Contact with bioparent who is incarcerated?
I wondered what others experiences have been dealing their stepkids calling or visiting a bioparent who is incarcerated.
My SD is almost 16. Her BM is back in jail again after violating her probation by testing positive for drugs and a number of other violations. We have had SD full time for 4 years now and BM has been in and out of jail the whole time.
When the judge granted DH full custody, BM was given a list of requirements to have supervised visitations and she didn’t follow through with them. So there’s no required visitation. BM also has never paid her very minimal child support payments and hasn't made any effort to keep in contact with SD. Currently she does not have our phone number or address and DH wants to keep it that way.
3 years ago SD asked to go see BM at a county jail. It was SD’s idea, but afterwards she was crying and upset and yelled at her dad for making her go. But DH took her there against his better judgment because SD was begging to see her mom.
SD is very immature and acts much younger than an almost 16 year old, but isn’t naïve. She’s well aware of bad things that happen in the world but doesn’t have the ability to process this information.
SD has been in therapy for 4 years over the issues with BM and I’m not sure it really helped or just brought up a biweekly reminder since BM is one of the few topics SD likes to talk about.
DH and BM have a very contentious relationship. She’s been arrested for assaulting him and he’s had a restraining order against her. DH would prefer he never have to deal with her ever again and wishes that SD would stop mentioning any sort of reunion.
He knows it destroys SD every time she has to face reality when she sees or talks to her mom. But on the other hand, SD builds up a fantasy that her mom will have changed or she can go live with her mom.
SD is currently in a mental health facility due to a suicide attempt, depression and anxiety. She’s been asking to be able to call her mom. DH and I believe this is a very bad idea.
SD is very anxious about her mom’s safety and whether she’s okay in jail (she’s told her current therapist she believe all women in jail are raped). Her therapist wants her to at least be able to speak weekly with her mom for a few minutes to be reassured that her mom is okay.
DH doesn’t want BM to know what’s going on with SD or SD to have to deal with BM’s lies. The therapists has mentioned studies showing the benefit for regular contact for both the incarcerated parent and the child, but I really don’t think this is the average situation. BM was given her opportunity to stay in SD’s life and decided to not follow through.
DH is planning on telling the therapist and all the staff at the facility that there is absolutely no contacting BM. But I worry that will continue to let SD believe the fantasy that she can go live with her mom.
SD is refusing to speak to DH and doesn’t want to come home. IMO, the sooner she realizes that living with her mom isn’t an option and she needs to work on cooperating with her dad, the better.