Anxiety in undocumented Immigrants is rising. The uncertainty of what may happen is weighing heavily on the minds of many undocumented immigrants in California, particularly in the San Joaquin area, where a large population of the undocumented Immigrants are farm laborer’s. Thus, requests for Guardianship, POA’s, Affidavits & Notarized Letters for their minor children has risen, In preparation of “just in case”
According the California Courts parents can agree to let a family member or a trusted individual the permission to take care of their child(ren) without having to go to court. They can sign a Power of Attorney for a Minor Child in front of a Notary that gives “physical custody” of the child which allows the caregiver to make decisions about the child’s education, and medical care, & health insurance. This Power of Attorney can be cancelled at any time. The form is called Appointment of Short-Term Guardian for Minor Children and Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney & is an 8-page document which includes a Revocation of Short-Term Guardianship, which terminates the POA. If the child will remain in California, the person (caregiver) can complete a Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit (form can be found in the California Courts Self-Help Center website). If the caregiver, is a relative the form lets him or her enroll the child in school and get medical care. If the caregiver is NOT a relative the form still lets them enroll the minor is school but they are only authorized to make medical care decisions that are school related (like immunizations, or physical exams required for school enrollment)
Some schools and medical facilities accept the Caregiver Authorization, or Notarized POA it is possible that some will require a legal guardianship court order instead. The parents can cancel these forms and take the child even if it’s not safe for the minor.
As a Notary Public, however, my primary role is to serve the public as an impartial witness, when important documents are signed, and cannot provide legal advice to my customers. However, this does not limit the amount of information I can provide to my customers, as this information is free & anyone in the public can access it.
California Family Code sections 6550-6552 and probate code sections 2353 & 2356
California Courts Self Help Website.