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June 27, 2004

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Question from Alliance, Ohio, USA:

My daughter remarried since the birth father of my grandson, who is six and has type 1 diabetes, went his separate way with another woman before my grandson's birth. I gave the birth father permission to come and see his son at my house four years ago after a chance encounter at a grocery store. All the father wanted to do was complain about having to pay child support. My grandson was with me at the time. Even though the father spoke to me about a half hour about child support, he did not speak once to his son, nor even give him a kiss on the cheek. At the time, I gave the father my address, phone number, and the times I would have my grandson at my house, giving him permission to come and see him. I told him that he could see him, but he couldn't take the boy because of a previous incident in which the birth father and his girlfriend were drinking, leaving the boy in the care of his other grandmother, who did not know how to deal with the boy's diabetes. I was called to pick up my grandson and we did not see the birth father for a long time. It is now four years later. The birth father has seen a lawyer to get visitation rights and, I believe, even more! The father was an alcoholic and smokes a lot of dope. I am really worried. My grandson spends a lot of time with me and I have found that most of the people around know very little about type 1 diabetes, especially his irresponsible birth father. I'm really worried about my grandson and would adopt him myself since he spends a lot of time with my younger daughter and I. We take him to recreation places quite a bit in the summer. Is there any advice you can give me on this situation? Are there any type of social services that really know about type 1 diabetes and the protection of my grandson's health? I am afraid that they will kill my grandson or put him in danger from high blood sugar levels or low blood sugar levels. I really don't think that the lawyer has my grandson's best interest in mind. He just wants his money. Is there any way I can stop this?

Answer:

The situation you describe is extremely complicated, and one that cannot be answered in just a paragraph or two. The best thing you can do is help your daughter hire an excellent lawyer with expertise in child custody and visitation issues.

JWB