Grandparent Guardianship Project

Grandparent Guardianship Project

The Guardianship Caregiver Project assists caregivers 55+ with obtaining guardianship over children living with them up to the age of 18.

Guardianship is when a court orders someone other than the parent to:

  • Have legal custody of the child; or
  • Manage the child’s property (called “estate”); or
  • Both

If custody of a child is awarded to a non-parent through juvenile dependency court, guardianship is not needed.

A Guardianship is not the same as Adoption.

In a Guardianship:

  • Parents still have parental rights. They can ask for reasonable contact with the child.
  • The court can end a guardianship if it decides it is in the child’s best interest.
  • Guardians are required to keep the court updated yearly, or as needed, regarding change of address and the child’s wellbeing.

In an Adoption:

  • The biological parent’s rights are permanently ended.
  • The legal relationship with the adoptive parents is permanent and is the same as a birth family.
  • An adopted child inherits from their adoptive parents, just as a birth child would.
  • The court does not supervise adoptive families.

Project advocates represent prospective guardians by preparing and filing guardianship petitions, responding to objections, representing clients in mediation and guardianship hearings, and preparing post-hearing letters and orders.

In the guardianship of the person, the guardian has the same responsibilities to care for the child as a parent would. That means the guardian has full legal and physical custody of the child and can make all the decisions about the physical, emotional, and medical care of the child that a parent would make.. A guardian can be anyone: relatives, friends of the family, or other people suitable to raise the child.