we are loving/caring for a 9mo baby boy, placed with us as a pre-adoptive foster home on his 4th day of life, as he was 11th child in a row born addicted to cocaine/marijuana to birth mother
. first 8 children all raised entirely in foster homes, each now has either criminal or drug problems or their own children in foster care or all three. last 3 children, incl this baby, were born to a new father, also an addict. the last two of those, instead of being placed in foster care, were placed in pre-adoptive homes like ours. no families showed up in court for any dates and children swiftly had their adoptions finalized. it was assumed the same would occur here.
baby brought to us w/adoption in mind and assumed, 5w premature, mother having no prenatal care, and he was still going through withdrawal. you could hold him in one hand. about a month after placement, we met parents, who seemed ok w/adoption. on second visit w/ them/baby, they were joined by baby's paternal grandmother, here on extended vacation from trinidad, to which she'd recently retired, and was here staying with friends. told us she had been offered the baby at birth, before us, and refused since she'd no place to bring him, was done raising children, didn't want to enable her son the birth father, and would soon be returning to trinidad. she wasn't thrilled that the baby is black and we are white and my husband is nypd to boot.
after several months of parents not showing for visits, paternal grandma started to show for their visits on her own and began to become hostile toward us, saying outright that we had bought the baby on the black market. when the baby was 6 months old, she filed for custody, but didn't show up for court, sending a message with her son that she wasn't going to bother as she thought the court was prejudiced. case was dismissed without prejudice, ironically. at the same time, grandma established residence and became licensed for foster care, telling us she didn't want to adopt him, nor care for him long, but use the baby to get her son off drugs and take responsibility in his life. son is still on drugs. she has not made this statement to authorities, nevertheless, they did not move the baby.
she has made some odd ravings in visits but these are never reported to court by agency in permanency reports. baby's court appointed lawyer is in favor of us adopting, as is children's services. agency seems to be afraid of grandmother and bows to every ridiculous whim.
now baby is 9 months old and suddenly paternal grandma has filed again for custody, specifically citing race and cultural interests as her reason for requesting transfer to her. this time she showed up for court, which seems to be taking her very seriously now, and court has suggested we hire a lawyer for ourselves.
this is likely to cost us a great deal of money. we have a 3 1/2 year old (also black) whom we also adopted from foster care. i had left work to care for her when she arrived and now that she was in school, was about to go back when this baby arrived. meaning we don't have a lot of money at this point. if we lose the case and the baby, we are out a lot of money which could've been spent on her. if we win the case, we get to keep the son we love and have fought to keep alive and healthy and my daughter keeps her brother, with whom there is a mutually deep attachment.
we never imagined when we went into this that we would be arguing with a child's family for him. we wanted to help give a home to a child who didn't have one. when he arrived, it seemed that was the case. now i'm trying to gauge our odds of winning before i blow my first kid's college fund on this case. do we have a case?