Compare types of Kinship Care

Temporary Care Agreements
Guardianship
Adoption
Overview

DESCRIPTION

Process

TIME

COST

COURT

Outcome

HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?

ADVANTAGES

DISADVANTAGES

LEGAL RESULT

Temporary Care Agreements

Overview

DESCRIPTION

A document that one or both of the child’s parents signs in front of a notary. The Agreement gives someone the right to make certain decisions for a child in his or her care.

Process

TIME

Can be completed immediately

COST

Free

COURT

No

Outcome

HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?

Temporary

ADVANTAGES

  • Can be ended easily by a parent.
  • No Court Involvement.
  • Can be tailored for an individual situation.

DISADVANTAGES

  • Needs a Parent’s Signature.
  • Parents can end this at any time for any reason.
  • Not a legal document, so may not be enough for caregiver to get the child all medical care.

LEGAL RESULT

The legal rights of the parents are not changed.

Guardianship

Overview

DESCRIPTION

A court order that transfers the rights of a parent to a person providing care for a child.

Process

TIME

10 days to 3 months

COST

$250.00

COURT

Yes

Outcome

HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?

Temporary to Long Term

ADVANTAGES

  • Transfers to the caregiver the authority to make all decisions.
  • Includes medical decisions that require a legal document.
  • Cannot end unless there is a new Court Order.

DISADVANTAGES

  • You need to go to Court and get a Court Order.
  • Parents or others can go back to Court to ask to end a Guardianship and the Judge will decide.

LEGAL RESULT

The legal rights of parents go to the caregiver(s). However, the parents’ rights do not end, and a Judge can restore them.

Adoption

Overview

DESCRIPTION

A court order that terminates a parent’s rights. An adoption creates a new legal parent/child relationship between the caregiver(s) and the child.

Process

TIME

30 days to 6 months

COST

$250.00

COURT

Yes

Outcome

HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?

Permanent

ADVANTAGES

  • Cannot be changed or taken back.
  • Permanently transfers all authority to the caregiver.
  • Can change the child's name.

DISADVANTAGES

  • Final.
  • Ends WV Works Kinship Care Benefits.
  • All benefits for child are based on adoptive parents' income.

LEGAL RESULT

The legal rights of parents end permanently in an adoption.

How It Works

1. Type your answers to the questions

Click the Get Started button. Our tool will take you through screens with questions about the kids in your care, their birth parents, and about you. After you fill them out, you can decide what kind of kinship care is best for the kids in your care and follow the directions to create your court papers.

2. Download your court papers

Once you have created your court papers, you can download and save them to your own private, password protected folder. This will work the same whether you create your papers using your mobile device or your computer. You can go back to your papers later if you want to make changes. If you want to go back to court papers you have already started, click Login below, and use the login and password information that you set up when you started.

3. Print your court papers

When your papers are finished, you can print them out right away if you are someplace where there is a printer. If you do not have a printer, you can go back to your court papers on a computer with a printer at a library or a friend’s house. Click Login below and go back to your papers when you are ready. You will also get a sheet of directions for how to file your papers at court when you print your court papers.

Get Started

Already Started? Login

Resources

Kinship Care Relationships and Possible Benefits

Depending on how a child is placed in your care, you may be eligible for benefits to help you care for the child. Most of these benefits are from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. Read this article to learn more about these benefits and when you may be eligible for them.

More Information

Infant Guardianship

If you are not the parent of a child but you want to get custody, filing for guardianship is a way to ask a court to give you custody. Read this article to learn more about guardianship and whether it may be right for your situation.

More Information

Adoption

Adoption is when someone other than the birth parents ask a judge to give them all the legal rights and responsibilities of a parent. Adoption is permanent. There are important rules that must be met before an adoption is granted. Read this article to learn more about adoption and the process.

More Information

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