In very extreme situations where both parents are no longer able to care for a dependent, family members or even a friend of the family may step up and request ‘guardianship’.
 A guardianship action can be initiated when a friend or family member other than a biological parent seeks either temporary or permanent decision making prior in respect to a child, and typically apply until the child turns 18 years of age. Guardianship actions are brought before the Probate department of the court for a variety of different reasons and a unique set of laws and evidentiary standards govern.
Here’s more information about guardianship in the State of California: 1.  Parent’s still have parental rights. 2.  The courts can end a guardianship if the parents become able to take care of the child.  3.  Guardians can be supervised by the court.  If you are a grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc. who wishes to become a court-appointed guardian, or if someone is trying to obtain a guardianship of your child, grandchild, or other relative, consider reading more about this topic at California Courts Judicial Branch Self Help.

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