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  1. #1
    printwows Guest

    Aunt Has Custody,Mother Died,Father want kids

    Virginia

    A year ago today my sister gave birth to twin daughters. Less than 24 hours later she past out, went into a coma. I applied for emergency custody and received temporary custody for 6 months. When the case was up for review I received full custody of them.

    Before all this happened my sister explained she was not exactly sure her boyfriend was the father and that he was waiting with money in hand to get a paternity test. However, when she took ill he stated to my brother he didn't care whether they were his or not.

    However, over the past year I have been greatly distrubed as he's made no effort to know them, call to check up on them, or visit them. When I would call him and check up on my sister's condition and try to tell him about the girls he would say "I know they are ok i'm just going to concentrate on their mom". I've tried to take into consideration as over the past year he sat by her bedside all while she was in a coma and played a tremendous part in helping her overcome some of her disability. He made her last days happy ones.

    However, during all this time when I took the babies weekly (2 hours away) to see her he made no attempt to touch them or get to know them. I finally had to take one of them and put them in his arms each time I came. I understand him wanting to focus on my sister but a little affection toward the girls would now be expecting too much.

    During this time I received tanf for them from social services. They also pursued establishing paternity starting January 2002. He elected to take a paternity test (I fully agree with if one has doubt) which extended the court process but he didn't want my sister to know. The children were found to be his on Sept 16, 2002. He was told he had to pay back money from January 2002 since he elected to take the test and he has to pay a substantial amount of child support monthly for each child. Ironically 3 hours later (2 hours away) my sister past out and died. It was a shock to all of us as she had made some landmark progess.

    Making a long story short my sister's best friend called me to tell me he has plans to come get them in 2 weeks. I'm baffled as he's made no effort to tell me and we don't have any bad blood between us. I will say I'm opposed because he's not able to take care of them. He works and sometimes has to travel. I also think he wants them only because he thinks it will save money on child support. Today is their birthday and they turned 1 year old and still no call for that, to see how they are doing since their mom's death, etc. However, if he insist on pursuing custody will he have to petition the court where he lives (2 hours away) which is the original place that awarded me custody or will he have to petition in my area since they've lived here almost a year? What are his chances of getting twin 12 months olds girls that he's never visited dispite the many invitations we've made? He has stated to my sister's best friend he will hire someone to take care of them. My husband, daughter (19 years) and myself having had them since birth and been their caregiving every since.
    Last edited by printwows; 10-13-2002 at 12:52 AM.
  2. #2
    kat1963 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,939
    IF he files he'll probably do so 2 hours away. Then you can file for a change in venue to where you are. Yes, he does have a good chance of winning custody since he is the biological father. Doesn't appear to matter if he hadn't been in touch for a year or even two in VA (5+ years then there might be a problem, VA doesn't have abandonment like other states) Unless he can be proven unfit, he has rights to know & raise his children. The judge would probably order frequent & meaningful visitation over a period of time in order for the babies to make the adjustment before the change in custody becomes a final order. No matter what it will expensive, long & very emotional for all parties. The other option & I really hate to say this since he is their Daddy (gosh how sad this is for everyone!) but there is adoption. You can even have an open one if you wish. Perhaps he would agree to this? It does stop support, but he would still be liable to the state for the TANF & arrears.
    I'm so sorry about your sister, how horribly tragic!
    KAT
  3. #3
    printwows Guest
    Thanks for your reply. My concern is not that he receives custody of them. I feel they should at some point be with him if he wants them. My concern is that it's obvious to everyone including myself he's not equipped to do it right now. I'm also concerned that he's made no effort to know them. But you telling me the court may order visitations for him to get to know them is just what I want. I was afraid he could be awarded custody without learning anything about them. Since he's made no effort up to this point that was a major concern. Yes, adoption is a choice. But I don't want to take his children I just want to make sure he wants them because he loves them and that he can provide for them emotionally and physically. One of the babies has a medical condition that requires daily medication. Several times during the year she has to go for testing. He's just told the judge in child support court his job doesn't provide health care for family. So again I have good reason to worry.

    Again, thanks for your help. I will just tell him should he appear that he needs to go through the courts to change custody as they have to undo their decision and let the court handle it as i'm sure they will make sure the necessary care giving, health care, housing is in place before releasing them. I have nothing against him personally my only desire is that the girls are taken care and their transition is smooth.

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