You are here:

Adoption Issues/Can I get custody of my niece?

Advertisement


Question
We live in Missouri, my sister has custody of her 13 yr old daughter and is not willing to give me custody of her. My sweet niece is verbally and mentally abused by her mother on a daily basis. Her mom has been in and out of prison her whole life, i believe she abuses prescription meds, the live in a camper at my dads house and she has no intentions on getting a job. My niece has already changed schools 3 times just this school year. Today my niece called me in tears saying horrible things about taking her life or running away. She is not a drama queen seeking attention. My heart is broke and im sick to my stomach in worry. There is only so much one young kid can handle. I will do whatever it takes to save her from this pain. This isnt a typica adoption so i hope you can still lead me in the right direction. What is my first step to take. Im willing to take my sister to court if need be. Any ifo will help. Thank you. By the way i am a stay at home mom of two young boys, my husband has a full time job, we pay our bills, we have a large home with an extra room and we have never been in legal trouble

Answer
Hello Kayla,

First I need to apologize for my delayed response.  

If your sister will not voluntarily give you custody of her child, she does not have to.  That is her right.  Your only recourse is to contact Child Protective Services and make a report against your sister.  Be sure to advise them of the ways you feel your niece is being mistreated and share that you and your husband are willing to care for her.  

This is a very tough thing to do within a family.  Be prepared for negative responses, but if you truly feel that she is being mistreated, then a report should be made.  

All the best to you and your family,
Chandricka Mose  

Adoption Issues

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Chandricka R. Mose, LCSW-C, LICSW, ACSW

Expertise

EXTENSIVE!! I can answer questions about issues pertaining to foster care, treatment foster care, foster care to adopt matters, kinship care, reunification and homestudy concerns and process.

Experience

I have 20 years of experience ih this arena. I have worked in preventing youth from entering care and provided case management to youth and families in care. I have conducted and supervised training for foster and adoptive parents in both the presercive and inservice phases. I have conducted and supervised parenting skills training for parents seeking to regain custody of their children. I also held positions as program supervisor and director of foster care services. I am an advocate for youth, professionals and parents that find theselves involved in the foster care and/or adoption process. I have also experienced foster care and adoption personally as I grew up with a mom who provided foster care services and have two adopted siblings.

Organizations
I am on the Advisory Committee of Kayla's Village. This is an advocacy and training organization for youth, professionals and parents involved with the child welfare system.

Publications
I have not been published, but serve as the social work expert at the Kayla's Village ask the expert free on-line service. I have also presented at a national conference on foster care and adoption issues.

Education/Credentials
I have a Bachelor of Social Work from Howard University and a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University. I am clinically licensed in both Maryland and Washington, DC.

Awards and Honors
I was once honored as Employee of the Year.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.