Reluctant Stepmother

(13 Posts)
goddmother Sun 18-Aug-13 06:52:28

Name changed for this. I hope this is the right place.

My darling goddaughter has a life limiting illness. She and her ex have 2 DCs. One is of school age, one preschool. She is in hospital at the moment and the DCs are with her ex and his girlfriend (6 months pregnant) and the cause of their break up.

Girlfriend made it clear last week that this has to be temporary and she is unwilling to have the DCs with her and ex when the inevitable happens. Ex is upset but doesn't think he'll be able to change her mind and says he will not end the relationship in order to have them with him.

Goddaughter's mother died 5 years ago and her father is willing to have them but I honestly don't think he would be able to cope. She was born when they were in their 40s and had given up hope of having DCs.

It's a dreadful mess. Realistically my goddaughter will struggle to look after the children when/if she is allowed home but we hope she will have support from Social Services. But she's unlikely be around this time next year if the doctors are to be believed.

I'm travelling today to see her and hope to see her ex and the DCs but I don't know what to say to him. I'm hurting for DG and so angry with him. My heart is breaking for the DCs as it looks like foster care is the only solution.

I know no one can help but I'm hoping that maybe someone here can tell me that people change their minds and maybe girlfriend will realise it's the right thing to do.

Sorry to post and run but I'm leaving soon for the long journey north I'll read any replies tonight when I get back.

HarlotOTara Sun 18-Aug-13 07:10:52

I am so sorry what an awful situation, how can a parent reject their children in that way, regardless of 'step-mother'. Although I know it happens. I have no idea regarding the legalities but I once worked with a young person who was kicked out of home and social services were keen for any family member to look after him, failing that it was foster care. Is there anyway you or someone else can be made guardian so at least you can keep an eye and remain in contact with the dcs?

People change their minds all the time but I imagine that a sold plan needs to be in place for the dcs. The father may see things differently as time goes on, for his and the dcs sake I hope so.

exoticfruits Sun 18-Aug-13 07:18:58

I don't understand how a parent can put a new partner above their DCs - but I also don't see how you change them. Even if the girlfriend changed her mind it is clear she doesn't really want them. It is a tragic situation.
Can you get made guardian so that you get a say?

goddmother Sun 18-Aug-13 07:25:38

Unfortunately I live 200 miles south of the family so any help I can give has to be at a distance. I would love to take them but I'm in my 60s so I doubt I'd be allowed and, in all honesty, I'm not sure I would cope.

I will talk to GD's father about guardianship, that might be a way forward, he would be able to see them if they were fostered then.

Just off now.

Thank you so much to those who have replied.

EMS23 Sun 18-Aug-13 07:35:30

What an awful situation, your poor friend and those poor children. I can't imagine why the father is allowing his girlfriend to make that decision.

I know it sounds incredibly mercenary but does the girlfriend understand that the mothers estate would pass to the children, in trust, to provide for their upbringing?
Just thinking that perhaps, pregnant and worried about money, she might be struggling to see how they'd cope.

Ultimately though, the father needs to step up. His new child will be the sibling of the two children he already has. I think it's unforgivable, on the face of it, that he would rather see them go into care.

exoticfruits Sun 18-Aug-13 08:31:23

Maybe he is in denial and when it actually happens he won't be able to play 'happy families' with one child while the child's older siblings are in care.

goddmother Sun 18-Aug-13 19:19:17

Just back. Some good news, GD will be home next week, she's in no pain and feeling stronger.

It all hit the fan yesterday and this morning. Ex's parents and sister found out what his GF had said. They spoke to Ex but he said he couldn't make her have the children. The family are very, very angry and have decided to cut him off altogether until he "comes to his senses".

Meanwhile Ex's sister (lovely girl and a single parent) is moving in with GD and the children (including her own DS). She will stay as long as is necessary to support GD and her children and has said she'll have them if necessary if Ex "doesn't grow a pair". It's all very fragile for now but GD and her father are feeling a lot more supported than they were a few days ago.

I'm exhausted but glad to have seen her and so grateful to Ex's sister.

exoticfruits Sun 18-Aug-13 19:34:59

Brilliant! All sounding much more hopeful.Ex's family being sensible and supportive is very encouraging. I am not surprised- they must be appalled by his behaviour.

colditz Sat 31-Aug-13 15:44:59

Sounds like they have an awesome auntie.

Lethologica Sat 31-Aug-13 17:57:34

What a terrible situation. sad. It is so sad.

WeAreSeven Tue 03-Sep-13 13:31:19

What a useless excuse for a man the ex is! It sounds like the auntie's offer has let him off the hook though.

BonaDea Tue 03-Sep-13 13:40:40

I think you have to have a firm word with the father of these children.

I simply cannot believe he would see his own children in care rather than grow a pair and so his duty. I am truly shocked and think someone has to speak to him frankly.

Op- you sound lovely.

BonaDea Tue 03-Sep-13 13:42:40

Oops. Hasn't seen the update about the aunt. Well good on her but really it shouldn't come to that.

Father is pathetic. And I wonder what the Gf would like to happen to her child if the shoe was on the other foot?!

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