Oregon City, OR asked in Criminal Law, DUI / DWI and Family Law for Oregon

Q: Can my ex-husband dictate who can and cannot administer ADHD meds to our son in my home?

I have my extremely mature and responsible 16 yr old niece watching my kids before school (she will graduate from high school with an associates degree at 18). She gives my son his Adderall which is a controlled substance (she has an exemplary record of administering ADHD meds for 2 years with another babysitting job). My ex-husband says she must have his permission to administer the meds, and since she is not 18 she does not have his permission, and he will file charges. Is he right?

1 Lawyer Answer
Joanne Reisman
Joanne Reisman
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: Generally speaking the custodial parent makes the decisions about day to day care of the child and does not need the other parents consent. But I don't know what your custody/parenting time order says so that may or may not follow this general rule. You can always go to court and get a Judge to rule on this question but that does seem to be a bit excessive.

Your ex husband as a parent has the right to be concerned and maybe the better way to deal with this is to help make him more comfortable with a solution that you can both live with. There is some concern that Adderal which is a type of amphetamine, can be abused and addictive. My suggestion would be that you both make an appointment to talk to a family counselor or family mediator or the school counselor and calmly discuss the issue and find the solution that you can both live with. Probably the main concern is keeping the drug from falling into the wrong hands or being incorrectly administered to your child. One solution would be to use what is called a pill safe so that only the prescribed dose can be removed at the prescribed time every day. That would insure that you niece is following the correct dosage. Another possibility would be to see if the school nurse to administer the morning dose?

I seriously doubt that the district attorney would turn this into a criminal matter but my educated guess is that your husband will file to modify the parenting plan to get specific rulings from the Judge on this. The father is obviously concerned and honestly, that's a good thing even though it may be annoying for you. I usually get complaints from mothers who say that the father doesn't make an effort to be involved with their children. At least this father is concerned and involved although possibly too much so.

Amazon has a variety of locked pill safes that you might want to consider: https://www.amazon.com/pill-safe-dispenser/s?k=pill+safe+dispenser

FYI - you don't get an associate degree when you graduate from high school. An associate degree comes when you finish two years of college or community college.

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