After almost 3 years of talks and prayers, Jeff, Presley, and I have decided to move forward with attempting to have Presley's dad's parental rights terminated so that Jeff can officially adopt her. We will need $2000 for the legal fees as well as $250-$500 for a home study. I'm going to try to tell you the whole story, without trying to talk badly of anyone involved, and just so if you don't know the details of our story, now you will. In 2005, my then husband and I adopted Presley. At the time, after being married for 18 years, he was 7 years sober, and I believed that he would remain so. Sadly, when she was only a few weeks old, he relapsed. In 2012, with the situation growing worse year by year, and having done everything I could possibly do to save things, I knew that I could not continue to stay with my child in such a toxic and dangerous environment. We moved out and I filed for divorce. As you know, I met Jeff in 2014 and we were married in 2015. If my ex-husband were a co-parent, I would not be attempting to do this. As it is, he randomly pays small amounts of the required child support, sometimes missing months in a row. He has not seen Presley since July of 2014. On that visit, and the few prior to it, he would do everything he could to avoid handling the visit in the proper way. He was only allowed to have her in the car if a court appointed supervisor was driving. Presley told me after that last visit with him to the lake with his family, he would take her places in the car when it was only the two of them. The only time she hears from him is when he sends a gift and card on her birthday, Christmas, or perhaps some other holiday. The last time she spoke with him on the phone was her birthday in 2015. He does not contact her in any other way. Legally, he meets the requirements for abandonment. However, at this point, legally, he still has joint custody, and if I were to die, she would go to him. This is something that keeps me up at night. He probably wouldn't want her anyway, but there would be a legal battle to keep her from going to him or perhaps becoming a ward of the state while Jeff got everything in place to try and keep her. Jeff is her dad in every way that counts. He is the one who takes care of her financially, emotionally, physically. He is her dad. We just want to make it legal. Also, we have always had an open relationship with Presley's birthmother, however, we know nothing, nor have we ever seen or met the birthfather. So she has a birthfather she's never heard of, and an adoptive father who has abandoned her. And even during the years we all lived together, he was present physically, but never emotionally. Essentially, I was a single parent from day one. Presley wants to feel like she "officially" belongs. She wants to have the same last name as we do, and feel she is "officially" a part of the family. She needs to feel safe and secure in her position in this family. We aren't in a position to have that amount of money upfront. My prayer is that with all the people we know, and all the people who have watched our story unfold, that we would be able to raise the money in this manner. There are so many details to the story, there is no way to explain it all in this forum. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have if you contact me personally. I have to secure my child's future. Make sure that if anything happens to me that she would stay with Jeff, the man who raises her. In her home, around her family, in her school and her church. There has been a lot to sort through, on Jeff's part and Presley's part. I've been praying and trusting God's timing since before we were married. There have been talks, prayers, counseling sessions...it's not a decision we take lightly. I would ask that you pray also. That this would be a smooth process with no controversy and that all involved would do the right thing. See what part God would have you play as we continue to write our story.......we love you all!!!!
Renee, Jeff, and Presley
- Susan Murphy
- Susan Whitten'
- J & R O
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