As we have discussed previously on this blog, there may be times when a California family finds it appropriate to either adopt a child or serve as guardian of a child. In many instances, this occurs when a child's biological parents are unfit or their parental rights have been terminated. Yet, there may be times when a child's parent or parents make the decision that they are temporarily unable to care for the child. In other instances, parents may want to consider guardianship as part of their will in the event that they suddenly pass away.
Regardless of which side of matter an individual falls, he or she needs to realize that there are important considerations to take into account when considering guardianship. For example, a potential guardian needs to have adequate time to actually care for the subject child. Additionally, a prospective guardian must have the financial resources necessary to appropriately provide for the child. It may also be important to consider how taking another child into the home will affect other children who are already residing there.
Many of these issues are fact sensitive. For example, those who obtain guardianship over a child may or may not be responsible for the full financial cost of raising the child depending upon whether the child's biological parents still have parental rights. Those guardians who do wind up being financially responsible for a child may be able to obtain financial assistance from the government.
Pursuing guardianship can be a great way to give a child the care that he or she needs, while still preserving the option for the child to return to his or her parents. However, as can be seen from the examples given above, there can be important considerations that must be given extensive forethought. In many instances, an experienced family law attorney can help both prospective guardians and biological parents explore an agreement that ensures that the child's best interest are protected.