Five years ago, Andrew and Sarah lost custody of their then 5-year-old son to Sarah’s mother, Roberta. Since then, they say they’ve turned their lives around, and they want their son back. Are they fit to be full-time parents?
Roberta claims that her daughter, Sarah, and son-in-law, Andrew, have been struggling with drugs and alcohol for years and are not fit to be full-time parents to their 10-year-old son, Drew. She says that when she gained custody of her grandson in 2007, he was developmentally delayed. “When he came to me at 5, he was in diapers, and he was described by my social worker as non-verbal,” she says. “His mom and dad have had a long, troubled relationship with chemicals and with each other. I really felt he was in danger.”
Roberta says that Sarah has a history of violence and once choked her while she was driving, landing Sarah in prison for five days on charges of assault, battery and obstruction of justice. She also says that at Drew’s first birthday party, Sarah got angry and started beating her with a shoe. “She behaved like a mad woman,” Roberta says of the incident, adding that she suffered a broken finger as a result.
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“It wasn’t a broken bone,” Sarah responds. “She had osteoporosis.” She adds, “I was tired of her crap.”
Andrew and Sarah admit that they were impaired for their son’s first five years and that, at the time, he was better off with Roberta than them. “I couldn’t provide a safe place for him when things got really bad,” Andrew confesses. But, they say they’ve now turned their lives around and want their son back.
Roberta says she won’t relinquish custody until Sarah and Andrew prove they “have grown up.”
Roberta reveals a painful loss that she says could have been prevented. “If they hadn’t been drinking, he’d still be alive.”
Sarah says since the tragedy, Roberta has “created hell on Earth” for her and her family. She also says that she filed a motion to amend custody as soon as Andrew picked up his white chip in Alcoholics Anonymous, which symbolizes one day of sobriety — although she admits that one day is “not long enough.” Sarah says she often goes on disability for depression.
“Are you clean? Are you completely sober?”
Dr. Phil confronts Andrew about his abusive conduct toward the Dr. Phil staff.
Dr. Phil says that Andrew’s behavior is concerning, because it could indicate how he might act toward Drew, if the boy does something to upset him. “I want to know whether or not I am dealing with a rational man, or I am dealing with an arrogant, entitled bully,” he says.
Roberta and Sarah say that Andrew has been acting odd lately. “This is brand-new behavior, and I don’t know where it’s coming from,” Sarah says.
“He’s definitely not himself,” Roberta says.
“We are so off topic,” Sarah says.
“Are we really off topic, or are we looking at the judgment of the people who we’re considering turning a child over to? Is that off topic?” Dr. Phil asks, and Sarah says no.
Dr. Phil sends The Locator’s Troy Dunn to Andrew and Sarah’s home. Is it fit for a child?
Are Andrew and Sarah ready to be full-time parents?
Dr. Phil offers the couple help in moving forward.