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Old 07-07-2009, 01:46 PM
 
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Hi,

My son is concerned about a girl friend of his that is having a troubling time with her family. She is currently with her mom for the summer in another city and it is not going well. She wants to come back to finish her senior year, but does not want to come back to her dad (who has custody but that she is currently seeking emanicpation) and step mother. She will be 18 in Sept.

Of course, my first instinct is to say yes. But I am not sure I want to get into this troubling situation. I have met this girl and she is a very nice youg lady and I am sure would not be a problem to have in our home. However, I do not know her family. And the story of her problems is only what I hear from my son. I also don't know if this is just some drama right now that will smooth out in time.

I suggested to my son, that she frist try to work it out with her family. Maybe counseling or other directions she could for help. But, if she truly needs a home so that she can finish her HS year, I would be willing to take her in for the time she needs. I am thinking it would be something similar like having an exchange student, we would sit down and come to agreements of expectations, etc.

Has anyone ever taken in a child and had this experience? What would you suggest she do or go for help?

Thank You.
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Old 07-07-2009, 02:02 PM
 
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Step 1. Get a lawyer. You will need to ascertain exactly what your risks and rights are. Until she is emancipated, you may be at legal risk of committing some kind of crime by taking her in. The state does not yet recognize her right to make these decisions and may decide to hold you responsible. That could be bad.
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Old 07-07-2009, 02:16 PM
 
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Be very careful on this one....
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Old 07-07-2009, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Kansas
3,855 posts, read 11,461,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nd4me View Post
Of course, my first instinct is to say yes.
Seriously???? My first instinct would be to say H-no. Only after extremely careful consideration would I elect to take in a child that did not belong to me.

Also is this girl someone your son is interested in (possibly sexually)? I suppose that would be nice of you to accomodate them but....
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Old 07-07-2009, 02:40 PM
 
158 posts, read 1,017,916 times
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Thanks, I know this is not a good idea, and need to hear it so I can exlpain it to my son. And no she is not a girlfriend.

Last edited by nd4me; 07-07-2009 at 02:41 PM.. Reason: text
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Old 07-07-2009, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,309 posts, read 33,329,150 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarmig View Post
Step 1. Get a lawyer. You will need to ascertain exactly what your risks and rights are. Until she is emancipated, you may be at legal risk of committing some kind of crime by taking her in. The state does not yet recognize her right to make these decisions and may decide to hold you responsible. That could be bad.
This smells like liability to me, not to mention some potentially bad drama with a 3rd party family. Careful.

I'm trying to think how I would feel if I were that girl's father. You definitely would not get a Christmas card.
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
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I guess you are hearing only her side of the story via your son. Do you have any proof that what she says its true? When I was a exchange a student I had a friend who was a exchange student also. She hated her "host" family. If you heard her talking about them you'll think they were monsters. I myself loved them. I spent the night over at their house often enough to know they were not monsters. They were involved and protective. My "host" mom was very uninvolved.
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:27 PM
 
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Maybe you could defuse potential problems by getting the girl's father on board. She is after all almost 18. Perhaps if he meets you and feels comfortable having his daughter live with you a couple months, he would allow it.
Although it's a different situation, I took in my 16 year old niece to live with me a few years ago. Her mother had sole custody but knew that fighting the decision would only further damage her relationship with her daughter. Suffice to say that her presence in my life was a gift for both of us.

You could be helping this young lady out of a stressful situation and setting an example for her Since we don't have all the details, it's hard to know how to advise. But if you get the Dad to agree,
that diffuses possible legal complications. If that happens, lay out your rules and expectations and make sure she knows the consequences if she violates them.

Listen to your instincts on all aspects of this situation. It will guide you well. Good luck!
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:13 PM
 
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A social worker may be able to interview the girl and give someone an idea of her potential problems. Or I would have her discuss the issue with the high school counselor--he/she may have a great idea of what to do and may have dealt with this issue before and will most likely know more details about this girl and her home life than you.

It is great that your son wants to help and that you want to help your son. I would at least begin doing so by helping her navigate her other options. Perhaps by doing this you will get to know her more and if, at the end, she truly has no further options, you may have a better feeling as to whether it would work to have her stay with you.
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:21 PM
 
158 posts, read 1,017,916 times
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I really appreciate it. It seems that today, she understands our hesitation and has decided to stick it out with mom until college. My son was just worried and wanted to be able to offer her a good stable home. I'm proud of him for wanting to help someone.
Thanks.
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