Greenlight Family Services has been providing legal custody to caregivers since 2003. Whether a caregiver is looking after a child or a disabled adult, it is important to establish legal custody.
Greenlight recognizes that families can sometimes go for months or years at a time without being asked to prove that they have custody of the child or disabled adult in their care. This can lead some to feel like obtaining legal custody is not necessary, or can be put off for a little while longer. Unfortunately, this can create emergency situations, where the caregiver is asked to provide proof of custody and is not able to do so.
With Greenlight legal services, you will be ready when asked to show proof of custody by:
- Medical professionals – This is more common in hospital or residential care settings. Before hospital staff can complete invasive medical procedures, such as surgery, they must obtain the consent of whoever has legal custody of the child or disabled adult. This means that if an emergency comes up, the caregiver must contact whoever has custody. This could be the birth parents, or perhaps there is no established legal guardian to provide consent.
- Educational professionals – Public schools are required to request proof of custody if the caregiver who is trying to enroll the child is not listed on the birth certificate.
- Business and legal professionals – Once a child turns 18, regardless of their mental or emotional capabilities, they legally become adults. Even if it is very clear that the child is unable to make financial or legal decisions for themselves, in the eyes of the law, their caregiver is not able to step in to make the decisions for them unless they have legal guardianship.
- Federal, state, and city professionals – When applying for public benefits or aid, the caregiver will need to provide proof of custody.
- Law enforcement professionals – If the birth parents decide they want the child returned home to their care, regardless of the caregiver’s consent, they can ask law enforcement to go to the caregiver’s home to remove the child. By obtaining legal guardianship, the caregiver can show proof of custody to law enforcement.