He Said. She Said. You Be The Judge: Should We Become Legal Guardians?
We receive tons of questions day in and day out here at Blackloveandmarriage.com. Some of the questions that come in are from couples so we’ve decided (with their permission) to present both sides and allow you to be the judge. Weigh in by voting below and leaving a comment letting them know what you think.
Should We Become Legal Guardians of Our Cousin’s Child As We Promised?
Couple In Conflict (and working it out) 🙂
Back when we were dating my wife’s cousin asked if we would be Godparents to her daughter. We both said yes without much hesitation mainly because she was a young single mom and we were big supporters for her. I wanted her to know we had her back and we still do. Except now, she’s gotten into some major trouble with the law and may be locked up for like 5 years! We have her daughter now but I can’t see the next 5 years! Times are hard and money has been tight. We’re supposed to be trying to pay down debt and get our finances in order. We just can’t do that the way we need to with another mouth to feed. My main reason for not wanting to become legal guardians is because when I said yes to being a Godparent I never thought for a minute that I would have to take responsibility for her child because of some crazy irresponsible behavior that got her locked up. And, there are other family members we can talk to about taking her. I think we should at least call a family meeting to talk about the options.
I can’t believe that my husband doesn’t take our commitment to be our little cousin’s Godparents seriously! The mere fact that he wants to back out makes me question his integrity. I have no idea why he feels like the fact that my cousin is locked up makes a difference. The child is the one left vulnerable and we are the ones everyone expects to take care of her because we are the Godparents! I don’t want to even have a conversation with any of my family about “other options”. I think it’s unfair to put my family in that position. When I make a commitment, my word is my bond. And, I think we need to follow through on our commitment. It won’t be easy but we are not destitute and living in poverty either. We can work it out!
no they should not. how can two walk together unless they agree. Amos3:3
since they are not in agreement and the husband is the head. there is a reason why other than what he stated that maybe a forseen future issue especially when the mother comes back then what?
At some point, we've got to look past the money, and look at what's really important here…a child's well being. At this point, it's not about her mom's poor choices, it's about a little girl that needs to be in a loving home. We used to value family, and do anything for them. Now, we try to pawn them off on someone else who can help. I'm also from the "it takes a village" mentality, and I would sacrifice the comfort of my own life in a heartbeat if it came down to ANY of the children in my family, and even some that aren't a part of my family. It might push your dreams back a few years, but it's not going to stop them. If we're all waiting on the next person to look after the children of this world, our children will continue to grow up lost. We must be willing to pick up the pieces when other parents drop the ball.
I think that if you told your cousin you would take care of her daughter if that should become necessary then you need to do it. If we can't depend on family then who can we depend on?
This is not a simple yes/no answer. There are few things that have to be hashed out.
1)Is the definition of Godparent the same for both of them. Some think being a godparent is buying some gifts, baby sitting here and there and correcting the child a bit if they do wrong. Other's think it means that they are responsible for the child, if the parents cannot be responsible for whatever reason. If they both agreed on one definition or the other, than they should stick to what they agreed to. If they didn't define it (which seems to be the case), then they have to examine a little further.
2)What has their relationship been like with the child? Have they been very active in his/her life or have they been here and there? If they have been a stable force in her/his life then, they might want to consider being selfless and continuing to provide that support. If they haven't been around so much, but feel a sense of obligation because the mother is in trouble, then maybe exploring your sense of obligation or even guilt is in order.
3) Is their stability as a responsible couple a rarity within the family? Are there really responsible, loving, caring, adults in the family who could take the child without doing any damage?
4) Have they looked into financial assistance from the government for taking custody of the child? There might be some help for the couple, if money is the only concern.