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Help bring Tristan home!

Organized by: SallySue Steel

SallySue's Photo

THE STORY:

My fundraiser is to support my effort to have my son back in my life. All money donated goes directly to legal fees, attorney fees and court costs related to this effort.

My ex-partner and I decided in 2000 that we were going to plan and raise a child together and expand our family. She was younger than I was so we decided she would be the biological mother. I added her to my work health insurance through a generous domestic partner coverage plan in January of 2001. We found a very good midwife and finally became pregnant in November of that year. My beautiful son was born in July the following year.

He is the light of my life! I know all parents think that, but he truly was the reason I got up each morning! I was there the day he was born, helping his Mom give birth to him. Tears unexpectedly filled my eyes as I witnessed the miracle of his birth. It was a gift I never thought I would have the privilege of receiving. I was able to cut the umbilical cord as his other Mom and give him first bath later that day. The midwife lay him in a small bed under a heat lamp shortly after birth while she helped his mother. He was scared and crying so I went to him, put both my arms around him and leaned down close to his face and held him tight. I spoke softly to him and he immediately calmed. It is one of his favorite stories we share.

Skip ahead 10 years. 10 years of sharing birthdays, karate, soccer & football & braces. Grandparents, cousins, aunts & uncles and friends. Road trips, camping, Xbox and dinner together at Golden Corral for a heaping mound of Mac & cheese!

His Mother and I split in 2006. I continued to be completely involved in his life, to support him financially and emotionally as any parent would expect to do. She hired an attorney to draw up a legal co-guardianship, co-parenting agreement & will stating it was in his best interest that we both stay involved in his life as his parents, both of us responsible for him financially and emotionally throughout his life. We both agreed and signed these documents and it was legally admitted in court in 2007.

During this time his Mother became involved with another partner. Once they moved in together the time I got with him became less and less, eventually only 4 nights a month. I would go 2 weeks without seeing him. I would call him every night but it became difficult to stay in tune with him. The time we did spend together was awesome, but way to short. It was hard for him and I missed him terribly! I began begging for more time with him so I could keep our relationship strong. She refused.

In June of 2013 she finally quit allowing me to see him all together. She changed his phone number and manipulated him to believe that not seeing me is in his best interest. I have continued to pay his child support into an account I have set up for him when he needs it.

This is the reason I am setting up this fund-raiser. She has filed to terminate our co-guardianship agreement and invalidate the co-parenting agreement she had her attorney draft. I have hired an attorney to fight for my rights as his parent, or other Mom, but in Utah only a biological or adoptive parent has legal claim to a child and since we were never able to marry or able to adopt him, there is no current law to support me. I am considered a "legal stranger" giving her free rein to eliminate me from his life after 10 years together.

Because this case is the first of its kind in Utah, it will not be an easy road. We need to first establish, through the co-parenting agreement (legally binding contract from 2007), that I am his legal parent. We are currently appealing the judge's ruling to terminate the co-guardianship.

My son is the most important person in my life. I can't imagine what it would make me feel like if my Mom gave up on me and just let me disappear. I will do whatever I have to do, fight as long as I have to fight, to make sure he knows that I will never give up on him. He is my son. I wont allow anyone to take that from he, or I.

The legal fees have already reached over $15,000 and will continue to soar as we move along this path. My retirement fund is depleting quickly and in order to succeed I will need to take this as far as I can take it, the supreme court if I have to. Please consider donating to help support my fight to be recognized as my son's legal parent so he can once again come home and be part of his family!

$390

 

1% Raised of $30,000 Goal

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  • Cathy Gonzales and Michelle Hathenbruck

    $100

  • Good luck

    $20

  • Anonymous

    $25

  • Yeager, Owen and Roni

    $50

  • Teresa Twiggs Underwood

    $100

  • Sheri Lim McLaren

    $25

  • LB

    $50

  • Matt and Emily

    $20

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Organized by

SallySue Steel

This is a direct to organizer fundraiser.

Fundraise for this Campaign

The Team: $390 TOTAL RAISED SO FAR

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Donor Comments

Matt and Emily

Matt and Emily

DONATION: $20

3 years ago

LB

LB

DONATION: $50

3 years ago

Sheri Lim McLaren

Sheri Lim McLaren

DONATION: $25

Good Luck! 3 years ago

Teresa Twiggs Underwood

Teresa Twiggs Underwood

DONATION: $100

You've got this Sue! Fight with all your might, Panther power strong to the end! Your heart and soul is right and that will prevail! 3 years ago

Yeager, Owen and Roni

Yeager, Owen and Roni

DONATION: $50

3 years ago

Anonymous

ANONYMOUS

DONATION: $25

3 years ago

Good luck

Good luck

DONATION: $20

3 years ago

Cathy Gonzales and Michelle Hathenbruck

Cathy Gonzales and Michelle Hathenbruck

DONATION: $100

We are behind you Suey....stay strong!! 3 years ago

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