If you have close family or friends with children, they may ask you to be a guardian. In your role as a guardian, you will undertake the responsibilities of caring for the children named in the guardianship and providing them with a stable and loving home.
While multiple factors could influence your decision to be a guardian or not, understanding some general aspects of guardianship may help to make your decision clearer so you can proceed with confidence.
Giving an answer
The discussion of guardianship is one that is important and requires your full attention. If you are uncomfortable with the setting in which you are being asked about your interest in being a guardian, suggest that the discussion take place at an alternative time, date or location for a more comfortable and personable conversation.
According to the California Courts, The Judicial Branch of California, asking yourself some questions may help you identify if being a guardian is the right decision for you. Some of the questions you may ask include the following:
- Is your physical, mental and emotional health in good condition?
- Are you financially stable and willing to provide for another child or children?
- Do you understand the potential impact of assuming the legal responsibility of another child or children?
- Do you have a solid support system to help in raising and caring for another child or children?
- Are there concerns about how your new responsibilities will affect other relationships in your life?
The scope of your influence
Your awareness of state laws regarding the scope of your influence as a guardian is imperative to the safety of both you and the children in your care. Understanding what decisions you do and do not have the jurisdiction to make may provide you with the confidence to contribute to raising the children in your care without the risk of legal trouble for making a mistake.