Should my girlfriend and I have her 15 year old sister live with us and we take care of her?
January 25, 2012 5:03 PM Subscribe
Should my girlfriend (26) of 2 years and I(26) become legal Guardians of her sister (15)? I intend on marrying her but I am not sure if I want to get this involved or intertwined into her family life, maybe not yet.
We are in Southern California, if that matters.. just to give you a setting..
posted by BigK to Human Relations (23 answers total)
I will try to describe the situation and would like advice from individuals with a similar experience or just with life experience on what should be done..
I have found the woman of my dreams and I am now asking myself should I be okay with helping her sister out, or whether her sister really needs help, my help, and should I get involved.
My girlfriend is the oldest of 3 sisters, 26, 21, 15. Her parents separated over a year ago and have been miserable together for about 20 years before. They lost their home in 2008 and other possessions (cars repo'd etc) after her dad was injured at work and disability couldn't cover all of the bills. So times have been tough ever since, now her father has a girlfriend and lives in another city.
Her mom (45) is not working, her 21 year old sister is working, she has a 5 year old child. And her 15 year old sister is kind of forgotten about all the time, she is a shy and quiet and very bright girl.
Now her father is cheating on his girlfriend with his ex-wife and messing around, around the 15 year old sister. Her mom does not work, does not leave the house, does not really do much of anything. She forgets to sign her up for school, send her to class, doesn't really care much about anything.
Her dad (54) was always very proper and very disciplinary, but after his injury he just "doesn't care" about much. He will come over and tries to sleep her mother, but will ignore the 15 year old. She wants to share about school, friends, and projects but is simply ignored at home.
Myself and my Girlfriend are not well off but we are doing okay. I wasn't working for 6 months, I was self-employed and was bleeding so much money that I had to get another job, I am now doing great, and making pretty good money. We live in a little one bedroom so I currently living situation would not work, but we were going to move into a 2 bedroom anyway.
Does she need help? She is going to live, she will probably pick up a lot of her habits from her mom. I think she is going to graduate high school, and then just sit at home with her mom, on welfare and just be..
Things I am worried about: That having a 15 year old living with us will be a big responsibility.
I don't want to bear all of the financial burden, I feel I am still young and I am not necessarily sure that I should be taking care of other people's children.
I am a big believer in helping family but I don't think her sister is any bodily harm. She probably won't live the same adolescences like my girlfriend did. (they had a nice home etc) And I think that is what makes my girlfriend sad and she wants to help, she wants to help her quality of life.
I am not sure exactly what is going on, this is all second hand and third hand information passed along from my sister's girlfriend, to my sister, to myself... So take it all with a grain of salt, but I would really appreciate someone's insight because I am a little torn.
If it sounds like she really really needs help, then I am okay helping, but adopting a teenager sounds like we might be biting off more than we can chew. Although I think we could teach her to become independent, might get help from the state for Finances, etc..