The State of California is vigilant about protecting children. In many cases, that requires a guardianship to ensure the child's best interests are adhered to. When a parent or the parents cannot care for the child appropriately, guardianship is an option. However, it is important for the parents and prospective guardians to understand the details and requirements of a guardianship and consider potential alternatives that might be viable.
Many Californians are all too familiar with situations where an individual is unable to care for their child. Sometimes this is caused by financial strain, but, in other instances, incarceration, substance abuse, and mental health issues are a driving force in a parent's inability to adequately care for their child. In these instances, legal action may be needed to ensure that a child has an appropriate legal caregiver. This is where a guardianship may prove beneficial, as it essentially instills parental responsibilities in an individual other than a child's parent.
In a perfect world, parents would be able to provide for their children with support from friends and family. As we all know, though, the world is far from ideal. Often, parents are incapable of caring for their children, whether it be due to substance abuse, domestic violence, poverty, or incarceration. When this happens, somebody else must step in to raise these children.
When a parent is unable to care for his or her child, it may become necessary to consider available legal options to ensure that the child is properly cared for. One of these options is legal guardianship. Through a child guardianship, an appointed guardian is bestowed with what essentially equates to parental rights, but only on a temporary basis. This allows a child to receive adequate care until his or her parent is once again able to provide for him or her on a full-time basis.
Sometimes, for whatever reason, parents find themselves in hard times. Whether this involves financial matters, mental health, substance abuse, or another issue that substantially affects one's ability to care for his or her children, alternative arrangements for the children's care may need to be sought. Although the state, under certain circumstances, may try to terminate an individual's parental rights, thereby freeing the children for adoption, this is considered a last resort. To avoid this outcome, alternative plans exist, such as custody arrangements and guardianship.
Most people, including several experts, would agree that children need stability. Although stability includes having an established daily routine, in a broader sense it also means having a home that is consistent and that can provide them with the safe, loving, and nurturing environment they need. Of course, this stability can occur in many ways, as children can thrive in two-parent households, a single-parent household where sole custody has been obtained, two households through a joint custody agreement, or in an adoptive home.
Families can take a variety of shapes. While some are strictly biological in nature, others are built through legal processes like adoption. Guardianship is another way for individuals to provide a child in need with a safe and stable home, but many Californians are unfamiliar with the process and what it entails. We hope that this post will help shed some light on the duties that are carried out by guardians.
Throughout California, there is a significant number of children in need of a caring, loving, and stable home. Far too often, for whatever reason, these children are unable to receive such a home from their parents. Although some of these children are adopted by relatives, family friends, or foster parents, that is not the only option available to families. Guardianship can also be considered.
Previously on this blog we discussed how guardianship differs from adoption. For many California families, a guardianship makes sense. It allows a child to obtain a safe and stable home while at the same time preserving parental rights. Although most, if not all, parental responsibilities are assumed by the guardian while the guardianship is in place, parents still have the opportunity to try to terminate the guardianship when they feel that they are fit to care for the child once again.
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.