Often people are found to be caring for a minor that is not your child. Whether it be a friends child or a nephew or a grandchild. You may ask what legal rights do I have over the child that I am caring for that is not my own child. Good Question. The answer lies in the laws of Guardianship of the person. In Probate Court there is a means to get legal authority to step in as a parent to the minor child without becoming the adoptive parent. Most people do not have the awareness of using guardianship to their advantage if they are not related to the minor child in question.
The guardianship law is similar to child custody law as it looks at the best interest review method to determine who the minor child should live with. Under the guardianship code section the Court will do an investigation of the home of the proposed guardians.
- a court investigator, probation officer, or domestic relations investigator shall make an investigation and file with the court a report and recommendation concerning each proposed guardianship of the person or guardianship of the estate. Investigations where the proposed guardian is a relative shall be made by a court investigator. Investigations where the proposed guardian is a nonrelative shall be made by the county agency designated to investigate potential dependency.
Thus is very important to have a close connection with the minor child and understand in depth the concerns why the child needs a guardianship in place. The Court wants to know if the child is suffering in any way by his biological parents caregiving. Once the report is due the investigator will write a evaluation of the current potential guardians whether they are suitable to be awarded guardianship or not. If the Judge sees the recommendation from the investigator they will assume the petitioners are able to take care of the child.