View Full Version : Help with procedures on custody of a prison born baby

04-14-2008, 09:54 PM
Hi - I need help. I live in Tennessee and visit my daughter at Lowell in Florida on a regular basis. She will be coming home in October (fingers are crossed). She has a friend that has just return back to prison as she violated. She is pregnant this time though. She has asked my daughter if I would be willing to take custody of her baby when it is born and bring it to Tennessee. She does not want her child to be taken by the state. Does anyone know what steps I need to do in order to get the ball rolling. The baby is due at the end of July I believe. I genuinely want to help the baby. Does she just sign the baby over prior to birth? I know I have to be there within 24 hours of birth, but that is about all I have found out. I appreciate any help anyone can give.

Thanks so much!


Don Quixote
04-18-2008, 03:07 PM
Your friend will want a document giving her temporary guardianship of the child. This is especially important given that she is not related to you and you will be taking the child out of state.

You can see a form here that might work.

Make sure you get mothe's permission to apply for food stamps and WIC to help out --- diapers alone are a huge cost of raising babies.

But since the woman doesn't have proof of legal custody of the child, there may be a requirement that you find out who the father is and get his permission as well.

As for the transfer, just call the Lowell chaplain and tell them that the mother is giving you physical custody of the child and you need to know where to pick the child up and when. (Ask how long they allow the woman to stay at the hospital -- the law says the hospital can't kick them out for three days, but DOC may not let them stay that long, and may even not take them to the hospital for birth.) I'm sure you'll need to be there as soon as the baby is born, with ID and the guardianship papers.

On another note, please consider this very carefully. You will likely have to go to court to get child support once she gets out of prison. And you may not agree that she is stable enough to get the child, when she wants the child back. And you don't know this woman or her relationship with your loved one, so you don't know whether you'll end up in a brohaha and with the heartbreak of wanting something better for the child that she is going to get. (And you also don't know whether your loved one's plan is to take over the baby's care when she gets out, even though you are the one with guardianship and therefore legal responsible.)

If the state takes the baby, they will look for the father, and they will not allow her to get the baby back if that wouldn't be safe for the baby.

04-22-2008, 07:34 PM
Thank you so much for the information. I have spoken with an individual that deals with the pregnant inmates at Lowell had to my surprise he is telling me that my chances are very slim as the only way that I know the soon to be mother is through my daughter's association which is also an inmate. I just know that I am trying to help and child and its mother get a new start on life in a different state when she is released. I do not understand why they would give the child to the state as opposed to someone that is willing to take the child and provide for it as if it was one of my own at my expense rather than take it into state custody and she never see it again. Something is wrong with this picture. He took all my information and stated that he would run my background check and talk to the mother to be but that I should not get my hopes up due as my daughter is an inmate there. I am the one taking custody and are friendships not allowed to be formed in prison? They have known each other for almost 2 years. I am lost..... Can I mail her the temporary custody form and her have it filled out in there? Will that override any other decisions? Please advise any way you can. We are running out of time as she is 6 1/2 months along. Again - I thank you very much for the information that you have provided.