Q: Are there rights to a child as a step family?
A deceased family member helped a significant other raise a baby from the time the child was 2 years old. The family dedicated a lot of time to the child when the mother did not especially when she left him with the step family for weeks on end. There was no official adoption.. now that the family member is deceased, the step family hasn’t seen the child nor will the mother communicate with them. Does the step family have rights to see him and be apart of his life? The child is now 7 years old.
A: If the step family cared for him for at least six months no longer than six months ago, the step family may have standing to intervene and to ask for custody. However, if the parent is fit, this will be an uphill battle. If the parent is not fit, and it sounds like she may not be, then the step family can explain why it would be in the best interests of the child for them to have custody.
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