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How to get custody of a family members child?

Winter Park, FL |

My brother and his girlfriend recently had a baby. Both parents are jobless, have criminal records, my brother is on drugs and drinks heavily, they live with whomever will take them in, having no place of their own to call home, they don't own a car, my brother has no drivers license due to a DUI....the list goes on. I feel that my neice would greatly benefit from being in my care. I am a military spouse, financially able to provide for her, I own a home and have a room for her to stay in, she would have health insurance and anything else she needs by being in my care. Do I have any options or even a hope of getting custody?

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Attorney answers 3


Absolutely. There are different ways that you could possibly adopt the child, become its guardian, etc. This is not my area, specifically. However, I would contact an attorney that focuses on adoption and termination of parental rights. I would also see what your brother and sister-in-law think about the whole thing as they might just be very willing to allow you to help out while they get their lives together. I'm sure that some adoption attorneys will weigh in here but if you need some recommendations for good attorneys in that field, you can contact me.

Bill Rosenfelt 407-462-8787

Good luck and that's great that you are looking out for this child.

Please be advised that any answers or information disseminated above do not constitute legal advice and that the attorney responsible for this posting is merely attempting to participate in a Q & A session intended to be helpful but certainly not intended to be legal advice. It is important that you understand that no attorney-client relationship has been formed and that the attorney has no obligation to follow up with you with your legal issue unless you separately contact said attorney and arrange for him to legally represent you.


The easiest and quickest way to get this done is to get them to agree to temporary custody by extended family, then hire an attorney on an uncontested basis. Both parents must consent. If they will not consent, you can file a contested petition but you will have to prove that they are unfit and it will cost much more to get this done.

R. Jason de Groot, Esq., 386-337-8239


There are a couple options, depending on what your goals are. The Temporary Custody by Extended Family Member is often the path taken if you aren't looking for something more permanent. The termination of parental rights/adoption is obviously a bigger step that would require a significant number of factual findings if the parents aren't willing to sign a consent. I have several cases like this at any given time and would be happy to discuss your options further at your convenience. Feel free to call my office. Pates Law Group 407-896-1166.

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