If I have been raising my friend’s daughter since she was 6 months old, do I have any guardianship rights? 2 Answers as of May 24, 2017

I have been raising my friend’s daughter since she was 6 months old. She is now 6 years old. She knows me as her mother and I love her like she was mine. My friend (father) comes over to visit a couple times a week and that is the only time she spends with him. My friend is on permanent disability so the child receives $800 a month from SSDI, which my friend gives to me to help support the child. I want to adopt her but he will not let me. When she was born her birth mother did a safe surrender birth so the birth mother has no ties to her whatsoever. She is my world and I am so worried someday he may decide he wants her to come live with him.

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Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
You should immediately meet with an experienced family law attorney to seek temporary guardianship of the minor child. You've served in an important lifetime capacity for this girl and need to have legal acknowledgment of that relationship.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/24/2017
Law Offices of Gerard A Fierro
Law Offices of Gerard A Fierro | Gerard A Fierro
You can file a Petition to the Court to be named the legal guardian of the child. If a guardianship is approved then it would mostly likely stay in place in the future. In a guardianship case, the court can grant and make orders for visitation for the father. The risk of requesting the guardianship is if it is opposed by father then he may request custody. You should probably speak with the father if he will consent to a guardianship so you will have legal rights to assist in school enrollment, passports, driver's license and medical decision issues.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/24/2017
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