Janet L. Goehle, Attorney at Law
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Does Minnesota allow for the temporary care of a child?

Minnesota allows parents who are unable to care for their children for a period of time to designate another family member or trusted friend to care for the child. This can be done by using a Delegation of Powers document. This document will allow a caregiver selected by the parent or guardian to make all the necessary decisions in the best interest of the child for a defined period of time. And while the Delegation of Powers gives that caregiver the authority to make decisions for the child, it does not give them legal custody of the child.

A Delegation of Powers document gives some important powers to the caregiver. These include providing proper medical care, sending the child to school and providing a home and proper home care. The document does not, however, give the caregiver the right to put the child up for adoption or consent to the child's marriage.

A Delegation of Powers document should be used only when both the parent and the caregiver agree that the child should be temporarily raised by the caregiver. When this decision is made, it is critical for the parent to notify teachers, physicians and social workers in writing that they are exercising a Delegation of Powers document.

If the parents of the child are still married, both of them must sign the Delegation of Powers. If the parents are divorced, then only the custodial parent needs to sign it. The custodial parent must send a copy of the document to the non-custodial parent within 30 days of signing it, unless the other parent has no visitation rights or only supervised visitation rights, or has an order of protection against them. The other parent has the right to contest the document unless his or her parental rights have been terminated.

A Delegation of Powers is good for only one year. However, it can be renewed for additional one-year periods.

Source: www.projusticemn.org, "Delegation of powers by parent or guardian", accessed May 25, 2015

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