Helping out a friend with raising their kids from time to time is one thing. Trying to replace them as a parent, however, is an entirely different ball game that gets everyone’s alarm bells ringing.
Redditor u/livinginfearmom turned to the r/TrueOffMyChest online community with a complicated and downright scary story. She explained how her son started getting along with a boy, whose parents eventually tried to push her out of the picture, and adopt him. You’ll find the full story, in the mom’s own words, as you scroll down. Bored Panda has reached out to u/livinginfearmom via Reddit, and we will update the article as soon as we hear back from her.
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Not all red flags are obvious at the time. It’s only in hindsight that we realize how suspicious things were
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A mom turned to the internet for advice on how to deal with a very tense situation. Her son’s friend’s parents tried to adopt him
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Everything started when the woman’s son became friends with a kid at his school
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The child kept spending more and more time with his friend’s family
One day, everything came to a head and the wealthy parents finally told the truth about their intentions
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Image credits: livinginfearmom
The mom wasn’t going to give up her son. There was no chance of that happening
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The OP’s story was very long, incredibly detailed, and revealed how some people will go to incredible lengths to manipulate others. The mom changed everyone’s names to help protect their identities and to keep herself as anonymous as possible.
Her son, ‘Owen,’ became friends with ‘Charlie.’ Eventually, they started spending more and more time together, and the OP got to know the friend’s parents, ‘Nate’ and ‘Paige.’ They were well off, and seemed warm and welcoming. In fact, they treated Owen like he was Charlie’s brother.
However, they were inserting themselves more and more into u/livinginfearmom’s son’s life, while slowly pushing her out of the picture. Things came to a head when they spoke up about becoming the boy’s guardians. “They told me to think about Owen and what’s best for him. I told them there was no way in hell I was going to give up my son,” the mom wrote on Reddit that she wouldn’t even entertain the possibility. Her son was her son, and nobody would be taking him away from her.
After reading through some of the comments on r/TrueOffMyChest, the mom decided to tell her son that spending time with his friend’s parents was no longer safe. Though he was upset, he seemed to understand the situation and knows that family is more important than all the gifts and trips he’d received. Meanwhile, his school is “taking measures to protect him,” and the OP blocked Nate and Paige everywhere that she could.
Seeking outside help is essential in these sorts of charged situations
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There are no ‘easy’ answers when the situation is as complicated and emotionally charged as this one. Before making any major moves, it’s essential that you ensure that your child is safe and that they’re no longer in contact with anyone whom you suspect has plans of taking him away from you.
If you are taking good care of your child, you are completely in the right and have nothing to worry about: nobody will be taking your child away. Consider contacting your family, friends, school representatives, Child Protective Services (or whatever the equivalent in your area is), the police, and seek legal advice. Try to figure out a way forward that keeps your family together without putting any of you in danger.
Documenting all the ways that others tried to push you out of the picture so that they could get to your child is imperative. The more hard evidence you have, the stronger a case you can build against them. Later on, it might be a good idea to seek the help of a family therapist or a children’s counselor: these professionals can help you process the entire situation and help you move past it.
It’s up to the authorities to deal with cases where there’s real neglect
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It’s only in cases of real neglect that a child can be taken away, whether temporarily or to find a new home for them. However, the people to solve these sorts of situations would be government officials. No random family has the power to step in and decide to ‘adopt’ someone else’s kid because they can offer them more financial security. It’s ridiculous. It’s scary. And it has to be stopped.
If you do happen to spot signs of neglect, you can contact Child Protective Services to investigate the matter. There are four main types of neglect, ranging from physical and educational to emotional and medical. Physical neglect is often the most obvious: the child is dirty, hungry, and doesn’t have access to proper clothing or shelter.
According to the NSPCC, medical neglect means that the child isn’t given access to healthcare, including dental care while medical recommendations are ignored by the parents or guardians. Meanwhile, other types of neglect include not being given access to education and not having the emotional support that children require: they might be isolated, ignored, or humiliated.
Children who are neglected often have poor hygiene and appearance, health and development problems, and issues at home, and may show drastic changes in behavior.
The mom shared some more context in the comments of her post
The situation concerned a lot of readers. Here’s what some of them had to say
The mom later posted an update, sharing what she did next
She also decided to speak to her son about what happened with his close friend’s parents
The post Mom Is Shocked After Her Son’s Friend’s Parents Ask If They Can Adopt Him first appeared on Bored Panda.