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Old 11-30-2008, 12:23 PM   #1
Jess_icka
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Custody of my nephew, can I adopt? My step sister is a drug addict.

I have had custody of my 5 year old nephew for the last 2 years. I had to fight in court for a long time to get that. MY sister (step) who is a complete drug addict keeps threating to take me to court and take him away from me. It has been almost a year since she has even seen him. Although I doubt she will ever clean up enough to get him it scares me to think she "could" one day just take him away because she is the biological mother. Is there a way that I can adopt and her lose all rights to him?
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:17 PM   #2
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Default re: Custody of my nephew, can I adopt? My step sister is a drug addict.

It would be very difficult, almost impossible, to adopt the child against the wishes of the mother.
If it has been long enough with NO contact (not letters, not e-mails, not phone calls...), then you may be able to claim abandonment. But the length of time for this varies between States.
You would definitely need a lawyer to advise you on this.
But...I have to say that I doubt a court would reverse custody.
How much child support is the mother paying?
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Old 01-19-2009, 03:06 PM   #3
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Talking re: Custody of my nephew, can I adopt? My step sister is a drug addict.

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Originally Posted by Jess_icka View Post
I have had custody of my 5 year old nephew for the last 2 years. I had to fight in court for a long time to get that. MY sister (step) who is a complete drug addict keeps threating to take me to court and take him away from me. It has been almost a year since she has even seen him. Although I doubt she will ever clean up enough to get him it scares me to think she "could" one day just take him away because she is the biological mother. Is there a way that I can adopt and her lose all rights to him?
His mother can not just come and take him when she wants. If you are his court appointed legal guardian, then you are the parent right now and if you don't want her around him you don't have to agree to let her see him. If she threatens to take you to court, let her. Once a parents rights have been suspended by a legal guardianship they will have an even tougher time trying to get them back. In L.A. county, the mother or father will have to prove that they are a fit parent again and provide a minimum of 2 years of rental receipts for a home/apt, all utilities, and a job. All these items will have to be in their name and no one else's. I know this because I have custody of my 2 year old nephew and I got all this information from the probate investigator that came to my house. You can adopt him and when you do her rights will be terminated. I'm trying to do the same thing right now. Good luck to you but don't worry, you have the rights to the child right now and you get to decide what to do with him. Just keep a journal of all your conversations with his mother/father. When drugs are involved they do weird and dangerous things and say scary things too. But this will be your proof that there's not much contact. My nephew's mother hasn't seen him for a year now and has only called me twice in the last 7 months. It doesn't matter that she's his biological mother, her parental rights have been suspended for a reason. Proving to be a better mother and getting the child back will be extremely difficult for these individuals. Good luck to you! God will bless you and your family.
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Old 01-24-2009, 02:09 AM   #4
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Default re: Custody of my nephew, can I adopt? My step sister is a drug addict.

tbyte is correct in Washington it must be exactly two years of any form of contact (even email) before you can claim abandonment.
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Old 12-13-2009, 07:21 PM   #5
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Default re: Custody of my nephew, can I adopt? My step sister is a drug addict.

I also have sole custody of my nephew for the last four years. I have had in in my care his entire 7 years of life. Now my sister (step) claims she has her self together and is taking me to court to get custody of him or visitation. Her claim is that I am unfit. I read above that she has to prove her case by having things in her name to prove she has her self together but she doesn't. To my knowledge everything is in her current boyfriends name. Her case is that he has custody of his kids and she takes care of them, so I guess she feels this means she is ready to take care of my nephew. Her current boyfriend has a house that she lives in and she doesn't work. She moved in with him 1 1/2 years ago because she had no where else to go and she moved in to be the nanny. Some how the are now "engaged" to be married this year?. I am so scared to think a judge would give her the opportunity to be in my nephews life based on her current claim.
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Old 11-30-2015, 11:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: Custody of my nephew, can I adopt? My step sister is a drug addict.

Hey can the person who replied to this post saying they can't take child without showing all kinds of proof they can take care of child email me I am going through the same thing with my two nephews . I have a lawyer but I'm so scared I will lose them mom is 16 and in foster care, she lost the oldest at 3 months then got pregnant again and failed drug test so she is in foster care now her parents are criminals and drug addicts I can't let children go back would destroy these boys I currently have temp custody lawyer doesn't think they will terminate her rights cause she is so young but she can't take care of these boys.
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Old 12-02-2015, 07:30 AM   #7
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Default Re: Custody of my nephew, can I adopt? My step sister is a drug addict.

Your best bet is to consult children's services and ask point blank if they would support an ex parte filing for custody. If they say they will, obtain a lawyer and do so. This means they do not believe reunification is in the child's best interests. That said ultimately, their goal is to avoid paying out to support someones kids, that is why a relative or friend okayed by the parent(s) is usually selected. Their father being in the picture can toss a wrench into the works as they also have custody rights.
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