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Legal Options for Relative Caregivers: Permanent Guardianship

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Options for Relative Caregivers
  1. Adoption (in all states)
  2. Guardianship (in all states)
  3. Legal Custody (in all states)
  4. Open Adoption with Agreements (in some states)
  5. De Facto Custodian (in some states)
  6. Permanent Guardianship (in some states)
  7. Standby Guardianship (in some states)
  8. Subsidized Guardianship (in some states)
  9. Medical & Educational Consent (in some states)


These are guardianships designed for children who have been in state custody and which are difficult to terminate. For example, Oregon has a permanent guardianship status that may only be granted by the juvenile court after it is proven that it is in the best interest of the child that the birth parent should never have physical custody of the child. A birth parent is prohibited from petitioning the court to terminate this permanent guardianship once it is granted. When assessing their options, relative caregivers should be aware of whether permanent guardianship exists, and how it is defined, in their state.

Source: Generations United, one of the premier Web resources for grandparents and other relative caregivers. Copyright 2002, Generations United. Reprinted with permission of Generations United http://www.gu.org
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