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Section: children, money

Dear Ann Landers,
When my sister remarried two years ago, her new husband did not want to raise her son from a previous marriage. In those two years, the boy lived with an aunt, a grandmother and an uncle. Now, he is living with me, and I plan to keep him. He is a wonderful, adorable child, and I love him. The problem is, his mother gets government benefits for this boy. She won't give up the welfare check and refuses to give me some of the money to compensate for raising him. She also claims him as a deduction on her income taxes, yet she is not supporting him at all. Should I just forget about the money and consider the boy my own, or should I try to convince my sister to take care of him? Your advice would be greatly appreciated. -- Ticked Off in Texas

Dear Ticked,
You say your sister's son is "a wonderful, adorable child" and you love him. His own mother doesn't want him, and you don't know what to do? Forget about his mother's chiseling on the welfare checks. Keep the boy, and consider him a blessing in your life. And please be aware that you are a blessing in that child's life, as well. If he doesn't know it now, he will later.

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Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!

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Linda Blackwell's Comment
this is not the article I was looking for.

Reader Comment
I feel she should report the slacker mom to the government. She is illegally collecting welfare for the child she gave up. Report the slacker. Even if the 'new mom' doesn't get welfare benefits for raising the child, the slacker birth mother needs to stop receiving benefits for a child she gave up.

Reader Comment
Report her ! It's illegal what she is doing. It's called FRAUD. What kind of mother is so willing to give up her child for a man? And what a heartless man he is. Your sister is a dimwit. Take care of the boy in the meantime.

Laura's Comment
Ticked Off in Texas needs to apply for legal guardianship of the child. Then the child is her legal dependent and she can claim him as such on her income tax and any benefits acruing will come to her. If she reports her sister without having legal rights to the child, the sister could be vindictive and take him back even though she obviously doesn't love him and the child would be the loser. (Still scratching my head over this woman collecting welfare when she is remarried. Is the new husband a ne'er-do-well with no job?)

Reader Comment
she said govt benefits . this could be food stamps or medicaid of both. since she said she also claims him on her taxes i assume there is no welfare check. but also i assume the husband is a "ne'er-do-well with no job" also. if she goes and applies for guardianship they may take the child and give him to his Bio-Dad. so just becareful

Reader Comment
Why would this woman even consider for a moment giving this child back to such an unstable woman? It takes a lot more than just giving birth to be a mother. I hope this woman followed Ann's excellent advice.

Reader Comment
Save every reciept, medical bills, school records, prove to a family court judge she abandoned the child. Her new husband will abandon her, too, watch and see!

Annie's Comment
Gather up all recipts, medical records, school records and then have your neighbors, pastor, teachers sign a deposition's and if possible have them notorized and then file for custody. When you file the courtS will ask where the boys mother is. Tell them the truth, she chose a new husband over her son and abandoned him into your care. Then tell them how she is getting welfare paymnents and claiming him on her taxes. If the father is dead the boy will also be getting death benifits until he is 18.
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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:

Dear Readers,
, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Television has proved that people will look at anything rather than each other."
-Ann Landers