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My sister is in jail and the state took her 3 of her children already

She is currently pregnant again and on the plus side she asked my hubby and i to be godparents. As godparents if she goes back to jail do we get custody of the baby once he is here?

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Asked by kimah1105 at 7:51 AM on May. 17, 2011 in Adoption

Level 4 (32 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • Why didn't they try to put the other three children in a family member's care instead of taking them to foster care? Someone from your family needs to ask to be gaurdians of those children while she's in jail. They need family right now and they need to stay together.

    If your sister goes back to jail after the child is born, then they will most likely take them into the foster care system. It sounds like your area doesn't look for next of kin, so you might have to go and request to be gaurdian of those children.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 8:02 AM on May. 17, 2011

  • they have been adopted out already

    Comment by kimah1105 (original poster) at 8:03 AM on May. 17, 2011

  • I don't believe godparents have any legal standing unless there is a legal document backing that status up. If you did want custody of the other children and have the capacity to care for them, have you petitioned the state for custody of the others?

    Answer by Nonoluna at 8:04 AM on May. 17, 2011

  • we actually had the same kind of thing happen with my sister. She had one child, went to jail where she gave birth to a second 11 months after her first was born. The state allowed my parents to adopt her first two thankfully. -however- when my sister had her third child she was able to keep him.. We have let CPS know that when (sadly not if) she goes back to jail my parents would like to keep all the siblings together.

    Best advice I can give go to the local foster parent groups and find out what classes they needed to take to adopt (yes, there are parenting classes and several others required) and take them now. When the time comes (if) you don't have a long waiting period tying to get your sisters child into a family home.

    Answer by zoejains_momma at 8:11 AM on May. 17, 2011

  • They've been adopted? Or fostered out? I thought adoption through foster care took a while--the kids have to be legally free to adopt first.

    Answer by laird6372 at 8:35 AM on May. 17, 2011

  • thank u

    Comment by kimah1105 (original poster) at 8:42 AM on May. 17, 2011

  • Godparents are important in your faith tradition/religion, but that doesn't give you any legal standing. If she goes back to jail, CPS should be looking at family as the first choice of caretakers, and if parental rights are terminated, it is best to find the child a permanent home with family if possible. If you think it is likely that she will go back to jail, you could start the process of becoming licensed to be foster parents. Then you will be ready if you need to step in and raise your family member.

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 1:20 AM on May. 18, 2011

  • yes i have been looking into it for Pa and Alaska

    Comment by kimah1105 (original poster) at 12:44 PM on May. 18, 2011

  • Godparents have no legal rights or obligations to a child. If you want to raise this child, you would need to file for guardianship unless your sister is willing to appoint you as guardian. Because you are kin, you do not need to go through the foster care system and be licenced. My SIL recently adopted her nephew in PA. I believe the parents had to sign papers so she could take him home from the hospital. The division of youth and family in your county should be able to guide you through the necessary paperwork.


    Answer by JSD24 at 7:48 AM on May. 19, 2011

  • No, a godparent is just a spiritual thing, not a legal thing.

    Answer by emmyandlisa at 9:37 PM on May. 26, 2011

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