My question involves guardianship in the State of: Washington and California
My husband (A) and I are residents of Washington state. We are in our mid-thirties. My husband has two half siblings (H, 15 and D, 17) who live in California. Their father (who was estranged from my husband) passed away about 5 years ago. H & D's biological mother is in prison somewhere and the children have been living with their father's widow since his death. Though my husband had not seen them since D was a toddler and H was an infant, he got in touch with them after their father's death and has remained in phone contact with them since then. H told him recently that D left home to go live in Oregon with friends a few months ago, which is where H and D spent most of their childhood.
My husband received a text message from H today that she was picked up at school by CPS and that they are looking for a friend for her to stay with or she will end up in foster care because the step-mother is giving up her rights as guardian for them. My husband spoke with both the step-mother and H and confirmed that the step-mother is, indeed, going to court tomorrow to abandon her rights as their guardian.
We told H that she is welcome to come live with us. We live in Seattle where I am attending dental school. We don't know anything about the law or regulation of this kind of thing. Do we have any legal right to act as guardians for her simply because my husband is her sibling? Will CPS give her over to us if we express our interest in taking care of her? Do we need to go through some formal process for her to stay with us (home inspections and CPS visits and certification and all the other stuff you see on TV?) or can we just go pick her up? How does living in different states change things? We want to go about this in the right way, of course. I'm just wondering what the first steps should be and if it's even a possibility that she could actually come stay with us. We offered without hesitation or question, and then realized that we should probably find out how to actually go about it and if it is feasible.
Thanks in advance for your help!