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A Look into the Life of Being In Loco Parentis

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In Loco Parentis: Loving a Child Who Isn’t Yours

When a child moves in with you, it’s natural to bond because as the acting parent, you spend a lot of time doing things and caring for that child. People put your relationship into the spotlight, and you get lots of kudos from lots of folks who marvel at your ability to love a child so truly. Personally, I think it’s very easy to love a child. The hard part is the possibility of being separated from Matthew.

You always know that the child is not yours and that he does “belong” to someone else. There are times when this notion slips away, but it doesn’t take long for it to return. I’m not into pretending that it’s something it isn’t, but I’m in the role of caring for a child who isn’t mine, and as such, I really do care for him and I really do love him, perhaps more than I’ve ever loved anyone else. The issues and roles get muddled every once in a while.

I have the same concerns as other parents about my child. I worry about his eduction, the dirt stains on his t-shirts, the bullies at his school. Where my worries veer off is that I also worry about his natural parents and what they’re going to do next. I do everything I can to protect Matthew from some of their actions while still encouraging a relationship among them. I do a lot of coaching.

All the hearings are over now, and Matthew will officially live with me. Even still, I have agreed to reunification efforts for Matthew and his biological parents. This is the twist: I want what’s best for him, and I will only get that for him if I do everything in my power to help his parents make better choices for themselves and for him - regardless of whether he ever lives with them again.

Since there might be a unification at a later date, the turmoil of being in loco parentis may never really be over.

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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!

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