When a child’s parents are unable to provide appropriate care for the child (for example, due to prolonged illness or extended absence in jail or the military or substance abuse), there generally are two options: the state can find a new home for the child (foster care), or a friend or family member can take on the responsibilities of caring for the child (guardianship). The Wald Law Group gladly provides services to people offering to take responsibility for children through guardianship, rather than risking those children ending up in the foster care system.
Guardianship differs from adoption because in adoptions, the parental rights of the birth parents generally are terminated; whereas in a guardianship, the parents remain the parents but someone else (the guardian) takes over custody of the child. This is the ideal option where it is beneficial to maintain the legal relationship between parent and child, but the parent is not able to provide the daily care the child needs.
The process for a guardianship is complicated and requires many forms and declarations, proper service on family members, and at least one court appearance. The Wald Law Group drafts and files the necessary forms and supporting documents, ensures proper service is completed, and represents the client(s) at the guardianship hearing to assure that everything is handled professionally and with the least possible strain on the proposed guardians.