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  1. #1

    Default How Can a Guardian Adopt Their Ward

    Hi I live in California and my fiancee and I have guardianship of our three nieces. Their mother asked us to watch them overnight seven months and we didn't hear from her or the girls' father until January when they showed up for a hearing that had been continued for permenant guardianship. After this happen they did not show up to mediation or to court. My question is, is there a special process that we need to go through to adopt the girls?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: How Can a Guardian Adopt Their Ward

    Quote Quoting mrtnzfamily243
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    Hi I live in California and my fiancee and I have guardianship of our three nieces. Their mother asked us to watch them overnight seven months and we didn't hear from her or the girls' father until January when they showed up for a hearing that had been continued for permenant guardianship. After this happen they did not show up to mediation or to court. My question is, is there a special process that we need to go through to adopt the girls?
    Well...Getting married would help...and then you would have to have the parents parental rights terminated. Big process! Get an attorney.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How Can a Guardian Adopt Their Ward

    How likely do you think it is that a court will terminate parental rights? The children have accused their birth parents of child abuse and neglect. The birth parents have a record with CPS for the girls that has been substantiated as well as a referral for their infant child. They both admit they are heavy drug users and haven't received treatment for it. they haven't attempted to contact the children and when we tried to contact them through e-mail they would not return e-mails and they had their phone disconnected. The girls call us mommy and daddy and want to have their last name changed to my fiancee's last name. If it makes a difference we are getting married in June of this year.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How Can a Guardian Adopt Their Ward

    The best chance is if the parents consent. Any chance of that?

  5. #5

    Default Re: How Can a Guardian Adopt Their Ward

    No they won't willingly sign over their rights.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: How Can a Guardian Adopt Their Ward

    Then your primary recourse would seem to be under this statute:
    Quote Quoting California Probate Code 1516.5.
    (a) A proceeding to have a child declared free from the custody and control of one or both parents may be brought in the guardianship proceeding pursuant to Part 4 (commencing with Section 7800) of Division 12 of the Family Code, if all of the following requirements are satisfied:
    (1) One or both parents do not have the legal custody of the child.

    (2) The child has been in the physical custody of the guardian for a period of not less than two years.

    (3) The court finds that the child would benefit from being adopted by his or her guardian. In making this determination, the court shall consider all factors relating to the best interest of the child, including, but not limited to, the nature and extent of the relationship between all of the following:
    (A) The child and the birth parent.

    (B) The child and the guardian, including family members of the guardian.

    (C) The child and any siblings or half-siblings.
    (b) The court shall appoint a court investigator or other qualified professional to investigate all factors enumerated in subdivision (a). The findings of the investigator or professional regarding those issues shall be included in the written report required pursuant to Section 7851 of the Family Code.

    (c) The rights of the parent, including the rights to notice and counsel provided in Part 4 (commencing with Section 7800) of Division 12 of the Family Code, shall apply to actions brought pursuant to this section.

    (d) This section does not apply to any child who is a dependent of the juvenile court or to any Indian child.

  7. #7

    Unhappy Re: How Can a Guardian Adopt Their Ward

    Is it possible, since we have to wait over a year to adopt them, to have their last names changed? The youngest will be starting kindergarten in the fall and has been praticing spelling Martinez. She does not know of any other last name. Her two older sisters who are 8 and 9 want to start next school with the last name Martinez. They don't want anyone to know that we're not their birth parents.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How Can a Guardian Adopt Their Ward

    Quote Quoting mrtnzfamily243
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    Is it possible, since we have to wait over a year to adopt them, to have their last names changed? The youngest will be starting kindergarten in the fall and has been praticing spelling Martinez. She does not know of any other last name. Her two older sisters who are 8 and 9 want to start next school with the last name Martinez. They don't want anyone to know that we're not their birth parents.
    These are not your children and you shouldn't be encouraging this. You can not change their names and they should NOT be encouraged to call you mom and dad. You are setting these kids up for a HUGE heart break if you are unable to adopt and they are placed back in Mom or Dads care.

  9. #9

    Default Re: How Can a Guardian Adopt Their Ward

    Quote Quoting Baystategirl
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    These are not your children and you shouldn't be encouraging this. You can not change their names and they should NOT be encouraged to call you mom and dad. You are setting these kids up for a HUGE heart break if you are unable to adopt and they are placed back in Mom or Dads care.
    I should have stated earlier that their mother is my fiancee's sister. No one told them to start calling us mom and dad. This is something that they started on their own. The youngest has been calling me mom since before she came to live with us. The birth parents don't want the kids back and the only reason why they won't sign over their parental rights is because they want to make things more difficult for us. Two court investigators, a social worker and a therapist have all said that these kids going back to their birth parents would detrimental to them.

    They regularly go to a therapist, who is quite aware of the fact that these kids call us mom and dad. We have been apart of these kids lives since they were born. They just want to be normal. They don't want to have to introduce us as their aunt and uncle and have their friends ask where their mom and dad are. They are embarrassed by the fact that they parents are addicted to drugs and abusive! I'm not assuming this, they have told us this. Their birth parents live in a pick up truck and neither one of them have training in anything other than janitorial services.

    I wasn't asking if you thought it was right or not, because you don't know me or these girls or what they've gone through. I was simply asking from a legal stand point can we have their last names changed?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How Can a Guardian Adopt Their Ward

    Don't sweat it too much. Some of us get up on a high horse sometimes, and give ridiculous lectures and sermons, but the only part that counts is the legal information you get. Let the rest be like water off a duck's back.

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