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FamilyAnswer
FamilyAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 15807
Experience:  7 + years of handling Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support cases
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Hello I adopted five children ages 7, 5, 4 and 3 year old twins

Customer Question

Hello I adopted five children ages 7, 5, 4 and 3 year old twins out of a sibling group of 6. The child who we did not adopt was adopted, the state didn't want them to be placed together, her adoptive mother has been threatening to take us to court if we don't stick to a schedule that she likes for visitations. I asked my previous adoption case worker in Oregon if there was a law that says I have to let my kids see their sister on this schedule and she wont answer me. I don't like being told I have to let my kids see their sister and feeling threatened by this. It's causing our family great anxiety and sleepless nights. After my kids see their sister they regress, have night terrors and go back to wetting their pants and we get bad behaviors out of them. One example is that my 7 year old who has been labeled mild mental retardation stabbed his teacher in the face with his pencil after a visit. We want the kids to know their biological families but when they can understand what is happening. Could you please tell me what my rights are? And if their is a law that says I have to stick to this schedule what the consequences are if I don't abide to it? I didn't sign anything but a mediation agreement and that states that I can discontinue contact if I feel it is a problem.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 2 years ago.

Hi and Welcome to Just Answer. I will be the expert that will be helping you today. I look forward to helping you solve your problem.

What specific law are you referring to that you do not understand? Also, who created this schedule?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't know what law it is? The previous lawyer won't tell me what it is. I have lokked and can't find a law. The lawyer forced me into making a schedule and said if I didn't the courts would make one for me. I was told it was just a "good faith effort" and I am the legal guardion of the kids now. But then the lawyer and the case worker told me I could change the schedule if the other adoptive mother of the sister agreed to it. When I asked what will happen if we both don't agree she said that then the last agreed upon schedule will be what we will follow. when I asked the lawyer if this was a law she said yes. when i asked he what law it was she would not answer me. I have sent her three emails asking her to tell me what law it was.
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 2 years ago.
Your attorney should tell you what law or statute she is referring to. However, it is important to realize that if the visitation is causing problems, as you stated above, it needs to be modified. This would need to be done through the court. If you failed to allow the visitation, the other parent would have to go through the court as well, to enforce it. The court is going to act in the best interest of the child, so if there are behavioral problems as a result of this visitation, they may modify it, to not allow it, for the time being. You can beat her to the punch and see to modify it at this point, to avoid having to answer to the court, as to why you are not complying with the schedule.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She isn't my attorney she was the kids but isn't anymore because the kids have been adopted.
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 2 years ago.

If she is not willing to speak with you, then it would be best to go through the court, as I stated above, to protect your interest and the child's, so you do not have to continue to fight with the other parent over the visitation.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So can you tell me if their is a law? and what the consiquenses will be if I don't follow it. the problem about going to court is that we have moved out of Oregon and the court is 15 hours away.
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 2 years ago.
If there was a scheduled agreed to, you do need to follow it. That is what was likely being referred to when someone tells you that you need to follow the law. If you do not allow it, like I stated above, she would take you to court. The Judge could find you in contempt of court for failing to comply with the agreement. This is why I suggested you trying to modify the schedule, to avoid this and just not complying. If you have moved away, you may want to consider hiring an attorney to represent you. Moreover, if you moved 15 hours away, how is it possible for this child to visit with her sibling
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
But I didn't sign anything saying I will agree to this schedule. I will allow visitations but I want to be the one who decieded when and where. The visits happen because we either drive half way there or she drives here. Could you tell me what to refer to to find out the rules of this law or give me the numer to look it up?
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 2 years ago.
You keep referring to a schedule but say you didn't sign or agree to this. As such, what obligation do you have to allow this or who told you that you must allow them to see each other?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't know thats why I'm asking you if you know of a law in Oregon that says I have to allow sibling visitations or if the old kids lawyer is just blowing smoke up my a**. And it was the lawyer who told me I have to not the court. I don't have anything that I signed or anykind of paperwork that says I HAVE to have these visits. But I don't want to end up in court because I am breaking some sort of law.
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 2 years ago.
Unless she refers you to the law or some type of statute, which says you must allow visitation, you would not need to. If the other parent has a problem with this, she can take you to court and see court ordered visitation between the two of them. This is not something that would result in you going to jail or anything like that. It would be something that needs to be dealt with, either by you or her, if you are not willing to allow the visitation.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
so what could happen then if not jail?
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 2 years ago.
If she went through the court, you would need to appear and explain to the Judge why it is not in the best interest of your daughter to see her sister and the problems which is causes. As such, you would show good cause and it would be up to the Judge to decide if visitation should continue and be allowed to the Judge agrees that the problems outweigh the benefit and until the children get older, should not visit with each other. Thank you. If you have no other questions, please click the accept button, so I can get credit for my answer.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
...And how is this possiable when they are my kids? I should be the one who has full say in what happens to them and who they see. They have other half siblings and no one is forcing me to have visits with them.
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 2 years ago.
Yes, that is correct and another argument to make to substantiate your position, in the event she seeks the daughters to have visitation with each other. If anything, you could even try and get it supervised, if the other child is a problem.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
well this hasn't quiet answered my question and problem...
You haven't really told me anything I all ready didn't know myself. My real question is is there a oregon law that states adopted siblings have to have visitation and what law number is XXXXX and what can be the consiquences of not following this law???
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 2 years ago.
The United States Supreme Court has not yet declared that siblings, per se, have
a constitutional right to visit one another. The United States Supreme Court has
said, however, that there exists a private realm of "family life" which the
state cannot enter. Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158, 166 (1944). Because parents have the right to direct the upbringing of their children,
Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745 (1982), courts have generally held that in the
absence of a statute a sibling or half-sibling does not the right to visit the
sibling over the objections of the parents. As such, she would have to petition the court to order visitation since there is no specific statute in Oregon. Thank you and good luck. Please click the accept button, so I can get credit for my answer.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ok that answers one question but I would also like to know if I am ordered to have visitations then what are the consiquences that could happen to me if I don't allow them if not jail?
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 2 years ago.
If you are ordered by the court and violate it, the Judge could sanction you (fines) and if it continued without you complying, then the court could place you in jail.
FamilyAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 15807
Experience: 7 + years of handling Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support cases
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