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Does My Stepfather Have a Legal Right to Prevent Me From Seeing My Mother?
My mother has dementia and lives at home with my stepfather. He will not let two out of my mother's three children see or visit her. I want to know if I have legal rights to see my mother and, if so, how do I go about doing it?
While you will need to check your state’s laws to be certain, the general answer is no, you personally have no legal right to see your mother. However, she has the right to see you if she wants, and you may intervene if she is not safe. In terms of your mother’s desires, they may be difficult to determine under the circumstances. If you think your mother is not being well cared for, there are two possible ways to intervene. First, you can find out if there is an Adult Protective Services agency in your community and make a referral to it. Second, you can go to court to seek guardianship over your mother.
For more on guardianship, click here.
For the website of the National Center on Elder Abuse, click here.