I have been friends with a lady since we were in middle school. We both experimented with drugs and drank while underage, but after that, we took every different paths. I sobered up, finished school, got some job training and have been supporting myself pretty well for the last five years. My friend dropped out, stayed in the drug scene and has been in jail on a possession charge. Before she went to jail, she begged me to take her six-month-old son so he wouldn’t go into foster care. None of her family was willing or able to take him.
It’s been a struggle, but I’ve been able to give this boy a good life for the past two years. My friend gets out in three months and will be in a rehab program for another three months. She’s made it clear that she is taking her son back and moving out of state to live with a boyfriend. I’m totally heartbroken over this. I’ve never had anything but a hand-written note saying that I was authorized to get this boy medical treatment. I’ve also never taken any government assistance for him. Do I have any rights?
Heartbroken Foster Mom
Well, they say no good deed goes unpunished. You need to talk to a lawyer about your situation, but I’m guessing you really don’t have any rights here. Even if you had custody papers as a foster parent, the boy’s bio mom could petition to get her son back and it would probably be granted based on the fact that she is clean and has a stable home to go to.
Your best bet would be to stay in touch with your friend even though she is out of state. While I hope she stays clean and gets her life together, the odds are not in her favor. There is a good chance that she will need your help again before this is over. Even if she doesn’t, gather up all the mementos you can of your foster son because I bet a time will come when he tries to find you. He might be very grateful to learn about this part of his early life.
Congratulations on getting YOUR life together. You obviously have a kind and nurturing heart. I hope that you have children of your own to cherish one day.