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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Unhappy Possibly Seeking Guardianship of a 17 Year-Old That I Am Unrelated To

    My question involves guardianship in the State of: Oklahoma

    Recently, my little sister told me about a friend of her's that had gotten kicked out of her house. Not wanting her friend to end up in foster care or on the streets, she asked if the friend could stay with me. I said she could as long as she filed for emancipation.

    Well, we went to help the friend, we'll call her Shale, move her stuff, which was honestly not very much. The girl did not even have a bed in her room. Her furniture consisted of exactly one of those folding, clover/mushroom chairs. The apartment reeked of un-cleaned cat boxes. While we were there, Shale's mother showed up. She started screaming at Shale that Shale wasn't supposed to be there, that she'd been kicked out and was never supposed to come home again. I said that, as Shale's mother, she couldn't just kick her out. That she still had a legal responsibility to take care of her. At which point she demanded that we leave. Then Shale said she wanted to be emancipated and her mother grabbed her and dragged her back into the house.

    We called the police that day because we were honestly worried for Shale. The police came and told Shale that she work harder at being a good daughter. Shale's mother said that if Shale would stay at home for a month and show that she could treat her with the "respect [she] deserve[d]", she would let her get emancipated.

    A month later he mother moved across town and did not take Shale with her. That was the day after Thanksgiving. Shale has been staying with us ever since.

    She had a job for a little while, but her grades were slipping, so she quit to focus more on school.

    Last week, she got sent home with a letter from school saying that some of her immunizations were not up to date. If it wasn't fixed she wouldn't be allowed back in school after Thursday of this week. She had previously been in touch with her mother over MySpace (her mother liked to send her nasty messages), but when Shale tried to get in touch with her about this, she found that she'd been blocked.

    This sort of made us realize that if something were to happen to her, we'd be totally out of luck and unable to do anything. Emancipation was our first thought, but she doesn't have a job and I'd rather have her focus on school, honestly.

    So, I was thinking that maybe guardianship would be the best way to go. I'm just not sure how to go about it, what we'll need to prove, what we'll need to have... I don't know anything about any of it, really.

    I don't want to lose her at this point. She's got a lot of problems dealing with people and she seems actually comfortable with us. I feel like she's part of our family and we treat her like we would treat our own children.

    Possible problems:
    • A month or so ago, she got in trouble for having a cigarette at school (it wasn't her's) and has to pay a fine
    • Her grades are pretty awful
    • I'm 26 and unemployed (but my husband has a job)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Possibly Seeking Guardianship of a 17 Year-Old That I Am Unrelated To

    Regardless of your good intentions, you have no legal basis to get guardianship over somebody else's child.

    If you believe a child is being abused or neglected, you can call protective services.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Possibly Seeking Guardianship of a 17 Year-Old That I Am Unrelated To

    You also should have looked up the definition of emancipation under state law. In Oklahoma, an emancipated minor has exactly one right that an unemancipated minor has not - the right to sign a contract. Emancipation of a minor in Oklahoma does NOT give the minor the right to live where she wants.

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