By nanaellen Latest Reply 2012-04-23 16:33:57 -0500
Started 2012-04-15 12:35:39 -0500

I've tried to get a restraining order or a no contact order but the Courts won't help me because I'm NOT AFRAID of her!! And according to them there is no emminent danger!!! REALLY??? She's threatened him to take him and move to Alabama!!! WHY IS THIS NOT CONSIDERED A THREAT??? Isn't that threatening KIDNAPPING?? For those of you who don't know the circumstances…I adopted my grandson when he was 2 years old…he's now 14 almost 15. EVERY time he has contact with his Mother is like taking 20 steps back from where he was!! I'm tired of starting ALL OVER AGAIN!! He's doing SO good in school right now and she's gonna screw it all up AGAIN!! She sneaks around my house until she knows I'm NOT HOME and then talks to Anthony!! She's even gone to his school to leave him envelopes with money in them and tells him "Don't tell Nana!!" With everything that's going on with my husband only having 2-6 months to live this poor kid is devastated!!! He's already pulling out his hair (eyelashes- eyebrows and hair) He does this when he's stressed. I'm at a loss as to what to do next for him?! Anyone have any suggestions?? I'll try anything at this point!! Thanks, Ellen

42 replies

nanaellen 2012-04-23 14:11:15 -0500 Report

Hi to you ALL!! Sorry it took so long to get back on here but you know the deal already. O.K. so let me update you…I went to district court they can't help me, went to the police dept. made a report about the school incident & her coming by my house. They suggested Family Court so I went there…they can't help me…sent me to the Women's Resource Center…They can't help me, but suggested as many of you here did keeping track of everything…but I did find out that depending on EXACTLY how it's worded in the final Adoption Decree I MAY be able to charge her with contempt of court!! I'm still waiting for a copy of the Final Decree to come in the mail, but I'm almost certain it states that she is to have visits "@ MY Discretion" If this is how it's worded then it is Contempt of Court and she will face charges!! I have already gotten Ant into counseling his second appt. is this Friday. Tryin' to keep on top of all this. I'm going to go back to the school dept. and get the records from them cause all of Ant's ups and downs coallate with his Mother's contact and have been recorded through the school AND his pediatrician!!! I knew this day would come and I am VERY prepared it's just a matter of getting it all together! I thank you all for all this knowledge and support!!

Caroltoo 2012-04-23 14:27:15 -0500 Report

Glad to hear you are so on top of it all, Ellen. Good job. Hope the decree issue is as you hope and you can file against her.

jayabee52 2012-04-19 18:12:26 -0500 Report

I asked someone on the site to take a look at this discussion and even though she doesn't want to use her name (something about practice of law without a license) here she gave me permission to post her reply to me on this board, so here it is:

" If I were the person looking for advise I would first go online to www.findlaw.com and click the state you are in. Then, look for 'Statutes and Rules' under that state. Then look for a 'Family law' section that you can skim thru to find the laws in your state that are relevant to your situation. This way you will know what you need to know and be able to do what you need to do; if you are unable to understand the Statutes/Rules then you NEED to get help from an attorney. If money is tight there are many places you can get legal advice from an attorney and sometimes it is free. Check your city for a "Legal Aid" office that assists people with things like this. I would hope there is someplace where she can get some assistance. I hope this helps. I wish I could do more. I will say she should keep EVERYTHING in writing including dates, times, specific statements, places, witnesses. Remember the 'Who, What, Where and When' everytime she comes into your world and upsets the day. If you have tangible proof of what this person is doing you can get the legal help you need."

I pray this will be useful!


mermaw 2012-04-18 16:12:24 -0500 Report

Ellen, I'm so sorry to hear of all the trials you are going through. I feel very frustrated just reading about it, so I can imagine how you feel. You have gotten some very good advice. While a paper/time/event trail may not seem important, if it comes to needing evidence of your trying to stop her, or of her behavior (and you have no way of knowing what you may need in the future), this can make a big difference. Get in the habit of writing down everything that connects to her - date, time, location, what happened, who was there, EVERYTHING. And do it ASAP after each occassion, so that nothing is left out, forgotten. Has Anthony always had contact with her, or is this recent? It occurs to me that if this is fairly recently (and even if not) he may be concerned about his future. He is aware of the impending changes at home, and may be worried that after your surgery, and with your husband gone, that he will be a burden that you may no longer want. Talk to him (if you haven't already) and let him know that this is not the case, that you are very glad you will have him so that you won't have to face this alone. Let him know that you don't expect anything from him (no "man of the house" stuff), just his love and company. It sounds like you have a good relationship, seeing as you know about the sneaking around she is doing. I am assuming that he has told you about her visits to the home & school. This is a good sign, if he is telling you about these things he will probably also tell you if she tries to make plans with him. Let him know you would be devistated if he weren't there. If he doesn't want contact with her, let him know he doesn't have to answer if she comes to the door or calls (if you don't have caller ID-get it), and that he can walk away from her if she ambushes him away from school/home. Let him know this a not rude, but rather in his best interest, and that you would do the same thing with someone you didn't want to see. He no doubt has guilt feelings about not talking to her since she is his bio mother, but evidently either she didn't want him or did something big for you to have adopted him. Let him know that she may have given him life, but that was all she did for him, so he doesn't owe her anything, not even contact. About the restraining order: you may not be afraid of her (just her actions, which should count), but is HE? if Anthony is afraid of her/what she might do, maybe that can get the order. That won't guarantee she leaves him alone, but will force the police to do something if she tries to contact/see him. If she gets picked up & held in jail a few times she may decide it's not worth it & to move on.

Caroltoo 2012-04-18 11:30:38 -0500 Report

Hi, Ellen: haven't seen you on here since the 15th when you and I talked about Ant. You've gotten a lot of good advice, though the quantity may look a little overwhelming to you with your present stress levels.

Perhaps a summary with prioritization would be helpful:
1. Contact the school to get additional psychological/supportive help for Ant.
2. Document every contact you or Ant have with his bio-mother (Joyce has some good details about what to record.)
3. Call the police each time to file a report…accumulate that information.
4. Contact someone (Domestic Violence Hotline, pro bono attorney, ACLU) to get information SPECIFIC to your state's laws on how to proceed with prosecution of bio-mom to get protection for Ant.

Protecting Ant and helping him feel safe is the number 1 priority. The rest will take time to accomplish, but the process needs to be started now also. Carol

northerngal 2012-04-18 13:24:56 -0500 Report

I would also try to get social services involved if her "visits" are causing him emotional distress. He is being caught between two differing forces at a very vulnerable time in his life (adolesence) and you may need to get other entities involved. The police can only help when a law has been broken, otherwise their hands are somewhat tied. It would be easy to suggest moving, but that probably isn't feasible. The advice from Caroltoo was excellent. Dates, times, what happened and what was said are all proof you need to strengthen your position. I worked in law enforcement years ago and laws vary from state to state. There are several good organizations to help you and social services is a good place to start. They will have help available in your area and the information to send you to others who can assist. Wishing you well.

Old-n-Grey-n-Wiser 2012-04-18 17:45:15 -0500 Report

I would be very careful bring in services involved, today they do not look out for the best interests of those whom need the protection, but go off on their own agenda, I am going through this with my grandson and what has happened is unreal and very painful to go through.

northerngal 2012-04-21 20:04:17 -0500 Report

They are supposed to consider the best interest of the child, but that assumes each employee truly does that. They come across as heartless sometimes because they aren't emotionally involved (or shouldn't be). That makes it tough on those who are caught in the middle. Sorry to hear that the SS near you don't follow the stated purpose of the agency. Hope things work out for you.

Old-n-Grey-n-Wiser 2012-04-21 20:33:27 -0500 Report

When the worker pulls your grandchild out of your home and tells you are guilty of loving him too much and it is interfearing with her putting him back with his parents after he was removed because his father shot at him with a shotgun, Pisssed you bet!!

pixsidust 2012-04-19 14:13:35 -0500 Report

Tom is right here! You have adopted him and there is no custody issue.
So social services are not needed

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-04-18 00:37:03 -0500 Report

Hi, have you tried to find an legal site that you can address this to? Maybe legal aide could help? Just a thought as we are all just throwing out sugestions and what you need is legal advice.

jayabee52 2012-04-18 00:58:21 -0500 Report

there is a new member to DC "lawgal" ( https://www.diabeticconnect.com/users/1144103... ) perhaps she could speak to the issue or point ellen in the right direction.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-04-18 10:29:58 -0500 Report

That probably would help point her in the right direction. I would have been writing down dates, times, incidents as well as called police for tresspassing. I would have sent her a certified letter telling her she had to stay away from him, school, home and anywhere else she has gone to see him. Now, if he does want to see her and it seems as though he does or he would not open door to her, or even talk to her any where she shows up, then he will have free range when he is 18 in 3 yrs from now. I wonder if the stress he is going through is from watching mom and grandmother and him not having any input? It is such a shame when a child can't be happy for whatever the reason:)

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-04-17 20:54:26 -0500 Report

As a person who is very much involved with the police department through community work and who has written a training manual and trained people for Citizen on Patrol groups, here is an easy way to keep track of calls to 911.

-Write time call was placed to 911
-Get name/number or 911 operator
-Write down time officer arrived
-Write down name of Officer and Badge Number
-Write down report number
-Write down time officer cleared scene
-Get a copy of the Police Report for your records.

Try to remain calm. The 911 operator has a series of questions she/he ask in an effort to get as much information as possible. While you are answering questions, an officer will have been dispatched.

margokittycat 2012-04-16 22:18:45 -0500 Report

Ellen, You need to get an attorney and have them file stalking charges on her. Take DeanaG advice and keep a Journal and in the journal along with the date, time and location, you need to be very detailed as to what it is she is doing. Your attorney can have the school testify or do affidavidts stating that she has been there numerous times dropping things off. Find an attorney who is a child advocate they are the best.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-04-17 20:37:50 -0500 Report

Margo, you go to an attorney and tell him all about how I am stalking you. Your attorney goes to court and charges are filed and a court date is set. On the day of the trial I show up with my attorney to face the charges. The first thing my attorney is going to ask for is disclosure of evidence and a witness list. Your attorney cannot produce not one shred of evidence proving that I am stalking you. Case dismissed, I dance down the courtroom steps. I then have my attorney sue you for false arrest. You lose your house, car and anything else because I will sue for millions because, I will ask for court and attorney fees.

The journal is useless because she has no solid evidence to prove stalking. The journal would be good to document date, time, police were called, name of responding officer/s and police report number. It would also be good to keep notes of who at the school was contact with date and time and notes of any meetings held at the school. The journal can be used as proof that action was taken due to the dates, times, report numbers, officer names and notes from meetings.

When it comes to the school system, the employees more than likely will have the attorney for the school system look over everything. Their goal will be to prevent the school from being sued.

By the way if you call 911 and the responding officer refuses to write a report, you can call 911 again and ask for the responding officers supervisor. You can continue up the chain of command until a report is written.

DeanaG 2012-04-16 13:09:31 -0500 Report

Keep a detailed (date,time, and location) log of each contact, phone call or occurrence. This will go a long way assisting you in getting a restraining order.
I had to do this when my ex-husband was harassing me and threatening to snatch my daughter when I got full custody.

pixsidust 2012-04-15 22:47:28 -0500 Report

Stalking is a crime
You have to tell the police…that woman is stalking my minor child.
I would have to get afraid.
Tell him to call the police when she comes over
Inform the school she is not to deliver envelopes
Legally she is not related to him and you have to let everyone know
she has no legal rights.

MAYS 2012-04-16 11:19:45 -0500 Report

Stalking is not determined by the police, the victim or the perpetrator, that has to be determined by a judge, or a jury in a court of law, until then it's only considered "hear-say" a "fair warning" is issued to the perpetrator once that case is heard and decided by a judge, the best thing to do is to file charges and have the case heard before a judge, that wall "all" of the facts can come out and a ruling made, thereby making the decision final, and legally binding!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-04-16 21:22:08 -0500 Report

In order to get the case to court you have to go through either the police or the District Attorney. You also have to have proof of cause for legal action to be taken. For example. If you say someone is stalking you, and the person says they aren't, that is your word against the other. You have to have some kind of proof to bring the case before a judge.

The District Attorney is not going into court without evidence and the judge will certainly want some kind of evidence to show cause as to why a protective order is issued.

Even if the protective order is issued, they are very hard for the police to enforce. They have to catch the person in the act of violating the order. In fact if the person is determined to get to the person they are focused on, a protective order isn't going to stop them.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-04-16 10:44:05 -0500 Report

I agree with you with the exception that you can't ask a child to take responsibility for what adults should be doing. You do not under any circumstances put minor children in adult situations when there are responsible adults around to take care of this. Once the child is off school property, the school is no longer responsible. Having him call the police on his mother is only going to add more stress on him. The odds are good he isn't going to call the police on his mother even if she isn't his mother legally.

Having worked in a school office, we have banned parents and others who have come into the school and exhibited violent behavior. For example, we had a 5th grader who had been sexually abused by her uncle. The police were called as well as the parents who did not live together. The police went to the home of the mother to make an arrest and he was gone. It was suggested when the child returned to school that she look out the window and point him out if she saw him at dismissal. Her father brought her to school and returned to pick her up. She did and one of us would call the police. At no time was the responsibility of calling the police placed on the child. We had all kinds of problems with parents or legal guardians of children at the school and no time did we ever involve the child.

The problem is nana has no form of evidence to prove there is a problem for the courts to take legal action. A threat may or may not have taken place. If his mother said she wanted to take him to live with her, that isn't a threat. On the other hand if she has told nana that she was going to literally take him and there was nothing she could do about it, this could be taken as a threat.

Nana isn't afraid of her however, she is afraid of what she may do to the grandson. This is where she should have taken action by calling the police every time she sees her on her property. I don't know how it works in her state but here a parent can call a meeting with the Principal, school police, school counselor and explain the circumstances why the child needs protection and they have to take action. She should also have something in writing and I would have it notarized and in place at the school. Under no circumstances should anyone at the school take messages or packages from the mother and passing them to the son if they know she has no legal rights to him. They are actually enabling the mother to do what she does because the mother knows the school isn't doing what they should be doing and she knows nana hasn't done anything.

I understand nana has to have surgery and caring for her husband. She needs someone close to her to help her. Until this problem is resolved, someone should pick the grandson up from school and take him there. The mother just might become desperate enough to try to grab him, or even worse get someone to help her grab him. I really hope this works out for them. No child should be in danger ever.

pixsidust 2012-04-16 21:01:42 -0500 Report

When a child goes through an adoption its as if the real mother does not exist. Her name is removed from the birth certificate. It may cause stress for him to call the police, that is true. Hadn't thought of that.

However in the eyes of the law, that Birth Mother is not the Mother because of the adoption and can be treated as a stranger unlike a normal custody battle where the parents remain the parents and names are still on the birth certificate.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-04-16 21:09:02 -0500 Report

I agree but remember there are kids who search for their birth mothers. He knows who his birth mother is and I don't think anyone knows how he feels about her. For all anyone knows, he may want a relationship with her. She can't have him legally, that doesn't stop him from seeing her once he is 18 or even before then. I think it may come down to not what nana wants but what he wants. He is the main concern in this problem. He has way too much stress to handle for a kid.

Caroltoo 2012-04-16 21:26:21 -0500 Report

Especially since he is a 15 year old male who is already under all the normal stresses of adolescence.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-04-15 19:59:35 -0500 Report

Nana you have to build a case for the courts to act. To get a no contact order you have to have police reports to back you up. You may not be afraid of her but you are afraid she will snatch your grandson. First of all, the school should not allow her in the building having contact with him and they certainly should not allow her on the property at all. Secondly, every time you see her on your property, call the police. She is trespassing. Explain to the police what she is doing and make it clear that you are the legal guardian. Does your school system have a School Police force? If so contact them also and explain what is going on.
If possible, get a wireless camera that you can put on your house to monitor her on the property. Save to a disc and this too will be a document to use in court.
Under no circumstances let your grandson or his mother know what you are doing if possible. You may also need the kind of car she is driving and the license number. This information should be given to the police along with a description of the mother.

Take your grandson to a therapist as soon as possible and explain to the therapist what is happening with your grandson. His report would be needed in court. You should also contact an attorney to get some advice. There are attorney's who will give free advice see if you can find one. See if any of your friends know an attorney who can answer your questions. His mother is actually stalking him not you. It is because you have not taken any action such as notifying the police that the courts are not helping you. When you go into court you have to have evidence to support your request, you don't have any so they are not going to simply take your word for it. His mother may not be able to grab him alone. She may get desperate enough to get someone to help her.

States have stalking laws. See what they are in your state and what you have to do to file charges. This information should be on the net. Good luck to you and your family.

jayabee52 2012-04-15 19:55:20 -0500 Report

Does Anthony want her attention, or is he bugged by her too? If he is bugged by her too you may want to get a restraining order against her. If you can demonstate that she is a danger to his health and wellbeing. You'll have to contact a lawyer to see what your local laws are regarding this issue.

Harlen 2012-04-15 18:53:47 -0500 Report

I am so sorry your going thru this ,I know how it feels !!!!!!!!!
Theres just not much you can do the only thing you can do is make as little fus as you can dont make a big deal out of it with him .
Hugs and best wishes

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-04-15 16:32:05 -0500 Report

Can you file stalking charges? File charges for tresspassing at least it'll get things documented. You may have to talk with an attorney to see what options you have, most are free for a consultation.

Good luck

Caroltoo 2012-04-15 13:07:00 -0500 Report

School systems have a referral process to get him psychiatric help. It's easier if he is already in special education, but if not there is still a Federally mandated process for getting him help. Go start the process (cause there is a paperwork trail) a.s.a.p.

She is a pain to deal with and that cross you may have to just put up with, but he needs help now.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-04-15 20:03:13 -0500 Report

Carol she also will need police reports for her trespassing on her property. She has not evidence to take to court so therefore, the courts are not going to help her.

Caroltoo 2012-04-15 20:17:32 -0500 Report

For documentation of her case, yes, she will, and that is the way she framed the question. I just took a 90 degree turn into another part of the same problem.

I was picking up on Anthony's distress and speaking to ways of dealing with it because he is going to need someone at school to turn to for support while Ellen is dealing with her upcoming surgery and his husband's illness. The more support he can get through the school, the better. A counselor to talk with anytime, a psychologist when available, and MST progam worker, if the school has MST, etc. That will free up a little of Ellen's time for herself and her spouse without ignoring Ant's needs.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-04-16 10:56:45 -0500 Report

Carol I understand what you are saying and totally agree with you. However, nana needs to take action. She also should have someone close to her help her with protecting Anthony. This means he should be taken to and from school.

She has to get the school and the police as well as school police involved. If she is taking envelopes to the school for him, the staff should not take them or give them to him. What they should be doing is calling the police and nana or take them and turn them over to the police or nana. At the school where I worked, we would never take anything for a child if that person was not on the list the parent gave us as someone who could contact the child. There were times parents would call us and tell us someone was bring something to the child. We would tell the parent to make sure the person had ID or we would not take it.

The most important thing to do is get him help immediately. I agree he needs someone not involved in this to talk to. He is in the middle and is being pulled in two directions. Kids even adopted at his age may remember his mother no matter how bad or good she was to him. For all anyone knows, he may love his mother as well as nana and this disturbs him.

I know she doesn't need added problems with what she is going through with her pending surgery and caring for her husband. I truly hope everything works out for them and Anthony. No child should ever be harmed by anyone. Children cannot protect themselves and should never be put into a position where they have to make adult decisions.

nanaellen 2012-04-15 13:15:32 -0500 Report

Thanks Carol, I have let the school know what's going on and they WILL keep her away from him but ONLY in school. And he has talked to the school physcologist, although because he has done wonderful this year in school he is not in special ed. anymore. Should I talk to them again?

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-04-16 11:03:03 -0500 Report

Nana, that is so good to know. Kids can't deal with stress as most adults can't. Thankfully, he hasn't let this have an affect on his school work. I would talk to the school again and make it clear that the mother cannot leave him anything and they should not take anything from her. Please contact the local police and explain everything to the officer/s. If they fail to act keep going up their chain of command until someone listens to you. I would also find a lawyer who will give you free legal advice. I pray everything works out for you and your family and please let Anthony know how much you love him and that you are there for him.

Caroltoo 2012-04-15 13:28:32 -0500 Report

Yes, hair pulling is a pretty severe sign of being overstressed. He probably needs to see someone on a fairly regular basis over the next 6-8 months. It will help him deal with the stress of bio-mom's antics, your illness and coming surgery, your husband's situation, and his fears about what will happen to him through out all of this upheavel.

For him to have a person outside of the home that is safe for him to talk to, may also help relieve some of your concerns about not being as readily emotionally available to him as you would be without all the stress you are experiencing. You will go on trying to be all things to all people in your life, but there is only so much Ellen to go around. This is also a way to help you cope as well as help Ant.