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Sunday, 11 March 2012 09:11

Choosing a Legal Guardian

I get regular emails from the 'Parents' Magazine website, and today their topic was choosing legal guardians.  I was intrigued, since my husband and I put a lot of thought and prayer into choosing legal guardians for our daughter and was interested to see if the article reflected the same considerations we had.

Unfortunately this particular article seemed to be more about informing the person already chosen of the guardianship and what comes along with it, which was disappointing.

Legal Guardianship is particularly important to me since I was taken into foster care as a child due to a large misunderstanding.  Due to the nature of the event, it may not have made a difference if I had a designated guardian, but I wanted to make sure to give my children what I didn't have so that even in an event like the one I experienced, they would not have to spend time living with strangers. 

So here is my own list of things to consider when choosing a Legal Guardian for your child.

1. Religious Beliefs and Worldview

It is extremely important to us that our children are raised in a Christian home - particularly one that closely reflects our own beliefs.  Along with that comes a number of perspectives about how we should live and act, and it was important to choose someone who emulated these things.

2. NOT Grandparents.

I was largely raised by my Grandmother, and although she and I have a closer relationship than we ever could have had otherwise, she was robbed of the ability to be 'Grandma'.  We do not want to do this to our own parents.  Also, then the question of 'Who?' is an issue that can do nothing but cause pain to someone...

3. Proximity to Family and Friends

Because Brian's family and mine are not close friends, it was important to consider a guardian who was either not too close to either family that our daughter would be brought up with a bias as to which family she spent time with (which would be unfair to the other family), or somehow equally close to both families and willing to ensure that she would spend time with both families.  Also, if she happens to have many friends in the area we live in, we hoped to find someone who lives close enough to make sure she can still see her friends, or has ties to the area so even if they moved away would likely return regularly for visits. 

4. Demonstrated Ability to Guardian

In our case, we chose a family who has raised a number of children already.  Our hope was to find someone who had already demonstrated parenting ability to us somehow, as well as showing signs of having a similar 'parenting style' to ourselves.

5. Financial Ability. 

Although our daughter will be well provided for if we kick off in her childhood, we wanted to know that any legal guardian we chose would not be financially encumbered in any way by an extra child.  In the event that it takes awhile for life insurance, etc. to come through - we wanted to be certain that any guardian we chose could handle it.   Also, in the event that our daughter requires a guardian, it would be nice for the family to be able to easily have room to give her a bedroom of her own.  We also didn't want to put our child in a situation where - if she were to receive a significant inheritance - her Guardians might find it tempting because of their own financial standing, to take her money. 

6. Age Considerations

Ideally the person chosen to Guardian would be of a similar age to ourselves, however we found this consideration to be less important than many of the others.  It was important, however, to choose a couple who would still be young enough to parent even when our daughter was reaching adulthood. 

These were the big things we discussed when choosing a guardian, and thankfully we were able to find someone who fit nearly all of this criteria perfectly.  Thankfully also, they were willing to accept the role of guardianship for Celia. 

What are your thoughts on these considerations? Do you agree or disagree? What considerations would/did you consider that I may have missed?


Read 2742 times Last modified on Thursday, 19 April 2012 10:00

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