In California, only a California Juvenile Court can decide if an individual qualifies as a De Facto Parent.
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De Facto Parent
A de facto parent is a person, who is not the minor child’s biological parent, who has provided support and care for that minor child. A de facto parent is a person who has been found by the court to have assumed, on day-to-day basis, the role of the parent, fulfilling both the child’s physical and psychological need for care and affection, and who has assumed that role for a substantial period.
Factors to Determine De Facto Parent Status
- The care you gave or have given the child.
- How long you have been caring for the child.
- If you can present facts to help the court understand what is best for the child.
If you have been taking care of a child who has been declared a dependent of a California Juvenile Court, you may be able to apply for and become a De Facto Parent.
Granting of De Facto Parent Status
You may qualify if you and the child meet the following criteria;
- The child is a dependent of a California Juvenile Court;
- You are or have been taking care of the child every day;
- You have been acting as the child’s parent;
- You are or have met the child’s needs for food, shelter, and clothing; and,
- You have also met the child’s needs for care and affection.
De Facto Parent Rights
- To be present at any juvenile dependency proceedings;
- To be represented by an attorney;
- To present evidence and cross-examine witnesses? and,
- To participate as a party in any other hearing including the juvenile disposition hearing.
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