Many grandparents find themselves needing to adopt or have adopted their grandchildren for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, parents are unable to care for their natural children due to health problems, death, addiction, incarceration or a variety of other reasons. Some children are lucky enough to be surrounded by a support system that involves their grandparent’s love and care. This love and care may often be necessary on a permanent basis and adoption may be beneficial to the child’s well being. There are many options when it comes to being able to care for and have custody over a child that will accommodate this need. With this in mind, there are a variety of options available in Kansas, so it is important to educate yourself and evaluate all of your options before deciding what is best for you and the child’s circumstance.
Grandparent Named As Power of Attorney
In many situations it may be ideal for all parties, if a Power of Attorney is established naming the grandparent of the child as the caregiver. A Power of Attorney is a much more simple process in comparison to adoption and in some ways can result in essentially the same care and effect. Parents can give grandparents as little or as much authority and rights as they feel necessary. Parents can also proactively establish a Power of Attorney proactively to prepare for unknown circumstances, or reactively if something happens and the child needs care. This is usually an option for many military families, or for parents who are ill or have been incarcerated. This type of authority allows the grandparent to seek medical attention for a child or enroll the child in school. One of the main differences between adoption and establishing a Power of Attorney is that the Power of Attorney does not remove the parental rights of the parent and can be revoked by the person who created the power of attorney at any time.
Legal Custody of Grandchildren
Another more permanent legal way to grant care to grandparents is by granting custody through the court system. This can occur if both parents consent, or even if consent of the parents is not given, depending on the details of the circumstance and what is in the best interest of the child. If both parents consent, the process is much more smooth and the timeline of establishing custody is much shorter. However, custody may be granted without parental consent as well. Although granting custody is a more permanent care solution for a child, it is certainly not irreversible. Once a grandparent has been granted custodial rights over their grandchild, this does not legally sever other family relationships. In the case of adoption, the severing of ties to natural parents is permanent, whereas custody rights may be reversed at a later time if or when circumstances change.
Guardianship of a Grandchild
Guardianship is very similar to custody in that it must be established through the court system. There are also a variety of ways and types of guardianship that can be established in Kansas. Based on the needs of the child and details of the circumstance, a Temporary, Permanent or Standby can be established. Regardless of which option is chosen, it is always recommended to discuss the process with a qualified family law attorney before proceeding.
How an Experienced Kansas Adoption Law Attorney Can Help
If you are a grandparent who has questions about the best way to obtain rights or custody of your grandchild, our team of experienced Kansas Adoption Lawyers can help. Whether you would like to create a Power of Attorney, obtain Custody or you wish to adopt your grandchild, our law firm can advise you on what option best suits you and the child’s needs. Our firm keeps your grandchild’s best interest and your desires as our top priority at all times. Call a Kansas Adoption Lawyer at McDowell Chartered Legal Services today at (316) 633-4322, and see how we can successfully assist you in your matter.