What can I ask?


My son is 27, lives with his father in NJ. They just moved to another town there. I haven’t been given the new doctors name or case manager if he even has one now. Because of privacy concerns, I just wondered what, as his mom, I have the “right” to know? Do I have the “right” to ask his father for the doctors name, etc or would that be seen as a breech of my sons privacy? Lord knows, I don’t want to ruin any trust my son has in me, but at this point, I don’t have any info on how he is doing, what his doctors name is, case manager, what program he is in, where, etc? I feel totally left out of the loop on my son and his illness.

Would I be asking too much to know just these things? I’m not asking for every little detail on his illness, but he is my son and I feel that I should know these things!



As a parent I would say that you have the right to ask his father for information. To my knowledge there is no law against asking. Whether he wants to give that information will be up to him.

Is there a way that you can get this information from your son?


You are not bound by privacy laws - the service providers are the ones bound by the laws. You can ask anybody for any kind of information you want.

What restrictions you place on yourself concerning how it will affect your son’s trust are strictly up to you.

Also, if you know who service providers are, there is no restriction on you providing background information to them.


Well he is 27 so he doesnt have to tell you anything. But if you have been a caregiver to him, I wouldnt see it as intrusive at all. I am 21 and chose to live with my parents.


Ask your son if he would sign a release of information for you. I signed one for my sister.


If you became his legal guardian it would be much easier to keep track of your son.


Thanks all! I think what I will do is-- respectively-- ask my son for the basic info and then when he comes to visit me I will see if he will sign a release of information then.


I meant “respectfully” lol


Good luck and hope you can get some info.
Sometimes, it just depends on who you talk to. Some nurses or doctors will tell, some wont. Its aggravating. When I could not get info. on my son, I would call the hospital all the time and just tell them anything helpful. After awhile, some of those people would tell me a few things here and there.


Another thing you can do (someone mentioned it on here. A family member. I didn’t come up with this one.) Is if he talks to you a lot (this person had their loved one living with them so it was easier for them to gather information for lack of a better term) you can tell the doctor key things he has told you. I understand that trust is a big thing so I wouldn’t tell the doc every thing he tells you but if you see some warning signs you can call him up and tell him. There is no law against you telling him/her things.


I have always wondered why people talked “around” me rather than asked me myself. Makes me feel quite like an invalid.
Ask your son directly, and tell him why you are asking, because you care…
If he don’t respond, or you think otherwise, then ask around, but give him the chance to be the first to report.


csummers, you are absolutely right! I can understand now that it would make anyone feel invalidated to be treated like that. I never looked at it that way and you are once again, right.
I did ask him directly for his doctors name and what his new program was like (generally speaking what they did during the day). He did respond.

I guess I just didn’t want him to think I was “intruding” on his privacy. But you are right. I should just ask and see, and respect his decision to respond or not.


Intruding usually involves trying to take over someones life and tell them what to do.

The best help for me was when others let me know they were there if I needed a hand with things.
When you ask because you care, it can’t ever be wrong.