Advice Wanted: My Au Pair just wants to get married– to anybody!

by cv harquail on March 18, 2009

Our current au pair, who is nothing spectacular but fine is trying desperately to marry an American. She’s online constantly trying to arrange a marriage for herself. This week, she told me she’d “met someone” online who is offering to marry her, pay for her schooling, buy her a car and a home, but he wants to meet her first, next weekend in NYC. I told her I was terrified for her, that this sounds like an extremely dangerous situation potentially, and she promised not to go. However, I’ve since learned that she planning to go the weekend after next.

Never mind that I feel her judgment is lacking, I’m extremely concerned for her personal safety and have this idea that she’ll go and no one will ever see her again. I would greatly appreciate some guidance. I am concerned that if I get the “company/my LCC” involved, I will lose my au pair’s trust. –CK

Responses already!:caught in trap heart.jpg

From Calif Mom:

I may sound harsh, but you have to get the LCC involved. If your AP were to disappear, you would not be able to forgive yourself.
If she does get married to some creepy figure, is she going to stick around and be your AP still? More to the point — would you really want her to?!
You may lose your AP’s trust, but she is clearly not focused on making good decisions, and you can no longer count on her to take care of your kids wisely.
You need to see this as the beginning of the end with her as your AP.

From Run:

Go to your LCC as fast as you run. This AP is going to leave you. Hopefully she won’t introduce this person to your children or steal from you.
Beware– It seems very clear that her first priority is not being an AP and taking care of your children. She signed up so she could get a ticket here and get a husband.

From Seriously:

Yes, you need to call LCC right away and start lining up your back-up childcare.
Even if it takes her awhile, she’s going to disappear one way or another. You don’t want her in your house! You need a new AP.

{ 16 comments }

Concerned March 18, 2009 at 5:32 am

Absolutely talk to your LCC immediately. This gal does not sound like she has a good head on her shoulders! Besides the fact that most of the contracts (the au pairs have to sign through the agency) perfectly state they may not enter into ANY contracts while they are your au pair (marriage or otherwise), she is not thinking about her safety!!!
Seems like her goal was a way to stay in the U.C., not to be a loving, caring au pair to your family!
I wish you the best of luck!!!

CaliHostMom March 18, 2009 at 6:26 am

You don’t say what country she comes from or what her family situation is back there, but…in the AP’s defense, it could be a miserable existence back home. That said, it is 100% foolish and downright crazy to travel by plane to meet a strange man. I definitely agree that you should involve the LCC for the reasons others have stated. Think of it this way: if she were your own daughter or niece, wouldn’t YOU want someone to protect her from this mistake? It’s one thing to try to meet some local men, in places she is familiar with and accompanied by friends, etc. If you really care for the girl and think she has a future in the U.S., you might try to mitigate the situate of ‘telling on her’ by at some point helping her create a realistic, legal plan for getting back to the U.S. (parlay her new English skills to secure a placement as an exchange student in a few years, for example).

Dawn March 18, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Another “vote” to definitely contact the LCC as soon as possible. I agree with CaliHostMom that the AP’s “motives” may be understandable — and I also think that this could be more an example of naivite as opposed to poor judgment. So from my perspective, the fact that the AP wants to do this isn’t necessarily a “red flag” as to her trustworthiness or suitability as an AP. HOWEVER, it is a huge safety issue, no matter what else it may or may not be. So I would absolutely involve the LCC (and the agency’s regional office or whatever, if the LCC isn’t proactive enough). But I’d be up front with the AP about what I was doing and why — have a frank conversation with her about the fact that you know she thinks she’s doing the right thing, and that she “knows” this guy and he is safe, but that hundreds (?thousands?) of girls are attacked and abducted each year in situations that they were equally certain were safe; and that you absolutely cannot and will not allow her to put herself in that kind of danger — even if that makes her upset and angry at you. (etc. etc., maybe throw in some stuff about how you feel a responsibility to “stand in the shoes” of her parents while she’s here, and you would never be able to forgive yourself if something happened…)

cynthia March 18, 2009 at 5:14 pm

I would contact the LCC immediately as well and arrange for an emergency meeting. It appears she had ulterior motives in coming to the US to be an au pair. Of course all au pairs have other motives for coming, experiencing the us, going out here, and maybe getting an american boyfriend with the potential to be married and stay – but to come and to so forcefully search out a husband is scary and so dangerous. I think you be as frank as possible and let her know you’re concerned about her safety first and foremost but that you also have major concerns about her judgement and her ability to be your au pair. I would also want to get to the bottom of her obsession with getting married, is it becuase her home life is horrible and she can’t bear to return, etc. It may give you some insight into her mind frame. I know if my au pair disappeared out of the blue I’d be up a creek and I’d hate to see that happen to you and would hate to see her wind up in major trouble as well.

Ms. Ivy March 18, 2009 at 10:15 pm

You already tried to dissuade her from going and she just postponed her plans: contact your LCC as soon as possible. Whether or not you would loose your AP’s trust is not an issue: her safety is, and potentially your family’s- let’s hope she has not disclosed any information regarding with whom and where she lives. I don’t want to sound paranoid, it’s a reality that there are many creeps using the internet luring girls and young women into exploitation. You need to act quickly to avoid having to deal with a very bad situation for everyone involved.

Franzi March 19, 2009 at 12:33 am

au pair insight coming up: MANY and i mean MANY girls are looking for an american to marry. some pursue it more aggressively than others. just like so many try to stay arranging some sort of “schooling for childcare” with their host family (which by the way is illegal!).

it is also illegal for your au pair to marry during her au pair year because her visa is issued upon the basis of her being single. thus a marriage will result in her immediate exit from the program – and you will be without childcare!

if she is so desperately looking for a husband, she clearly entered the ap programme on the wrong premises. and this is why your counselor should get involved. if she continues like this it will lead to problems with her being in the program.

and i think it is a no-brainer that this is more than absolutely not safe to travel to see this man giving the circumstances. where is her judgement at???? i think she has no idea what she would be getting into. they would need to proof a relationship in order to have her status change and it will take another 2-3 years for her to get the green card! does she realize that during this time she will be absolutely dependent on this man? and he needs to support her no matter what. he needs to proof a certain income, he needs to sign papers saying he will support her for the next 10 years. and these papers are legally binding (unless they divorce). WHY or with which MOTIVES would a man do something like this?????

please talk to your au pair and make her realize that this is a very stupid idea.

Franzi

btw, what country is she from?

Sandra newman January 25, 2011 at 10:44 am

3 months to have a green card.

Calif mom March 19, 2009 at 1:39 am

I just heard the other day of an AP who told her host she had married a guy she met online, in their town, who lived at home with his mother. The host mom went to investigate (she was horrified and didn’t know what to do) and discovered that this sleaze ball basically married her to take care of his elderly mother, whom he still lived with.

unconscionable!

A former AP of ours spent a lot of time on young Christian hook-up sites. As a good feminist, I am very sympathetic to the plight of these young ladies in cultures that do not offer many opportunities beyond marriage to women. But let’s help them see that EDUCATION will get them a lot further, though it’s a longer road. They can start that here, too, by taking challenging courses, and not just phoning it in.

counselor March 19, 2009 at 3:55 am

I have had a similar situation with my hostfamily & aupair. The aupair (27)ended up marrying a divorced guy that she met just 1 week after arriving in the USA. Met him at a park nearby. Some girls just get very desperate not to return to their home country, since some countries have poor economic situations.
In your case, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is trying to hook some unsuspecting girl so that he can send her “working on the streets”. I would be very alarmed. And others are likely correct, she will be gone one way or another. Her focus is not on being an aupair, it is on staying in the USA. This doesn’t bode well for the future between your family and her.

jen March 19, 2009 at 11:43 am

I’m an LCC, I would want to know as soon as possible to talk this out with the AP. Many AP’s want to get married, most are in there “prime” marriage years it is just how they go about it that you need to be careful of. I would also be very concerned for her safety if she went to NYC to meet a stranger by herself- maybe if she has a friend come along to meet this guy it might not be totally wierd or unsafe. I have had a few AP’s who were very successful and great childcare providers who also found husbands along the way, I’ve been lucky and they have waited until the end of their contract to get married- it is true that the day an au pair gets married she is off the program as it is technically a violation of her visa.

former aupair March 20, 2009 at 7:26 pm

Well if you want i could talk with her and show that is much more into getting married and leave here than they can possibly imagine…I met my husband when i was an aupair but went back home at the end of the program and couldnt deal with the distance and came back to marry him.Even tought i married him for love and its being five years i like to always show this girls that truth is its hard to be far away from your country and your loved ones.Its hard to have to start over and search a career and if with true love is hard imagine without??

former aupair March 20, 2009 at 7:35 pm

and like franzi said the legal aspects to it are waaaaaaay more complicated and expensive that they know….a man that barelly know her and wants to marry has no other intentions than bad ones… I don’t understand how she can’t see that this is a set up and a bad idea….and why is not him that will come there to see her? strange….easy to bring the girl to a huge city, where she is not familiar and know no one….isin’t she aware how is dangerous to meet people online? how many crazy and abusive guys are searching for naive, not to say desperate girls like that?

anonymous March 21, 2009 at 2:39 am

Our LCC was herself a former au pair who got married to a man she met while an au pair. So the agencies are not naive about this, nor is it necessarily a condemnable thing. But you have to be smart and safe!

Camila March 21, 2009 at 5:31 am

i agree with you when you say that many au pairs wants to gets marry….but this rule is NOT for everybody!
I was au pair (just finished my program) and i never dated someome….and i know a lot of girls that did the same!
So…just be careful with your words…..

Franzi March 22, 2009 at 3:33 pm

of course this does not apply to all au pairs. but if you have an honest conversation, the majority wouldn’t mind hooking up with someone and getting married in order to stay in the states. i’m not saying that this is pure calculation only. of course, for many this is only an option when there is something called love involved. but what i am saying is that many girls see their year as a potential door opener.

Au Pair April 3, 2009 at 11:52 pm

Why not find someone from a country closer to yours? They do exist in America :)

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