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Taking in a Cousin

3Libras06's picture

It recently came to my attention that two of my second cousins are being put into boy's homes. They live in another state and basically their parents haven't had anything to do with them since they were little tiny kids. My aunt passed away a year ago, leaving them to my uncle who is probably in his 70's and just doesn't have the willpower to deal with two teenagers at this point. Both boys harbor a LOT of anger toward their upbringing, which I don't doubt one bit. They cannot go to a home together because, as the social worker said, "they fight like grown men".

Over the years I've had a stronger connection with the older of the two. He's currently 16 years old and has been in a mental institution for threatening suicide. I have requested a full copy of the history on his mental evaluations so I know exactly what kind of diagnosis he has been given. The social worker has known him for years, since we are all part of a tribe and they like to keep things within the family. She says that he is a good boy, he just has had a very tough upbringing and simply needs a home that has structure and two parental figures. I don't know if this is something that a social worker would typically say or if she really means this.

I have talked to FDH and he knows that I would like to help however I can.

I'm posting this because I'd like advice from anyone about how the dynamics of this household would change with a 16 year old boy. What are they like? What should I know? I don't have any children of my own but FDH and I have custody of his 11 year old son. Is this a bad idea to take him in? I want to help my family but I don't want to get myself into something that's going to be a living hell.


3Libras06's picture

Thank you for all of this information. I'll be looking into it ASAP. I think you're right - It's better to give it a shot rather than not do it at all and wonder how I could have made his future more positive.

Elizabeth's picture

The only thing I would be careful of is if this older boy has any history of acting out sexually. You wouldn't want to expose the younger boy to this, and it is a behavior that is very hard to overcome. Not that it can't be, it is just extremely difficult. Other than that, I would give it a go. He may blossom with two adults to care for him. My sister took in a foster boy with severe behavior issues, and he is now one of the family and no more difficult to parent than any other kid his age.

3Libras06's picture

I hope to find out information like this from the mental institution and any therapists that he may have seen over the years. To my knowledge, he maintained a relationship with a girl that was a couple years older than him for quite some time; those who were around to see him in the relationship said he was madly in love. So I don't know if there's going to be issues with him leaving this girl (if they're still together).