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Can my sister have temporary guardianship of my son even though she has prior history with DCF?

Lynn, MA |

My son is at risk of being adopted by his foster family. There was no physical abuse, just somethings that happened at the hospital. I needed to get help with my physcological state. DCF is giving me a real hard time just to return him to me and using my state of mind against me. Although I need some time to get my son back, my sister is a perfect candidate for having temporary guardianship over him. She has 2 children and a husband who works, but does have prior DCF involvement. The case has been closed for a while now. Is she still a good candidate to having temporary guardianship over my son. I don't want my son adopted by strangers, and at the same time, I am working with my son's father who is asking his side of the family as well. Please, I need help. This is my son I'm talking about

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    I am sorry to hear of your situation. I agree with Attorney Rich, but want to add my thoughts. First, you don't say what sister's involvement with DCF is; this is significant since DCF is most concerned about your son's best interests. If her involvement in any way reflects poorly on her ability to provide a stable and loving home, it would certainly raise a red flag. Next, you did not explain what "sometimes happened at the hospital." This, too, may be a red flag to DCF. Without knowing specifically what happened, neither I nor any guardianship attorney can assess how these events affect your standing with DCF. Lastly--and the most difficult--is a set of questions for you that may be painful to answer (to yourself) honestly...what is the "risk" of your son being adopted by a foster family? Would he live a better, more stable life with that family than with yours? Beside the mere fact that he is your biological son, why do you want to raise him? After reflecting on these three questions, you should be in a better mindset to know what you ought to do for your son's sake. The next step might be to contact an attorney who handles guardianships. Best of luck.

  2. Yes you may petition the court. You will have a better chance if you work with an attorney.

    I wish you all the best.

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER: I am licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and have an office in Waltham. My practice is focused in the areas of family law, estate planning, probate, elder law, landlord-tenant and employment law. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. Please contact me with questions and concerns at: (T): 781-647-8100 (E): I wish you all the best.

  3. If you are at a point in a care and protection case at which DCF is pressing for adoption by your son's foster parents, you must have an attorney already. You need to work with your attorney, your son's attorney and your son's father's attorney to fight for the family placement you want while also figuring out how to convince the court that your recovery is not so far off that your son must be adopted now.

    DCF can waive the problems with your sister's home study if they want or the judge can give her direct custody over DCF's objection if it is in your son's best interests. But the longer he has been in foster care with this family the less likely that is. It would also help if your sister and her children have had a significant relationship with your son.

    Ask your lawyer for help to try to get the results you want.

    NOTE: This answer is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your area who regularly practices in the subject matter which your question is about. You should develop an attorney client relationship with the lawyer of your choice so that your communications will be subject to the attorney client privilege and have the other benefits of a professional relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific matter as partially described in the question.

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