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My Grandchildren (4 of them, from 2 of my daughters - all living

in the same house with...
My Grandchildren (4 of them, from 2 of my daughters - all living in the same house with my ex) were taken by the state of Oregon CPS last week. After an initial talk with the social worker(s) on the case, we have not heard back anything after many calls/messages to them. We don't know what to do next, as far as obtaining or even be considered as temporary guardians to the children. Can my daughters have a say in who the kids go with? I haven't had any contact with any of them since this happened, but we did just see all the children last month, and know if given the choice the older ones (one is 11 months so probably cannot say yet) would choose to come be with us. Thank you
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10/7/2013
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102,932
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your family's situation.

What happens is that the Children & Teens Child Protective Services of Oregon (i.e. CPS) has a right to stand for custody in front of the Court if they can show the Judge that there is good reason to grand custody to CPS instead of the parents.

If this happens, CPS will then generally place the children with a foster family/home, going off the following preferences:

1) Close family such as grandparents, aunts, etc, provided they qualify under CPS requirements;
2) Further family;
3) Foster family; or
4) Foster group care.

Now, at first this is temporary until the parents can "prove" they are able at parenting. If CPS is not satisfied, they can move the Court for permanent custody.

In other words, CPS now has custody and the children are wards of the state (at least temporarily), and the state extends guardianship to a foster unit to care for the children, at its discretion.

Can my daughters have a say in who the kids go with?

While she can always make a request, CPS or the Court is not bound to honor it, I am afraid. By default, they consider close family but not always. In short, grandparents cannot "demand" to be given guardianship while this matter is ongoing, I am afraid.

However, there may be a way for grandparents to request custody as a third party. Oregon may allow the grandparent to wrestle custody from CPS if they can show that they have close ties to the grandchildren and it is in the best interest of the grandchildren. Oregon courts have allowed this before, but sparingly (i.e. when THIRD PARTIES ask for custody):

Or. Rev. Stat. 109.119(2) (Supp. 1994) (stepparent in dissolution action may petition for custody or visitation); Or. Rev. Stat. 109.119(2) (Supp. 1994) (specifically recognizing stepparent visitation on divorce). In re Sorensen, 138 Or. App. 80, 906 P.2d 838 (1995) (child’s stepmother could intervene in custody proceeding between child’s parents); In re Shofner, 137 Or. App. 54, 905 P.2d 268 (1995) (court had authority to award stepfather visitation with wife’s child).

For this, an attorney is recommended. May I recommend the Oregon Bar referral program - here. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.

Good luck.

Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. (You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.)
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102,932
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Verified
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

So if we need to represent ourselves, would it be best if we go up to the CPS office and the courthouse as soon as possible?


Do I have a right to updates or know where they are even?

T,

So if we need to represent ourselves, would it be best if we go up to the CPS office and the courthouse as soon as possible?

Arguably, yes. Again, if requesting (asking) guardianship from CPS, then one asks CPS.

If petitioning (demanding) custody from the Court, one files a petition with the court and 'joins' the already-ongoing court matter as a third party seeking custody.

Do I have a right to updates or know where they are even?

Not unless you joint the court matter as a third party seeking custody.

Gentle Reminder: Again, surely you prefer that I be honest in my answer – please remember that rating negatively due to receiving bad news still hurts the expert – it is simply the way that the system is set up. Please use REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. (You may always ask follow ups free after rating.)
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Can you tell me specifically what documents we need to fill out and who to talk to?

Which of the two options do you wish to seek?
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Request to be considered for custody, if possible

Then an attorney is recommended, and one would need to file what is known as an intervention which is a pleading that has a third party (i.e. you) join an ongoing matter between two parties (i.e. the parents and CPS).

This is very hard to do without an attorney. It is like asking how to perform minor surgery. Every step - from drafting to filing to service to appearance is very complex. It is not simply a matter of filing a form, I am afraid. This is why an attorney is recommended.
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Ely
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
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