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How do grandparents get custody of their grandchild who is in foster care?

Franklin, MA |

Our daughter lost custody of her 2yo to DCF. We, as her grandparents are more than willing and able to take temporary custody. DCF is dragging their heels and not returning our calls. We want our poor granddaughter out of foster care asap as I am sure it is traumatizing for her. Is their any way we can speed up this lengthy red tape procedure?

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer
Posted

Apply for guardianship. When doing so, you can seek a temporary appointment that is near immediate. No guarantee, though. Judge has to weigh what is on the best interest of the child, not you or parents. Major issue is whether you will enable contact with parents if that has been restricted or eliminated. DCF would have done that for a reason and neither DCF or court will allow you to circumvent that or be enablers for the parents. Parents still have to adhere to DCF service plan.

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.

Asker

Posted

Thank you. Do I just go to the closest family court which I believe is Dedham and ask for forms?????

Thomas J Callahan

Thomas J Callahan

Posted

if the child's residence with your daughter was Norfolk County, the Probate & Family Court is where to file and it is now in Canton at 35 Shawmut Road.

Asker

Posted

Thank you again. I do believe DCF's concern is that if my granddaughter lives here, I will allow my daughter to come over. Because this is the 2nd time my daughter has lost custody and she is not at all trying to help herself, my loyalty to her is now gone. I have cut off all contact with her and she has been forbidden to contact my family. The problem is how I convince DCF of this????

Thomas J Callahan

Thomas J Callahan

Posted

You might not. If petitioning for guardianship, you have to convince the judge.

Asker

Posted

One more question Sir and then I promise to leave you be. Do you think it's worth it for my husband to go petition the judge ourselves for guardianship or would we have a better chance with a lawyer?? Thank you, thank you for all your help!!!!

Thomas J Callahan

Thomas J Callahan

Posted

Always better with an attorney if DCF is your opponent.

Posted

In addition to Attorney Callahan's suggestion, you may want to contact the child's attorney, since it is the attorney's job to advocate for what the child would want

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.

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