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12 Parents Share Heartbreaking Stories of Losing Child Custody to Their Own Parents

Image credit: Whisper

It’s heartbreaking when parents can’t take care of their children.

Sometimes they’re very young or battling illness. Whatever the reason, the courts often look to grandparents to fill in.

There are times when such an arrangement is the perfect solution.

Other times, as these painful confessions demonstrate, it doesn’t really work out that way.

Here, 12 parents describe their difficult situations.

1. When it’s all about control, that can be hard to give up

You have to wonder if the courts could step in.

I gave my parents custody of my daughter while I was getting over a drug problem. Now I have been clean for years and they still won't even discuss giving her back. I am so crushed.

Image credit: Whisper

2. It’s like a Catch-22

You can’t stay, but if it’s the only way to see your kid, how can you leave?

I'm so tired of feeling like a loser. My parents have custody of my daughter and we both live with them. Even under the same roof they manage when I get to see her. They love to control me.

Image credit: Whisper

3. When they perpetuate the cycle because they like it that way

I hope someone in that parent’s life can help her fight this arrangement.

My parents have custody of my son. They emotionally abuse me and take all my money so I have none left to provide for him or myself. I want to run away, but I can't leave him.

Image credit: Whisper

4. They can hold it over your head to manipulate you

Even when the desired outcome is in someone’s best interest, children should never be used as a bargaining chip.

My mom has custody of my soon. She says if I don't go to a 12 month rehab program she's putting him up for adoption. I have no problem with rehab, but 1 year is too much. I hate how I'm being controlled.

Image credit: Whisper

5. It can be hard for grandparents to let go

Even when it’s the best thing for the child.

My parents have custody of my son. I wanted to give him up for adoption because they're too disabled to care for him properly, and I'm not mentally stable enough. I brought it up once. I slept on a park bench for the next week.

Image credit: Whisper

6. It’s crushing when you know your child could be hurt

Especially when it’s court-ordered and there is nothing you can do to prevent it.

I'm about to lose custody of my son... to my mom who abused me physically and mentally. Most people think she's doing it for him, but really she's doing it to hurt me.

Image credit: Whisper

7. It can start out with everyone’s heart in the right place

And then it crosses over into something else, and it’s hard to go back.

While I was figuring out some stuff in counseling, my mother took care of my son. Now she has full custody of him and refuses to work with me. I feel like I was tricked. It's so painful.

Image credit: Whisper

8. Some parents don’t know how to let their adult children grow up

But parenting an adult will only result in a power struggle, even if you mean well.

I don't have custody of my daughter and it kills me having to spend the holidays without her. My parents take care of her, but deny me visiting them. I feel so stuck.

Image credit: Whisper

9. And sometimes they flat out think they know best

Like they see it as a do-over or something.

My parents have custody of my son. My dad told me to leave and never come back. I can't afford to take them to court. I don't think I'll ever see my boy again...

Image credit: Whisper

10. All the little hurts add up

And then there are the big ones that needlessly make an awful situation worse.

My mom has custody of my son and she's trying to change his name.I've never been so hurt in my life.

Image credit: Whisper

11. It can be a vicious cycle

And it’s so hard when there’s nothing you can do to change it.

My mom has full custody of my kids. I am scared they will turn out messed up like me because of her...

Image credit: Whisper

12. There’s just this overall sense of desperation

And hopeless dread.

I should have never given custody of my kid to my parents. Life is so f***ed up now...

Image credit: Whisper

The courts and social workers are all doing the best they can, but these situations are heartbreaking.

Parents who find themselves in similar situations may be surprised to learn that there are sometimes free resources to help them, whether they’re offered through a church or through Legal Aid.

Do you have any suggestions that they might not have tried? Let us know in the comments.