While I was in prison four years a friend watched my child. I have been out a year and am stable. I have sole custody and want my child back. I have attempted to contact her through phone and text. I feel like she is kidnapping her and want her returned and don't know what steps I need to take.
If you were "in prison four years", you likely should check whether the court must prohibit you from having any contact with the child.
If your criminal law history involves sex crimes, other violent crimes, drug/alcohol crimes, and other crimes suggesting that you are a danger to minor children, the court must restrict your access to minor children.
If you do not have any history that would result in you in being found to be an unfit parent by the court and there is no court order prohibiting you from being near the child, as the child's legal parent, you do have the legal right to just pick her up. If you know where she is, you can just go and get her. If you have proofs that you are the child's legal parent, the police may even help you get the child.
You can review the specific facts with your attorney to find out your legal options.
A biological mother, generally has the right to parent her child unless there is a court order or state action preventing it. The most immediate way to gain access to your child will likely be to contact local law enforcement to help facilitate the transition. They can work with the individual who has your child or the child's school and oversee the hand off. While having the police present may be intimidating for the child, it can deter the individual who has your child from acting out and provide witnesses if they do. You may also take care to remain calm, both for the child and in the event this matter does end up before the court. It may also be wise to be prepared and have resources such as counseling arranged at the time of the transition to help you reunite with your child in a healthy way. Should the other individual seek third party custody of the child through the courts, your actions will likely come under scrutiny.
You may also wish to speak to an attorney about other options available to you. It is my sincere hope that you are able to reestablish your relationship with your child. Best wishes.
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