If you are considering adoption there may be other available options to sufficiently and legally care for a child under the age of eighteen. A situation may arise where a child’s parents are unable to care for their child for a number of reasons including death of biological parents, incarceration or general inability to adequately care for a child due to mental illness or addiction. Given these circumstances a child may be in need of care in order to ensure their best interests are cared for, and there is a breadth of options available.
Private Party Agreements
A common option includes the ability for a private party to create an agreement with the child’s parents to care for the child either on a permanent or temporary basis. It is recommended that these agreements are written and legally adequate documents that outline agreed upon “custody” parameters of the child. The agreement can and should include medical needs and preferences should necessary decisions need to be made. The parents or caregiver of the child may terminate this agreement at any time.
Power of Attorney
A child’s natural or biological parents may also provide a caregiver with the legal authority to make certain decisions on behalf of the child. These actions and decisions include enrolling their child in school, and when or where to go to the doctor. A power of attorney is created through a signed and notarized legal document that is signed and notarized, however it is not a court order, therefore certain individuals or establishments such as school administrators or doctors are not required to adhere to a power of attorney.
It may be helpful to desires in regards to legal care of a child with a qualified attorney in order to ensure you establish appropriate boundaries of authority.
Circumstances may arise where one of the child’s biological parents is unable to adequately care for the child independently. Oftentimes this can be due to a diagnosed terminal illness, wherein he or she may ask the court to appoint a joint guardian to share in the care and responsibly for their child. A joint guardianship can provide the parent assurance and solidifies the care of the child if or when their death should occur. At that time the joint guardian would automatically become the sole and primary legal guardian for the child and no further court action would be necessary.
Contact an Experienced Kansas Adoption and Guardianship Attorney Today to Discuss Your Matter
Creating a plan to care for a child requires trust and experience, both of which Tom McDowell prides himself on. Attorney Tom McDowell has decades of experience helping families of all dynamics handle their adoption or guardianship cases. Contact McDowell Chartered Legal Services today at (316) 633-4322 to see how we can develop a child care plan that best suits you and your family’s needs.