Help! Can stepparents take stepchildren on vacation out of state without biological parent?
We take a yearly family trip to Florida to visit my parents (me, hubby, BC, SD's), but my husband just started a new job and, unfortunately, will not be able to go this summer. The children are so excited and look forward to our two week vaca every year, but I'm pretty sure that my SD's BM is not going to give permission for me to take them anyway. We tried a few years ago when we were in a similar situation and she said absolutely not if their dad was not going, but my husband ended up being able to wrap up his project early and get the time off, so the problem solved itself. During the school year we have primary physical custody and other than her 6 visitation days/month, she is pretty much absentee. Although I respect the fact that she is their mother and understand her concerns, I just really feel that she only does it out of spite since she and her husband cannot take vacation and if my husband goes, she can't say no. Their CO's are he just has to give her notice of the trip and the travel plans, which we give her 3 months in advance. BM has said in the past that the children do not need to leave the state without a parent in case something happens, but she is more than willing to let my 8 year old SD leave the State for the weekend to go to one of the large theme parks with her Girl Scout troop with only the troop leaders as chaperones (who all happen to be my friends). Isn't it the same thing, except that I'm actually family?? Either way, if something happened, it would be another adult with a temp power of attorney to make decisions, not the BP.
My question for you all is has anyone had luck petitioning the courts for permission to take their SC on vacation without the BP? If she says no, I'm willing to try, but I don't want it to make us look bad. I'm just getting so sad at the thought of telling the girls they can't go. They are three years older now (8, 7 & 6) and I think it's unfair that they have to miss out, especially since they look forward to going just as much as my kids. I would stay and just take a "staycation" but then it's not fair to my kids, who want to see their grandparents, who they only get to see twice a year. :?