Guardianship for Emergencies

A guardianship is a probate court hearing in which someone can become legally responsible for a child. The guardianship can be temporary or permanent (until the child reaches 18 years old). Here’s a brief story of how a guardianship can help in an emergency.

My wife and I are active in the Little People of America. She’s a board member and I’m a former board member of our local chapter and answer questions often. Recently, a couple asked how they can help their grandchild who was in their home outside of Sacramento. The grandchild is an infant, born in Canada to a mother who had a serious problem. The child has achondroplasia, or achon, the most common form of dwarfism inherited through the parents. Most little people, or LPs, are born to average height parents. In fact, there is about a 1:30,000 chance of birth with achon. Achon is easily managed, so that wasn’t the mother’s problem. Her problem was that she suffered from a mental health issue, serious depression, and could not care for her newborn. Although achon is a manageable condition, it does require special medical care to treat some of the complications of achon.

Grandparents as Guardians

In this case, the Grandparents, both Americans, have a Canadian newborn in need of medical care. This was an infant, afterall, so the child is in need of the same care that any newborn/infant would need. This is addition to the specialty care that the child will need for achon management. In comes the probate court. In this case, the grandparents applied for a temporary guardianship of the child, as the child’s mother was back in Canada and the father is not in the picture. As temporary guardians, the Grandparents are able to, at a minimum, get the child medical treatment. While adoption would have taken too long, the guardianship was put in place immediately. Now the process to begin adoption can begin while the child is getting the care every baby needs.

If you have questions about emergency guardianships, call or book online for a free 20-minute consultation.

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