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Any layers around here?

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The problem is that I have a friend that has been raising her ex's baby girl for the last year and a half because nether he or the baby's mother is willing to take care of her. I'm just worried that the parents are going to come back after a couple years and want their baby back after never caring for her. It wouldn't be good for her to be taken from the woman that has been raising her for her entire life. Is there anything I can tell my friend to do that could help her gain custody of this little girl? I've talked to friends in social services and they say that if she turns in the parents then the little girl would end up in foster care, and I've seen what that does to kids. The best thing for the girl would be to stay where she is, and I want to know how to make that happen.

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Well your friend could try to arrange an independent adoption of this child. Both of the baby's parents must agree to this, but if they do then the child will legally be hers. Your friend should contact a family law attorney for advice on this.


Social services is not the way to go - anything can happen and you are correct they will likely seize the child immediately. Your friend could petition them to be the foster parent but there are no guarantees.

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Thats the problem. The parents are wanting to be able to come and get her if they wan't to. It's like they aren't willing to make space in there life for a kid now, but if they want one later they wan't that option. They aren't parents that any kid needs. Im trying to find a way to secure this girls future when all the legal options that I can think of will most likely make things worse.

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Hi Nifty,


I'm not a laywer, but to the best of my knowledge, your friend has gotten herself in a very very bad position. She should have gotten a formal arrangement with the parents from the start.


The bottom line is that the parents have total rights to have the child and to where the child is. Of course, social services can put the child up for fostering - which while not the best option, may be better than the parents having the child.


Adoption is the best option, and your friend might try to get the parents to let her adopt the child whilst the parents can get to see the child from time to time. There are laws governing adoption, and it is possible that the real parents my have to remain in hiding officially from the child.


Another avenue might be that your friend trys to become the foster parent of the child.


As you alread know, your friend should be definitely seeking legal advice about this to see her options. However, her position is not good, since she legally has absolutely no rights to this child. She has probably gotten emotionally involved in this situation and it will make it a very tough time on her. You can give her great support at this time as a help for her. Be careful what the parents find out about proceedings, as they may take the child from her at any time and ruin any possible solution.


Hope this helps you some,

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I would like to add that I think she should be extra careful about letting the parents know anything about her taking any form of legal advice. If the parents suspect she is up to something, she may risk loosing the child to them and that will be the end of it !


She needs to be very very smart about this !

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thank you all. I'm just trying to find as mant optons as I can. I don't wan't to have her pay anyone to tell her her options. She's not in the best finantual shape right now, and everything she has is going into takeing care of her kid. Whatever she has to pay someone would come out of what she can do for the baby. I would help, but I'm haveing a hard time feeding myself at the moment.


It's been really hard to not name names.


Than you for your help

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Many lawyers will let her have a discussion with them for the first hour or so at no charge. It might be worth her while to check out a few and see what they recommend. They may be able to adjust their fees to match her financial situation or recommend places she can turn to for help.


Some lawyers do a certain amount of pro-bono work and might be willing to lend her a hand.

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