Friday, August 07, 2009

Need advice . . .

Okay, this is all hypothetical of course . . .

There was this woman and man who were fostering a child long ago. There was still visits with the bio-mom and she was looney. The county really didn't want to fight her for her rights. She finally relinquished her rights because said child was really behaving badly for her at visits, mom was severely mentally ill and also because the county promised her updates and/or pictures two times a year. The mom signed off on her rights to child. Foster family was bound to send updates and pictures.

Foster family adopts child. County of child (very near foster family county) doesn't even show up at court. No one from county is present and nothing has been sent from county. The lawyer of the family was thrilled that mother's request of updates and/or pictures 2x yearly was not entered into record, says it is in families best interest. Family still decides to continue with updates.

About three years into adoption the county worker calls. Says June update was overdue and mom was driving her nuts calling daily. Worker tells mom it MUST be sent out ASAP. Adoptive Mom is having a very difficult summer and forgets. Worker calls in 4 days and tells mom is in contempt of court order and to send it IMMEDIATELY or else. Mom tells worker to go take a leap and quit threatening her. Mom informs worker that NOTHING was in adoption decree about updates and they are coming at the discretion of parents and they will get there but worker needs to HOLD HER HORSES and wait until parents who are caring for extremely difficult child can catch their breath and buy some freaking stamps!

Worker gets pissed and says she is calling county lawyer. Mom gets call back in 15 minutes. Worker is terribly sorry and lawyer agrees that nothing is in court adoption decree and very sorry for the threats. Country screwed the pooch and bio mom could sue adoptive family for the updates. Adopted mom says over her dead body because it was closed adoption and the bio mom cannot sue them because she should have no idea who they are.

Mom sends update in a couple weeks. Updates continue to be sent to child by bio mom that new parents choose to file instead of read to him. PArents continue to send updates more or less on schedule for the next 4 years.

Two years ago the adoptive family got fed up with questions from mom in her letters about what activities he likes, does he play sports, what kind of books does he read, and what are his friends like? Adoptive mom send letter saying, "He plays with Dora, cannot possibly play sports, cannot read and has no friends because you drank while pregnant so he is terribly screwed up. We love him dearly, but he is not a typical 12 year old." Adoptive parents were very honest. They have not received an update from bio mom since.

This afternoon while mom may have been sitting in the DMV for a reallllllly long time, she decides to call to see if bio-mom was still contacting them and if it was really necessary to continue to send updates since they were no receiving any. ( and mom was 2 months late in sending this summers update) Worker was an ass. Worker said she had not received anything from adoptive parents since 2004 and that she counseled mom to "take it to court" about a year ago. Adopted mom flipped-the-heck-out on the phone with worker.

Worker calls back in 20 minnutes saying she found a different file with updates the mom said they sent. Apologizes for error. Says that she has no contact info for mom any longer. Adoptive mom asks if she should continue to send updates she refuses to answer and says, "Its not my job to tell you that."

What does adoptive family do?

If, of course, this was a real situation??


zunzun said...

hummm...I think in this particular situation I'd stop sending them. What I'm not sure I'd do (but probably would 'cause I like everything clear and in writing) is send a VERY detailed letter to the county social worker (and copy everyone from her direct supervisor to whoever was involved) explaining the screw ups and how despite the fact that you didn't have to (based on the contract) you did it but that you are no longer willing to be under such stress. I would make sure to include that they never, under any circumstances, divulge your address (just in case).
Then again...not sure if that would just stir them up more than nec. Still...I think based on your specific situation I'd just stop.

I'm sure some people might think that since mom was under the impression she'd get them you would have a moral obligation to but I think that moral obligation stopped when you started dealing w/ his severe issues.

Anyway...that's what I'd do...but there is also just sending the stuff regardless of weather she gets it or not.

Cupcake Mama said...

I agree with zunzun. This is causing you way too much stress and you are not court ordered. Frankly, bio mom should be kissing your ass (or hand, lol) because she doesn't have a leg to stand on. If it were that important, she should have been there that day and if she wasn't informed that's her issue to take up with the county not you.

Write the letter, cc it to everyone and their dog and move on with your fact, I'd send it registered mail or something someone has to sign for.

I love, love, love that you were honest with her. She needs to know. A lot of those women (aka: my ex-stepsister and their whole family) believe because their kids are born with ten fingers and ten toes and there are no real physical deformities that everything is ok and they've done nothing to harm their child.

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

Our attorney told us there was no legal obligation no matter what was in the court order for contact after finalization. That we could agree to whatever we wanted but there was no way to enforce any of it. Not sure if that is a WI thing but most states are similar.
As for keeping it up, well I would not want to but for what, 4 more years so 8 total updates, I would probably just send an update. I have a highly ungrateful previous parent that I update thru no obligation and she will sometimes nag at me for an update then other times will ignore my email and whatever. I know she has problems, plenty of them so I just send some info as it comes up without any expectation.
My suggestion would be send the stupid updates for a few more years, but don't worry about them. A pic and a note, "kid still loves his fisher price toys at age 16, enjoy your cocktails" and be done with it. I mean whoever your friend is. Ahem. JM2C.