Bio mom hurts my heart


I have a step son that I have been caring for since he was a toddler. I would love to adopt him, but I know bio mom would never consent. For about 3 years, she had visitation rights every other weekend. But over those 3 years, she only used about 1/2 of her visits. She would cancel for reasons like "I over slept", "I have too many errands today", "I don't have money for gas". Such excuses would always come the hour she was expected to pick him up, so we would get him ready and then have to explain to him why he was staying home that weekend

Which was no easy task, because he is autistic.

Then she started going months without contact, and would pop back in like nothing happened. This change to his routine would cause regression and anger in him, and we tried our hardest to soften the blow each time. Eventually, it seemed like he just stopped caring about seeing her, and each time he would go to visit, he would ask to go home and actually walked out of her house once trying to come back home.....

Then she stopped all contact for almost a year, for no reason, she just stopped and when she resurfaced she tried to make it seem like it was my husbands fault. We have a lot of mutual friends, so we knew through the grapevine there was nothing drastic going on in her life. She tried to jump back in to his life but was stopped by my husband filing for supervised visits because she acts like autism is a personality quirk, and doesn't acknowledge the massive amount of effort it takes to have a meaningful relationship with a child that doesn't understand social interactions.

The judge ordered her to take parenting classes, autism education classes, and to start supervised visitation with a licensed therapist with a background in autism to help foster their relationship again. She made somewhat of an effort at the classes, but has once again disappeared from the child's life.....

So I started to look for her, because I wanted nothing more than to believe that something, ANYTHING, was going on to prevent her from being a part of his life right now....

But what I found through social media suggests something entirely different.....

She appears to be happy, and healthy. She has a husband and children with that husband that she post pictures about and talks about how much she cherishes them.....

She never mentions her first born child.....

How can I make sense of this? She lives so close, there is a court order in place that allows specific times for her to call and talk to my step son. He is doing so much better now and is able to verbally communicate, but she wouldn't know that because of how long it has been since they last talked.

I can't help but feel she gave up on him because he is special needs, and it requires more work that she is willing to put in. Is it possible that she views him as damaged?

I feel like I should do something, but what can be done? You can't force someone to be a parent, but what about my step son? What about the day when he asks about her, and why he doesn't live with her?

Sorry for the rambling, I just really feel sick from this situation and wish for there to be a solution, maybe someone on this forum can give some perspective or share their feelings.....

Comments (3)
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Where is this boy's father?

The right & the responsibility to 'do something' belong to him;
the only thing you can or need to 'do' is to get dad's backside in gear.

If that isn't in the cards, then I'd say smile & be pleasant & don't expect anything out of anybody in this family.

The son doesn't have it to offer or share, & his parents just aren't interested.

I wish you the best.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We are together, I apologize for not making that point clear. My angst is with how to proceed from here. There isn't really anything he can do at this point other than ask for no visitation, but that would bring her back into the picture and make it harder for me to adopt....

But if I try to adopt and she resists, there isn't enough time to claim abandonment....

And I don't even know if adoption is the right path, I would love for my step child to weigh in on what he wants but he does not have the mental capacity to do so at this point....

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If she hasn't completed the court-ordered parenting classes & education about autism, is that not something like contempt of court?

I'm sure some of the wise women here who've experienced legal entanglements will know more, but I can at least recommend that you document, document, document;
keep a diary, & record every communication, every time she's supposed to be there & isn't (or cancels), etc.

Also, print out those facebook posts.

Meanwhile, it doesn't sound like she's been around enough for him to wonder why he isn't with her.

He might just as easily ask why he isn't with the postman or the Sunday school teacher.

If he were to say something, I think I'd practice the age-old parental strategy of distraction.

"Oh, I dunno, honey...Hey, look, there's a squirrel in the back yard!"

Browse Gardening and Landscaping Stories on Houzz See all Stories
Most Popular My Houzz: Hip Midcentury Style for a Mom's Backyard Cottage
This 1-bedroom suite has everything a Texas mother and grandmother needs — including the best wake-up system money can't buy
Full Story
Selling Your House A Moving Diary: Lessons From Selling My Home
After 79 days of home cleaning, staging and — at last — selling, a mom comes away with a top must-do for her next abode
Full Story
Healthy Home 6 Tips From a Nearly Zero-Waste Home
Lower your trash output and increase your quality of life with these ideas from a mom who did it to the max
Full Story