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Posted by on in Family Law

Last week I had the pleasure of driving down to mile marker 1 and representing grandparents in a trial to keep the permanent guardianship of their grandchildren.  In 2009, the Oklahoma legislature enacted 10A O.S. §1-4-709 which allows for children who have been removed from their home and are the subject of a deprived action to be placed with a loved one instead of being stuck in the DHS system.  The law for all intents and purposes makes the permanent guardians the parents of the children without actually terminating the biological parents rights.  A permanent guardian agrees to be legally responsible for the child(ren) until the child reaches majority unless the guardianship is terminated earlier.  10A O.S. §1-4-711 only allows a guardian, child, district attorney or the Court on its own initiative, to request a termination or modification of a permanent guardianship.  This helps to provide stability to the children by preventing biological parents who were previously unable to take care of the children from continuing to drag the guardians and children into Court whenever the parents believe they should have the kids returned just because they have maintained a limited period of stability and/or sobriety.  Permanent guardianships are a tool that I believe more families will be using to address the problems of drug abuse and incarceration of biological parents.

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