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Archive for Biology vs. Good Samaritan

When One of the Parents Begins to Step Up Consistently - Part 1

And now I am finding myself in a new position in Matthew’s life. Maybe it’s not so new as it is evolving. Matthew’s mother has been stepping up in his life consistently for almost a year now. At first it seemed superficial and I didn’t know what to make of it. But as time goes [...]

In Loco Parentis: When the Best Interest of the Child Conflicts With Loyalty to the Biological Parents for the Child and the Acting Parent

As the acting parent, designated by one of the biological parents (the father), I find that my loyalty to him, which was sincere, has come into sharp contract with the best interests of the child. I have also found that the child experiences many conflicts regarding his loyalty to his biological parents and me, his legal [...]

The Acting Parent: Disciplining the Child Who is Not Yours

Matthew moved in with me when he was 6 years old, just as he was entering into first grade. I knew that he had some behavioral issues before he moved in, but he’d always been very good with me for the 4 years that I’d know him prior to our new relationship.
So as you can [...]

Know Where to Jump In - Child Development: Birth to 10 Years

As non-biological parents, we are constantly reminded that we are not the natural parents. When you find yourself in the role of “acting parent”, you realize a few things fairly fast. First, you likely haven’t had the time to plan for the child’s birth, let alone raising the child.
Immediately after Matthew moved in with me, I [...]

Fighting for a Childhood

I know everyone has a different experience when raising someone else’s child, but one thing that really gets me fired up is how fast Matthew has been forced to grow up. Childhood is precious, the younger years go by so quickly, yet the effects and the memories can last a lifetime. Sometimes I feel like [...]

Get a Lawyer, BUT Do Your Own Work Too

Having the status of “acting parent” or “in loco parentis” means that you have unique parental rights compared to the majority of custody cases currently in the courts today. If you choose to fight for custody, then you are challenging the foundation and biases related to biological parental rights. In Pennsvlvania, the law stipulates that you [...]

Standing in Place of the Parents - Overruling Biological Parents

There are times when I overrule Matthew’s biological parents, but I never do it lightly, even when I’m mad at them. I’ve gone to great lengths to find out what they wanted for Matthew, to understand their views, their values, and their personal desires for their son. I’m sure I don’t know all that they [...]

In Loco Parentis - How it Feels

Coming into the status of “in loco parentis”, as I’ve learned, is a gift and an honor.  I never knew how amazing it would be to watch a child grow up, to actually participate on a daily basis in his childhood. I constantly marvel at the little things, like the time we realized that he [...]

Mom, Legal Guardian, Custodian, In Loco What???

The whole title thing is a bit of an issue for us sometimes. I’m not Matthew’s biological mother, and he was introduced to me when he was 2 by my first name. It does lead to some confusion from strangers, and even well-wishing friends and family members. I can’t tell you how many times someone [...]

Standing in place of the parent, or acting parent, or "in loco parentis" is a big job that comes with a unique set challenges. I created this blog to share my story and my experiences with those who find themselves in a similiar situation. I look forward to hearing your comments!

The expenses do add up, so if you’d like to pitch in, please feel free to donate a few bucks. I really appreciate your generosity!