Q: My step-daughter is 15. Can she be emancipated so that i could adopt her?
I have raised her since she was one years old. She has lived with me primarily since 2013. Her bio dad lives in another state and she has no desire to live there. Her mom rarely sees her, was recently diagnosed bipolar and has a drug problem. She has made no attempt to seek treatment for either, though i have attempted numerous times to help her get the help she needs. I have two other children with her naturally and feel like any attempt i would make to insulate them from her that she would blow my 15 year olds world up because i technically have no legal rights. Her mother has lived with four different men, in relationships in just the last year. She hasn't worked in the last year. Also she was recently hospitalized because she had an anxiety attack while high on drugs. No charges were filed but was confined to a mental ward for about a week. Not sure what i could do.
A: Well, the court isn't going to emancipate her, but you can definitely file your own petition for custody. What is the legal custody arrangement currently? From what you've said, it sounds like you'd have a decent case against the mother, but the father might be able to fight it, depending on the circumstances. You'll need to get an attorney for this one because there are potentially a lot of moving parts.
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