If you have or want custody of a child who is not your son or daughter and want a legal relationship, there are three paths to consider.
Guardianship - A guardianship can be established through the Court in order for you to be able to make medical decisions, enroll the child in school or include them on your insurance plan. Both parents must consent to a guardianship. Without their consent, it cannot be established. The procedure is fairly simple and you will receive a document naming you as the guardian. Contact Linda K. Howerton for assistance in establishing a guardianship.
Adoption - If the parents consent, you can adopt a child. If they do not consent then the only way to adopt is if the parents have not financially supported or maintained reasonable contact with the child in the last two years. If this is your situation, adoption may be the best route for you to take. Contact Linda K. Howerton to determine if this is a viable option.
Child in Need of Care - If the parents wont consent to a guardianship and you are not eligible to adopt the child, the only option is to file a Child in Need of Care case. This can be established if the child has been abused, neglected or harmed. This is a lengthy process and the goal is to rehabilitate the parent or parents so they can be reintegrated with their child. In the mean time, the child can live in a safe home. Linda K. Howerton can tell you if this is the best path for you to take.