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Can i take custody of my friends child (infant) without any income myself? Temporary custody?

Boston, MA |

she is homeless living house to house with an infant, and someone told her they are filling a 51A /calling DSS on her and complaining of her lack of being a mother, and drinking with her children around. Can't i rely on maybe WIC, welfare (after having custody), or just say i'm currently looking for a job, which i am, (if getting custody of her child without any income would be a problem). My mother would help me with baby expenses. I currently do not have any living expenses, and have somewhere for the baby to sleep/live. She is willing to give me the child, i am not trying to forcibly take the child. The father of the child is unknown. Is there ANYTHING i can do, even if its temporary custody? also would we need to go to court or any lawyers involved, because we can't afford them.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Best answer

    You can petition for guardianship of the child with the mother's assent. The legal standard is whether the guardianship is in the best interest of the child. The judge will certainly ask how you plan on paying for the child's needs and could reject your petition if the judge is not convinced that you have a steady source of funds. (You might want to take your mother with you and let her explain to the judge what she is willing to do.)

    If the mother and baby are in Boston, Suffolk Probate Court has a guardianship clinic Tuesday and Friday mornings. You can get assistance with completing the and filing the necessary forms at no charge.

    E. Alexandra "Sasha" Golden is a Massachusetts lawyer. All answers are based on Massachusetts law. All answers are for educational purposes and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to a question.


  2. She can sign guardianship over to you. Go to the local courthouse and ask in the clerks office or go on their online site. You need to go to court with her.

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  3. Nothing can be done informally, as you won't be legally entitled to collect any benefits. You and the mother can go to the Probate & Family Court in the Brooke Courthose on New Chardon Street downtown. Get the papers for a guardianship, and there may be a Lawyer of the Day there who can help fill them out. If mother is in agreement with the guardianship, it can go smoothly and quickly. Absent legal status over this child, you can do nothing.

    To questioners from West Virginia & New York: Although I am licensed to practice in your state, I practice on a day-to-day basis in Massachusetts. I answer questions in your state in areas of the law in which I practice, and in which I feel comfortable trying to offer you assistance based on my knowledge of specific statutes in your state and/or general principles applicable in all states. It is always best, however, to work with attorneys and court personnel in your own area to deal with specific problems and factual situations.


  4. You should also consider, even if a guardianship is not approved, applying to be a foster care placement for the child while the infant is in DCF custody. Becoming a foster care placement would not require a court action, but being a foster parent does leave you at DCF's mercy because DCF has legal and physical custody of the child.

    This message does not contain confidential information, is intended for the discussion of abstract legal issues, and does not create a co-counsel or attorney-client relationship in the absence of a written fee agreement. Do not post a reply to this message with confidential information. If you wish to communicate confidential information, you should contact me directly at karpf@vadimuslaw.com; I would be happy to offer a free consultation concerning your case.

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