Hi I have a 19 yearold daughter who had a baby 3 months ago. The father left her when she was 2 months pregnant and left her with a lot of bills. Since the baby has been born, she has been having such angry problems and in the last few weeks –Met a guy in March07 moved in with him July 7 to July 25 in which time she trashed the apartment,throwing things at him out of control, she continued to try and pick fights with family, anyone looks at her she will get mouthy and ask if they have a problem( at stores restaurants etc) Moved back home for 17 days then all of a sudden moved back with the guy cause she can’t stand us. We have been taking care of baby and all his needs while she says she feels like doing nothing. She is spending money she doesn’t have and has borrowed money from me and now can not repayme but continues to borrow more money. She will be talking about one thing and then change to another topic. One minute she is fine and the next she blows up and says hateful things and gets soo angry and hateful. She has told lies about me telling SAFE that I abused her, lied to a sheriff, etc. She loves her baby but forgets when she feeds him, or to bath, etc. I am so afraid for her and my grandchild because I know this is not my daughter something is so wrong but The sheriff dept said I can do nothing unless she is a threat to herself or baby. Her biological father was diagnosised with Bipolar several years ago. What can I do to get her to see there is a problem.
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The safety of the baby comes first.
The sheriff’s department raises an important question: is this mother a threat to herself or her baby?
One of the few things you can do is report you daughter to children’s services. Please forgive me if I forget what that department is now called. It has changed names so many times over the years that I have lost tack. At one time it was called "child protective services." In any case you can report that you are suspicious that the baby is being neglected. You have a strong case if you can prove this. You report that your daughter forgets when or if she has fed the baby and does not remember whether the infant has been bathed. Child neglect is grounds for having the infant removed from your daughter’s custody.
The other ground for a case against your daughter is that her behavior is very unstable. If, as you say, she has trashed her apartment in a fit of rage it certainly raises the question of whether she is fit to raise the child and whether the child is safe with her.
If you can establish that your daughter is putting herself and the child in danger then you can sue for custody of the infant and that would make you responsible for your grandchild and would allow you to provide a safe environment for the infant. What happens to your daughter would be up to her but she would have to prove her self to be a reliable person before the courts would return the infant to her care.
Nothing is ever as simple as it appears to be and that includes doing some of the things mentioned above. If you truly suspect that your grandchild is not safe then it is incumbent on you to take action against your daughter and that includes going to Child Protection Service and getting your self a lawyer to protect both your self and your grand child.
Of course, doing this would deeply impact your relationship with your daughter. This may not be a bad thing but could be very painful for all of you in the beginning because she will be very angry. Please remember, the safety of the baby comes first.
Why is your daughter behaving in these erratic ways? Has she always been this way or is it recent?
I am not asking you to respond to me but to consider the answers carefully.
1. If your daughter has always been irrational, emotional and explosive it points to a severe emotional disorder. She could be suffering from a Bipolar Disorder, severe Major Depression or some other type of psychiatric problem.
2. If your daughter has never before been this way and her behavior is very recent then she may be abusing drugs, something which is all too common a problem today.
In either case, your daughter will need a lot of psychological help, whether she has a psychiatric condition, an addiction problem or both.
Regardless of the problems that are causing your daughter’s problems the baby needs and deserves protection and if she cannot or will not provide that protection then you can go the legal route and make certain that the baby is safe. Even if you do not get permanent custody, temporary custody, provided by the courts, would give your daughter the chance to get help and learn to begin functioning in a way that is reliable and would make her a good mother to her baby.
This is a difficult situation but it sound like you must act to protect your grandchild.
Best of Luck