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Old 03-28-2019, 03:19 PM #1
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Question Seeking help/advice

Hi all, if you have a minute to read and help, I would be extremely grateful.

My sister has severe BPD (she has had this for several years now) and is also pregnant. She refuses any kind of help from her family or friends and instead tells spreads horrible lies about the people who love her while regularly putting herself into extremely dangerous situations through unpredictable and unstable behaviour (she has been arrested several times and is currently in an acute psychiatric ward in hospital). At the moment, we are trying to encourage her to have an abortion, since she is unfit to take care of a baby. If it were born, the burden of responsibility would likely fall on my parents to take care of it, and they do not have the resources to do this. The doctors say that she is mentally unfit to make a decision about getting it aborted, since her behaviour is so erratic, so all attempts to terminate the pregnancy so far have failed; the doctors claim they could be sued if she were to later say that she actually wanted the child. She is now over the 12-week legal cutoff for abortion in Ireland (which is where she grew up), and although there is a chance that she could still go to the UK, where the cutoff is 20 weeks, my parents are afraid to take her there in case she is detained in a mental institution there or worse.

It is ridiculous to me that the law is such that situations like these can occur, where the 'autonomy' of the mother is more important than the potential implications on the child's life or the life of her family, despite the mother being deemed as unfit to make her own decisions. She has also been taking drugs while pregnant, so the chances that the child will be deformed or have predispositions to severe illnesses are significantly higher.

We have run out of ideas on how how we might deal with this issue, so if you have any suggestions or ideas, please comment. I would appreciate any and all input to help solve this unimaginably horrible situation.
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Old 03-28-2019, 05:36 PM #2
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Smile Re: Seeking help/advice

Hello Jonathan: I see this is your first post here on PC. So... welcome to Psych Central. We here on PC are not able to give legal advice which, it seems to me, is what is called for here. It's unclear to me what country your sister is in. I see you list yourself as being in the U.S. But it sounds as though she is, perhaps, in Ireland?

Under any circumstances, at least from my lay-person's perspective, it sounds to me as though the answer here may be for someone in the family to seek legal guardianship over your sister in accordance with whatever the relevant laws in in the state or country in which she resides. If her mental health status is not such that she would meet the criteria for guardianship, then I think what may be left you & her parents is to simply step back & allow circumstances to unfold as they will. As things stand now your sister is an adult. And she has the right to make her own decisions... bad as well as good. If your sister does end up bringing her pregnancy to term, perhaps adoption might be something to consider, if your sister is willing. My best wishes to you both.
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Old 03-28-2019, 05:42 PM #3
Jonathan180 Jonathan180 is offline
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Default Re: Seeking help/advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeezyks View Post
Hello Jonathan: I see this is your first post here on PC. So... welcome to Psych Central. We here on PC are not able to give legal advice which, it seems to me, is what is called for here. It's unclear to me what country your sister is in. I see you list yourself as being in the U.S. But it sounds as though she is, perhaps, in Ireland?

Under any circumstances, at least from my lay-person's perspective, it sounds to me as though the answer here may be for someone in the family to seek legal guardianship over your sister in accordance with whatever the relevant laws in in the state or country in which she resides. If her mental health status is not such that she would meet the criteria for guardianship, then I think what may be left you & her parents is to simply step back & allow circumstances to unfold as they will. As things stand now your sister is an adult. And she has the right to make her own decisions... bad as well as good. If your sister does end up bringing her pregnancy to term, perhaps adoption might be something to consider, if your sister is willing. My best wishes to you both.
Hi there, thanks for replying. Yes, my sister and family live in Ireland, but I currently live in the US. We have thought about seeking guardianship over her - do you know how this is granted? I don't know how ill someone has to be in order for this to happen. If not, adoption might be a good option, but I have a feeling that my parents may feel obligated to take care of the child, which would be awful for them as they don't have the resources.
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