How do I get temporary custody of an unborn child? 20 Answers as of August 10, 2011

Can I get temporary custody of my friends child that is still unborn? She may get sentence some time in jail and want to have it taken care of before it happens and also get temp. custody when the baby is born? We cant afford to go through court so what can I do my court house doesnt help at all!

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Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law
Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law | Neville J. Bedford
Make sure you get on the birth certificate at or after the birth. Then your parental rights will vest. You generally cannot get custody of an unborn child.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 8/3/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
There is no custody of an unborn child to get. You will have to file after the child is born.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/1/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
Custody cannot be determined unless or until a child is born. Until that happens, it is the mother's body and the mother makes all medical choices. Custody as a third party that is not a parent can also be extremely difficult to accomplish without legal assistance.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 8/1/2011
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
You can not get custody of an unborn child. Only after the child is born can a petition for custody be filed in the Juvenile Court of the County in which the child is born. If you can not afford the filing fee make an application for a waiver of hardship with the Court to waive the filing fee and appoint you an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 7/31/2011
Rice & Co., LPA
Rice & Co., LPA | Kollin Rice
You cannot generally get custody of a child without involving a court unless you give birth to it yourself. On the other hand, courts will often accept filings for free from people who are unable to pay filing fees and will swear out an affidavit of indigency. With respect to unborn children, you generally cannot get an order giving you custody until the child is born, though it is a good idea to have everything ready to go, and the court on notice of your intentions before the birth, so you can act quickly.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 7/30/2011
    Horizons Law Group, LLC
    Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
    She could sign a power of attorney for you to care for the child, including medical care. It would accomplish what you need while she is in jail, but it is not through the courts so you would not be able to add the child to your insurance or any other benefit programs.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C.
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C. | Paul A. Eads
    You may want to seek a Guardianship. Most courts offer Guardianship clinics weekly.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    Of course your courthouse cannot help you get custody of an unborn child since there is nothing in the law which would allow for this
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    No. The child must be a baby and not in utero. Once the child is born you can request custody by a guardianship petition.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    First of all, custody requires court. Secondly, it requires a child. When the child is born, see a lawyer. Generally a friend will not get custody unless the parents agree. But it will take a court order.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law, only the court can grant 3rd party custody, so you would have to go through the court for that. I do not believe that custody can be granted prior to the child being born. An alternative might be to have your friend sign documents placing the child in your care, granting permission for medical care, etc., for while she is in jail. That then might help support a later request for custody or guardianship if that proves necessary.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    First, no court is going to grant temporary custody to an unborn child. Second, regardless of what else is done, the biological father of this child is going to have rights to the child that are superior to yours, unless you happen to be the biological father. I suppose a consent from the mother, revocable at any time, authorizing you to have possession and care of the child might work. However, if the mother has the baby while she is in jail, the hand off is going to potentially be a problem. I say that because it is possible that the jail personnel may have their only rules and procedures in such a situation and might not feel particular obligated to honor any such consent by the mother.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Bagwell Holt Smith Jones & Crowson, P.A.
    Bagwell Holt Smith Jones & Crowson, P.A. | John G. Miskey IV
    Have a proposed agreement or a Complaint for Custody ready to go as soon as the child is born.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Correia-Champa & Mailhot
    Correia-Champa & Mailhot | Susan Correia Champa
    I would suggest you speak to an attorney about the possibility of a guardianship.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    You don't. Assuming that the child's father is out of the picture or has no interest in the child at all, your friend can avoid the need for court proceedings by giving you a Power of Attorney delegating parental authority once the child is born. That will give you sufficient evidence of legal authority to act like a parent, but it is not a custody award that gives you any control against the wishes of a legal parent. A power of attorney is only valid for one year and then must be renewed. Until the child has been in your actual physical care continuously for at least 6 months you cannot pursue a court case for the allocation of parental responsibilities (what we used to call custody). Anytime after the child is born, however, with the mother's consent (and possibly the father's consent) you can begin judicial guardianship proceedings. The father is entitled to notice of any court proceedings and will have the opportunity at the time the child is born to acknowledge paternity and have his name on the birth certificate. If he fails or refuses to do that, he has no rights (other than to be notified) until a court decides that he is the father and then defines what rights he has. The bottom line is that you and/or the mother need to eventually get things resolved by a court. That means that you or she will eventually need to find a way to afford the services of a qualified attorney to protect the best interests of the child - the sooner the better.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    Once the child is born, the mom can sign a delegation of parental authority. It lasts for six months, and can be renewed in 6 mos. intervals. To get custody, you have to go through court.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    The only way you will get temporary custody will involve court and more than likely, a lawyer. This is not a light weight issue in the law and needs to be handled correctly. Think about it: if your friend needed surgery and it was expensive, would you just operate? Same applies here because the future of the unborn child is at stake.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Linda C. Garrett Law
    Linda C. Garrett Law | Linda Garrett
    Answer: You can't get "custody", as "custody" is reserved for parents in family-law courts. To achieve or goal, you would need to petition the probate court for a guardianship (guardian to the child while mother was incarcerated). I'm not sure if a signed paper by mother is legally sufficient. For practical purposes, I have seen some mother's sign a paper, that authorizes the other person to serve as guardian for a short period of time. If long term, I would consider petitioning the court for a guardianship.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    I don't believe you can get"custody" of someone who doesn't "exist." Certainly you can try the day the child is born. Before then would take creative lawyering beyond any reasonable budget.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/29/2011
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