandparents cannot file for visitation rights while the grandchild’s parents are married. But there are exceptions, like:

  • The parents are living separately;

  • A parent’s whereabouts are unknown (and have been for at least a month);

  • One of the parents joins the grandparent’s petition for visitation;

  • The child does not live with either of his or her parents; or

  • The grandchild has been adopted by a stepparent.