How to help a friend?
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Posting anon to protect the innocent (my friend) and the not so innocent (her rotten kid!).
A friend of mine told me last night she's going to be a grandmother. Her 17yo son got his 15yo girlfriend pregnant. The girl is going to keep the baby, but I don't know how much they'll allow my friend and her family to be involved. She said she's to the point with her son that she wonders how much she could do to him and NOT go to jail! I totally understand where she's coming from because I have some (very different) difficulties with my child, too. So how can I help her? She's been on my mind all day. Her son is just getting more and more defiant. He's got another year and a half of school left and I'm sure the girl has at least 2 1/2 or 3 1/2 years left. What do you think?
Oh, Anon. I have a story to share with you, but do not want to do it on-line. Please use the link in the Contact Menu, and I will get in touch with you.
As for how you can help your friend - listen, comfort her, and help her to find out what she really wants to do.
As for how much the girl's family would allow your friend's son to be involved, the courts usually have something to say about this. If he claims fathering the child, the court would require his permission if she decided to put the child up for adoption. The court would, of course, order him to pay child support. But, the court would also probably order that he be allowed visitation, and that generally is not tied to payment of child support. However, depending on the state, it is not terribly likely that the grandmom, your friend, would be able to get a court order for visitation if the girl decided she didn't want it.
However, I have never (thank all the saints) worked in domestic law, and this is based only on my memory of what I have read and what I have seen happen to others. Obviously, anyone who wants to claim parentage, or to try to get visitation rights, should consult an attorney who practices in the state where the baby's mother lives.
Thank you, Ginny. I emailed you.
Oh, gosh. I can understand your friend's frustration. Her "little boy" will have some very adult consequences to the very adult decisions he's made. I don't have any advice, just thoughts and prayers for everyone involved.
I do know that your friend can petition the court for visitation if you are in TX. I know this because a friend of mine's dd's grandmother asked the court for visitation even though the father wants nothing to do with the child and it was granted.
Your friend needs to get a hold of an attorney. The laws are different in each state, as far as grandparents rights. However, her son does have rights, that baby has a right to financial support, and emotional support if the situation is handled correctly. Here it is not uncommon for the custodial parent to get an order for support and an order preventing visitation with the non custodial parent, if the non custodial parent doesn't push for the visitation. Teen pregnancy can be such a sad thing to watch. I think one is too many, but we know of way to many in our town, so many people hurting in these situations.
What is the relationship with the girls family?
So sad, things like this are tragic and often turn out painfully ugly in the end. What a mess they have created..
If it is at all possible, your friend needs to try to establish support (emotional) with the girls family because they will share this grandchild and they will influence the choices of their daughter. Her age will imply lack of emotional maturity and not enough wisdom to understand the value of that baby knowing who he/she is from. Which will likely mean if the boy doesn't want to be with her, or she doesn't want to be with the boy, the baby will be used as a punishment/ploy to manipulate the situation. Very sad for your friend. Her son needs a rude awakening and a JOB...
I think that before anyone starts thinking about contacting a lawyer and asserting parental or grandparental rights, it sounds like Anon's friend's biggest issue is how to deal with her son.
And she needs to stop blaming herself - which I am sure she is doing. Sadly, this kind of thing happens. If it can happen in the family of a state governor, that is a clear message that it can happen to anyone, no matter what kind of parenting took place. (And no, that is not a dig against Sarah Palin. I am sure she has been a very good mother and did her darndest to teach her children well - sometimes this kind of thing happens no matter what we do.)
Ginny, I agree but sadly even the best parents raise troubled children. In my opinion friends best shot in gaining any type of sanity in this is to get herself help. At 17 years old, changing his behavior is not likely.