QuoteReplyTopic: My mum hid my daughter from me. Posted: 19/July/2012 at 09:45
I don’t really know where to start, my mother hid my daughter without permission and send her 3 states away to live without my knowledge.
I was a single mum living in Brisbane QLD, and raised my beautiful little girl for over 5 years happy and healthy. My mother and I have always had a difficult relationship and never were able to see ‘eye to eye’ on parenting matters. This caused a lot of arguments and one particular weekend my daughter was staying with my mum an argument turned into a fight, where she decided not to return my daughter home.
I contacted the police, who advised me it was a family court matter as she was family and I had placed my daughter with her, she hadn’t come and taken her. After 3 months of torment and searching for my mum and my daughter with no assistance from the police, I turned to legal aid to help find an address for my mother or any of her friends ect. It took months to be appointed a lawyer who put through a location order which failed and hired other agencies to help find her. None of them worked.
Words cannot describe the heart wrenching pain and massive earth quake this caused in my whole life. Every area of my life shut down and everything and everyday was about FINDING MY BABY. Over a year later I received a taunting video message from my mother via my e-mail. The video showed my daughter playing with my younger sister, and a message at the bottom said, SHE ISNT WITH ME ANYMORE, GOODLUCK EVER FINDING HER. I fell apart, but never stopped, I went from family friend to family friend trying to find clues or a trail, I found nothing.
Finally mum slipped up in a conversation with someone and mentioned going to interstate to Tasmania, I was then to later learn that my mum had tracked down my daughter’s biological father whom she had never met and sent my daughter on a plane 3 states away to Tasmania to live with him. To my amazement I was then in a family court matter and now have been granted time to spend with her. The court sees her as living there stable and don’t take into account how she got there. Worst thing is my daughter remembers been taken and hidden from me, they told her I left her and didn’t want her anymore so Nana had to find her a new home.
I had not one complaint against me as a mother and never had a child safety or child protection services complaint or anything. I just don’t think the way this happened was legal and fair. No one can answer that for me. I’m begging for help in this now, I want some sort of life back and justice for what happened. I spent so many months feeling like there was nothing I would do and no way would mum ever have to answer for what she did. Now I have seen my daughter’s pain as well as mine and I can’t accept this for the way it is anymore. I slumped into depression and suffered from anxiety, day to day is so hard, looking around me at all the drama and absence of my daughter from my life.
I am now faced with the choice of moving my life, my dreams and my entire future down 3 states away to Tasmania just to spend time with a little girl who in my eyes should never have been taken there especially that far from her mummy.
I wish it was a false claim against me as a mother that took her away because then I would have something to fight with a lot more support. My mum took her away and ruined her life. Scared and frightened her terribly, she cries when she tells the stories. I just want to understand how my mum can’t get into trouble for taking the law into her own hands and making this decision that has affected both mine and my daughter’s life forever. I feel like I should have had some right to know where my baby was, and some right now to have an answer for what and how this happened. I have experienced a lot of lengthy delays through legal aid paperwork and application processes, this time has accumulated to be to their advantage for how long she has been living there. I have felt invisible and shut out in this.
The lawyers I have had throughout this time have been disappointing and I feel like they wasted valuable time and even in one incident when I attempted to complain about a lawyer I was dropped as a client and that took a further 3 months through the application process to gain new representation through a private firm.
I would appreciate any advice at all, I just want to be able to answer my daughters questions especially knowing the pain I feel because no one can answer mine.
I know i cant charge my mum for what she did, but can i sue for damges and time lost with my daughter. The cost associating with getting her bcak and the huge impact this had on me financially and emotionally?
I apologise, I am not a solicitor. In you last paragraph you call for any advice at all, no one else has tried yet, so I will try.
From your statement you have had a very bad time, I apologise if anything I say or suggest offends or upsets you, that is not my intention. You have been through a lot, you have almost certainly already considered some or all of the suggestions I will make, if I state the obvious to you, I do not mean to offend you. I feel that there is stuff unsaid in your post too...thats ok, but I'm a little in the dark with my advice, and if I am "off-target", I apologise.
You have now found your daughter (i think), after a long, hard, upsetting and expensive battle. You have been granted some access. Your family seem to have made it hard for you to find and be with your daughter.
I suggest: You now have some access to your daughter. That is a victory. You should celebrate it, celebrate it with your daughter. Take her to the zoo, take her to the park, fly her to Brisbane for her holidays, I don't know, but I think you will know what she likes.
I suggest: Don't breach any orders or do ANYTHING that might cause the court or the system to restrict your access to her. I imagine some of what is unsaid in your post is a significant part of the problem. Be good, don't mess up, or things might get worse.
You have had some exposure to solicitors. Not fun. You are asking for advice about suing your mother, and your story suggests your mother has done you wrong. Sounds like a long expensive road....have you got the money? If you want to, phone around for a solicitor who will give you a 1/2 hour first interview for free, and ask them if they think you will get any payout.
I suggest: You put your time, effort and money into "re-connecting" with your daughter. That is how you show your daughter how you love her, don't waste time or money on fighting your mother in court.
What is that going to take to "re-connect" with your daughter? Do you have to move to Tassie? Do you have to find a job in Tassie? Do you know anyone in Tassie? It will be very very hard moving there without knowing anyone when you get there. That is also a long, expensive and hard road, but at least at the end of that one, if things go well, you will have a relationship with your daughter.
I suggest: You phone lifeline, their staff will talk to you and probably be able to help you decide with clarity what you want to do next. You have been through a great deal of pain and suffering, and things are probably very uncertain for you now, they might be able to make things seem simpler for you.
Others on this forum are experts in family law, and may comment.
Thank you for your reply, i aprreciate your sensitivity on the matter. I have never done anything wrong in the courts eyes, my lawyers just take months to draft a single letter. Left legal aid because they were worse. I just think my baby should come home, i dont want to move my whole future to Tasmania because my Mum did this. I refuse to accept my life has to change why she literally laughs at me.
Im slowly learning there is nothing anyone can do and my mum is the law.
It depends on if there is a Family Court order for the father to have custody and you access - is there?
If yes, file an application to reverse this setting out the full story. Is this what your solicitor is doing? If not ask them why they aren't.
ps. this is truly terrible I am so sorry about what has happened to you and your daughter.
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