What is my moral obligation on my lost child?

I like to think that in spite of my lack of belief in a god or religion that I am a moral person.  Not perfect by any means but I try.  (Check out my blog on licensing my dogs.  Better late than never.)

I have 5 children and the odds are that not all of them are going to be perfect.   One high powered accountant, one serving his third tour in Afghanistan, one struggling but surviving in a downtrodden economy, one finishing his first year in college.  If you are counting that is four.  The fifth, or my second born, is a different story altogether.

I lost contact with her when I showed up for her court hearing on drug and prostitution charges.  I tried for years after that, but she would no longer speak to me.  Since then she has become homeless, lost her child and there have been missing persons reports filed, just to see if she is alive.  By the way, if you file a missing person report, if they find them alive there is no obligation to notify the family.  It is only good if there is a body to identify.  I didn't know that since I had never been in that situation before.

Thankfully my granddaughter is in a happier, safer home with of all things Jehovah's Witnesses.  Thank you for that part of her family.  And they let us have full access to phone calls, visitation and vacations. 

Background aside, I don't know where my daughter is.  If my family knows, they won't tell me.

I have made it very clear that my daughter has two warrants out for her arrest.  Failure to appear, etc.  I would turn her in.  Am I angry that she is in this position?  Yes!  Do I wish her harm?  No.  Should she take responsibility?  Definitely.

Would you turn your child in if you knew they committed a crime? Would you? Could you? I have no God to protect me or guide me on this one.  Somehow as a human, no matter how conflicted I am, I know I would contact the authorities. 

Views: 47

Comment by Profound_Raincloud on May 1, 2011 at 3:51am
Why is your granddaughter with JW"S?
Comment by Okinawa R. on May 1, 2011 at 5:15am
yes, i would IF she will have a fair trial~

law in my country is so bribe-able, i would have second thoughts if my child/ren is/are entangled in some sticky cases.
Comment by Janet Richter on May 1, 2011 at 9:17am

To Profound Raincloud, my granddaughter is with JW's because she is with her biological father and while I don't believe as they do. . .they allow us to give her gifts, visit frequently and do not force her to go to their church which was quite unexpected.  It is quite apparent that her father and his family love her as much as we do, in spite of our varied beliefs.

As far as my inner turmoil, why I am questioning my own morals, it becomes a gray area.  Do I want my daughter punished for punishments sake?  No, absolutely not.  I want for her to take responsibility for her actions and as society has set up laws that require a certain amount of that responsibility, maybe she should do so.  Show up in court, get help. . .I don't know.

Addiction has robbed our family in ways I couldn't have imagined before this.  Am I being a moral person or just an angry person?  If she was guilty of murder would this even be a question?

While trying to find my daughter one of the times she dropped off the radar, out of desperation I Googled a contact phone number she had given my granddaughter (who was 11 at the time) and found a link to an escort service complete with pictures and prices for services.  Trust me, no mother wants to see their daughter like that.

My son, with good reasoning stated his position.  If that is what she wants to do, fine.  She is an adult.  Move to Nevada where it is legal, regulated and safe.  Don't do it with your daughter in the next room and not be able to get her to school the next morning.

And while we suspected things were not quite right, we had no proof at the time.  The more troubling things became the more my daughter cut off contact.  It wasn't until my granddaughter had to be picked up at the police station after her mother had been arrested for a DUI with her in the car that we had to take action.  CPS, Detectives, Google. . .lots and lots of anger.  And fear.

What if?  What if we were too late acting on our suspicions?  What if my granddaughter had been subjected to more than just neglect?  What if my daughter killed someone while driving under the influence?  Would it be better or worse if it was my child or someone I didn't know?  Could I live with that?

Am I acting in accordance with internalized standards or am I just very angry?  Can I be doing both? 

By the way, her current warrants are for failure to appear on a 2nd DUI in less than a year.  And while I may not understand all the different reasons why I would turn her in, I would still turn her in.


Comment by Heather Spoonheim on May 1, 2011 at 4:06pm
My first instinct would be to find out more about the charges, the events of the alleged crime, and the circumstances that might have lead up to that crime.  To that end I would want to know her side of the story.  Even if she killed someone in cold blood I would want to help her get a good lawyer so she could meet with a fair outcome under the law.  To that end I wouldn't turn her in without being prepared to assist her in dealing with the matter.  Mostly I would just want to see her again and ask her how she was doing.  The story teller in me would be fascinated by her tales of 'life on the run'.  On that note, I would encourage her to deal with the issue rather than running away from it.
Comment by Profound_Raincloud on May 1, 2011 at 7:39pm
I understand, sorry I missed the point that that was what her dad was and this is why she was with them. I was confused :) I was raised JW for part of my life and returned as an adult. It was far less harming the the other part of my childhood spent with Catholics. Religious people can be good people. I don't believe in their beliefs or that religion is good but it is the world we currently live in.

Good luck to you. I would be devastated if this was happening to me. I would want my daughter to go help. I can't answer your question, I would feel very torn. But I wish you all the best on this journey!


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