My daughter, 27, has lived with me along with my two-and-a-half year old grandson, since her marriage ended before the child was born.
She’d said her ex-husband was verbally and sexually abusive. I’ve supported her emotionally, financially for child care and other expenses, and any other help she needed.
Six weeks ago, she met a guy on a dating app. She’s spent almost every night with him since, coming home very late, even after learning that he abuses crack.
She’s started drinking heavily again. She’d quit drinking and marijuana use when pregnant.
He's been verbally abusive towards me and controlling towards her.
After I discovered he was using crack and she said they'd broken up, I said he wasn’t welcome in my home.
However, she lied. Their relationship wasn't over.
She's also saying it's my fault, and that I'm controlling by asking her where she is and when she'll be home, though I'm looking after her son when she's out.
She's now saying she's going to get a place with this guy and his male friend, and move with her son.
Her ex-husband has also discovered this, and is upset, saying he’ll pursue primary custody. At this point, I’ll back him.
Her girlfriends dropped her because of this guy and all her lies to them.
I've discovered that she's been lying to me for years. I don’t even know any more if what she told me about her ex is true.
She's told this guy that I'm controlling, unsupportive, and that she's scared of me.
I’m terrified that my grandson will be exposed to drugs and alcohol and may end up being neglected due to her escalating dangerous behaviour.
Serious Fears for Grandson
She’s taking huge risks against her own well-being and her child’s.
Your position as her mother is fragile, because she can move with her child wherever she chooses.
However, the boy’s father may achieve primary custody if the proposed move is as you describe, and he also has your backing.
But would he accept your involvement?
And how can you continue being a positive influence on the child?
I urge you to see a counsellor to discuss these issues, soon!
Ask for any strategies to approach your daughter about her choices… e.g. instead of blaming/accusing her about drinking and lies, asking how she sees a healthy future for her child.
If you feel you can’t trust her choices for the child’s sake, see a lawyer about your legal rights to frequent contact or even shared custody as a grandparent… especially since you’ve been closely involved since the child’s birth.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the teenager, 18, considering her birth mother’s request for contact (Sept. 10):
“My birth mother gave me up for adoption because she had no resources.
“As an adult, I met a colleague who’d given up a child and learned that on the child’s annual birth date she’d plunge into a dark depression.
“I applied for reunification for reasons like heritage and learning how I came to be, but said I held no ill will and that I’d built a wonderful life with my adopting parents.
“My birth mother had also experienced emotional pain and some guilt for giving me up, BUT it was the right thing to do in her circumstances.
“We had 22 wonderful warm years together and I found a half-brother who thinks as I do.
“At 18, it’s probably harder to absorb. But for me, it was the right thing to do and two souls were reunited.”
Reader #2 - “Here are books of possible interest for your letter-writer regarding her birth-mother’s interest in making contact: 1) The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade, by Ann Fessler.
“It describes experiences of American women who relinquished babies for adoption between 1950 and 1973.
2) Gone To An Aunt’s: Remembering Canada’s Homes For Unwed Mothers, by Anne Petrie.
“It’s hard to believe how these girls were treated by their families, various churches and so-called social workers.”
Reader #3 – “There was no mention by the letter-writer of the birth father involved in the girl’s adoption. I suggest the girl requests information from the adoption agency.”
Reader #4 – “I have adopted cousins on both sides of my family. I think this young woman should find out about her birth mother's and, if possible, her birth father's medical history.”
Tip of the day:
Fearing for a grandchild’s protection? Consult a counsellor, lawyer and/or children’s services.