Thank you for using Just Answer. I look forward to helping you this evening. I'm so sorry about your grandson.
If the parents do not want to give you Power of Attorney (POA) or you don’t know where to find the parents, which is what it sounds like, you can ask the Probate Court, who deals with guardianships and adoptions, to choose you to be the guardian, the person who is legally responsible for the child. Guardians can be temporary, permanent or limited.
A temporary guardianship can last for only six months. A limited guardian can be put into place when the parents agree to the guardianship. This may happen if the parents will serve in the military; or if they are traveling overseas for a while. Other limited guardianships are put into place when the parents are experiencing difficulties such as job loss or health problems. In this case, the parents may agree to place the child with someone while the parents take specific steps to improve their parenting skills. This is called a limited placement plan. With this plan, parents may be required to take parenting classes, find a job, a decent place to live, complete school or college, and/or take other steps needed to improve their parenting skills. If the steps have been successfully completed, then the child may be returned to the parents and the Limited Guardianship will be terminated. The Probate Court, when it considers terminating a guardianship, may first create a plan for gradually returning the child to his or her parents.
If the parents do not complete the requirements of the limited placement plan, then the guardian(s) could ask a court to terminate the parental rights and adopt the child.
You must file a petition or a written request with the Probate Court asking that you be made a guardian. You can usually get a packet of information concerning the guardianship for a child from your county’s Probate Court clerk’s office. ou must complete the Notice of Hearing form, which you will send to the parents of the child. If you don’t know where the parents are, you may need to fill out another form, called a Publication of Notice of Hearing. You can bring this Notice with you to the Probate Court clerk when you file the petition. The newspapers pickup these notices weekly from the Probate Court clerk. When the notice has been published in the local paper, you will receive a bill, usually for less than $60. Once you have paid the bill, the newspaper will release to the Probate Court the certified copy which is placed in the Probate Court file proving that you published the notice.
You will also need to complete a Social History. As part of the History, you will need to get letters of recommendation from people who know you and can explain to the court that you are able to care for a child. The letters may be hand written, and should not be longer than one page. The Probate Court will also need a copy of the birth certificate. When you bring the completed forms to the Clerk, you'll pay a filing fee and the Clerk will set the matter for hearing.
At the hearing, you'll want to bring the Order Appointing Guardian, Acceptance of Guardianship and Letters of Guardianship. If the court finds you are suitable, they will appoint you as guardian of your grandson. I wouldn't expect the parents to show up, so this will likely be an uncontested hearing, which should take around 10 minutes.
The Letters of Guardianship and the Order can then be used for doctors, daycare, etc. You can give them copies --originals you'll want to keep in a safe place.
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