A letter from the 16 year old mother to you, assigning custody, both legal and physical to you, is better than nothing. However, if you really want to do this the right way, then ask the 16 year old mother to file for custody at court, for the purpose of giving custody to you on whatever terms are agreeable to you both. Better yet, consult with an attorney to get the legal advice you clearly need. Where is the father, and what are his wishes on these matters?
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If nobody minds, then fine but whether mom is a minor or an adult, the legal effect of a letter without dad being part of this is problematical at best. You should get legal guardianship and if everyone else won't sign off, then be prepared to have issues. I don't know that this letter will allow you access to doctors, etc. You will probably need to bring mom with you to appts.
Short answer, she cannot legally sign over custody.
This is not to be considered legal advise and no attorney client has been established.
I agree with my colleagues although I'd add that the biological father would have to consent to you having custody also.
This rarely happens because one or both parents worry that you will ask them to pay child support. If you pursue any State assistance you will be REQUIRED to pursue child support. Still there may be a way to work this out with both parents are not able to work to due their age.
If one or both parents contest your request for custody then you have a contested third party custody case and that is very difficult to win.
It is always better to work with the parents to come to an agreement that is best for the child. You would benefit from speaking with an experienced custody lawyer.
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