Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Couple Enjoying Good Life Is Getting Bad Reception

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I desperately need help concerning our 25-year-old daughter, "Grace." She was always a bit "awkward," but we became more concerned about her as she neared adulthood. Grace misused her college money and dropped out of school. She has been evicted twice, and we have paid off several outstanding liens against her that amounted to thousands of dollars.

Grace has now decided she wants a baby, and she's six months pregnant. This month, at my urging, she married her fiance so she could be put on his medical insurance.

Grace was laid off her job, and they are trying to live on his income as a waiter. They struggle to pay the rent, there is little food in the apartment and she can't find a job. The maternity insurance coverage is only $3,000. I have urged her to seek county help, but she complained that it "takes too long" to hang on the phone or stand in line.

I am 62 and my husband is 73. We have one income and a son who's in college still living at home. We don't have the resources to give our daughter more money. I have always tried to please her and make things perfect. I don't see how we can "fix" this, but now there is an innocent life involved. What should we do? -- ANXIOUS IN ALBUQUERQUE

DEAR ANXIOUS: You have already done more than enough "fixing" for your daughter. Continue to encourage Grace to get help from the county or the state. She will need adequate nutrition to produce a healthy baby.

Also, what about your son-in-law's family? Are they capable of providing assistance, financial or otherwise, to the parents-to-be? If not, and you have reason to believe your grandchild won't be properly cared for, you must ensure that a social worker knows what's going on. There should be one on staff at the hospital where the child is delivered.