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Aibu to worry about handing a child to their parent who's clearly been drinking

(115 Posts)
OopsDearyMe Fri 28-Apr-17 19:55:41

My dd 8 had a playdate today her mum told me that her dad would collect. The parents aren't together due to alcahol problems.
When the dad arrived he wreaked of alcahol, struggled with eye contact and his eyes were bloodshot.
I let her go but now I'm wondering if I should have told the mum ?
Mum was out on a girls night herself.
Was I right?

NuffSaidSam Fri 28-Apr-17 20:04:15

If I knew that he had problems with alcohol that had caused the breakdown of his marriage I wouldn't have let him take the DD. Or to avoid making a scene in front of the children, I would have let her go with him and then phoned the mum to let her know.

Wolfiefan Fri 28-Apr-17 20:06:05

Was he driving?
I'm not sure you can legally hold on to a child against the wishes of a parent who has parental responsibility.
You called mum and told her yes!

ZilphasHatpin Fri 28-Apr-17 20:09:06

If I knew that he had problems with alcohol that had caused the breakdown of his marriage I wouldn't have let him take the DD

shock are you serious? For starters you have absolutely no legal right to refuse to allow a parent to have their own child. And secondly who on earth do you think you are to say he can't have his own child because of how his marriage broke down?

ScissorBow Fri 28-Apr-17 20:09:06

I'd have offered a spontaneous sleep over and called the mum to explain why. If she's left him because of the alcohol she'll understand.

PoliticalBiscuit Fri 28-Apr-17 20:09:41

Was he was driving her home?

Yukbuck Fri 28-Apr-17 20:11:06

Please please tell me he wasn't driving ?

JaneEyre70 Fri 28-Apr-17 20:11:27

Oh god poor kid. Please say he wasn't driving..........

OopsDearyMe Fri 28-Apr-17 20:12:14

He wasnt driving than goodness

SummerHouse Fri 28-Apr-17 20:13:35

Functioning alcoholics do not have children taken away unless neglect is apparent. Unless he was driving I don't think there is anything you could have done. So very sad though.

CMamaof4 Fri 28-Apr-17 20:14:01

Ring her mum and tell her.

Maryhadalittlelambstew Fri 28-Apr-17 20:14:14

If you knew for a fact that the marriage breakdown was due to issues around alcohol then I wouldn't have handed her over. I say this as a recovering alcoholic.

Have you contacted the other parent?

NuffSaidSam Fri 28-Apr-17 20:15:24

'are you serious? For starters you have absolutely no legal right to refuse to allow a parent to have their own child.'

I am serious. Sometimes, you need to use common sense. If he was so intoxicated I though it would be dangerous I would do what I could to keep the child safe. If he called the police, then they would be able to deal with the situation. I don't think they would just hand the child over to him though would they? Surely, they would seek out the mother, if he was really drunk?

'And secondly who on earth do you think you are to say he can't have his own child because of how his marriage broke down?'

That was really badly phrased on my part, sorry. What I meant was if I knew he had alcohol problems that were serious enough to mean that the mother of this child had asked him to leave the family home I would imagine that she would want to be called in the circumstance that he turned up intoxicated to collect his child.

Yukbuck Fri 28-Apr-17 20:22:12

I used to work in an after school club and sadly we had to let the children go to their alcoholic parents. Because they were 'functioning'
They have since been taken away and we would have to make a call to the relevant services if we thought they were a danger. But yes we had to let them go..

ZilphasHatpin Fri 28-Apr-17 20:27:42

You have no legal right to keep someone's child without their permission. You are batshit if you think you can.

NuffSaidSam Fri 28-Apr-17 20:31:30

It's not about legal rights though is it?! I'm not suggesting that I would keep custody of the child until she's 18, just that I wouldn't immediately hand her over. The options then would be either the mother or the police, both of whom would be legally able to keep the child safe!

What do you think the result of illegally keeping someone's child for half hour is?! Am I looking at a ten stretch? Of course not! Don't be silly. The police or the mother would come and sort it.

Maryhadalittlelambstew Fri 28-Apr-17 20:32:58

I don't think theres anything batshit about being concerned over a childs safety with a drunk adult. As I said, I'm a recovering alchoholic and have been a functioning one and a not functioning one and I go to enough AA meetings to have heard from fellow alcoholic parents and children of alcoholics to know that drunk adults are scary, even ones who don't think they "seem" drunk. You have no legal right as such but if that drunk parent decided to call the police in relation to the matter the police would be equally concerned that the child wouldn't be safe and most likely would contact the other parent, maybe even SS upon hearing the family history (marriage breaking down due to alcohol etc). I've heard enough sad stories to take an educated guess on police position in this matter.

muckypup73 Fri 28-Apr-17 20:36:20

The mother must know.

LornaD40 Fri 28-Apr-17 20:37:32

Functioning alcoholics do not have children taken away unless neglect is apparent. Unless he was driving I don't think there is anything you could have done.
Sadly ditto this.

I don't know what would happen if you were to keep the child and refuse to hand them over. If the police were phoned, I'm not convinced that they wouldn't just hand child back to dad unless he was totally blotto. Happy to be corrected if wrong, I know lots of cases with alcoholic parents who are known to SS and it isn't enough reason for them to be removed but not sure what would happen in this instance.

ZilphasHatpin Fri 28-Apr-17 20:38:58

I'm not suggesting that I would keep custody of the child until she's 18

No, just illegally Withold her from her parent. Would you really keep a child who wanted to go with their father against their wishes?

The police or the mother would come and sort it.

Ha! The police could arrest you for it, especially if the mother backed the father up. It's not your call to make.

I don't think theres anything batshit about being concerned over a childs safety with a drunk adult

No I dont either. Which is why you won't see that in my post. I would be very concerned too. But you're batshit if you, as someone with no PR for that child, try and keep a child from their parent.

Ceto Fri 28-Apr-17 20:39:35

Zilpha, you absolutely do have a legal right to keep someone's child if you have good cause to believe that handing them over will put the child in danger. If, for instance, the man turned obviously seriously pissed and was proposing to put the child in his car and start driving, you would have every right to stop him. What you should then do is call the other parent, the police or social services to ensure that the child is with someone with power to make longer term decisions.

Maryhadalittlelambstew Fri 28-Apr-17 20:40:10

When the safety of that child is in question, no, you're not.

ZilphasHatpin Fri 28-Apr-17 20:42:51

Zilpha, you absolutely do have a legal right to keep someone's child if you have good cause to believe that handing them over will put the child in danger.

No, you don't. I've just completed a safeguarding course for registered childminders, this exact scenario was covered. You cannot keep that child from their parent even if they are going to put them in a car and drive home. You can try and stall them, you can call the police or the other parent/guardian and you can call SS but you cannot prevent them taking their child.

OopsDearyMe Fri 28-Apr-17 20:43:41

The girl didn't appear eager to go and she was not at all happy to see him.

AtSea1979 Fri 28-Apr-17 20:45:19

So he smelled of alcohol and his eyes were bloodshot. Do you know this man well enough to know his usual level of eye contact? Was there anything else that made you think he was incapable of looking after a child? A lot of parents drink. On MN we talk about wine and gin often. You are very judgemental to assume he couldn't look after her. After all he made it to were he needed to pick her up at the right time etc so it sounds like he would be fine.

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