Temporary Power of Attorney
Authored By: Legal Aid Services of Oregon
Can I Give Another Person Temporary Parental Authority Over my Child?
Yes. You can give a power of attorney to another person. Oregon law allows a parent or legal guardian of a minor child to temporarily give another person the authority to care for the child and make decisions with regard to the child for a limited period of time. This is called delegating your rights and powers as a parent or legal guardian, and is called a power of attorney.
To give the other person authority to care for the child and make decisions, the parent or legal guardian needs to complete a power of attorney form. The power of attorney does not give the person caring for the child any permanent rights, such as the right to consent to marriage or the adoption of the child.
When Might a Power of Attorney be a Good Idea?
If you are a parent or legal guardian, you may want a power of attorney in the following sorts of situations:
- You are going away from home for an extended period of time and leaving the child in someone else's care; or
- You are going to be hospitalized and plan to leave your child with someone else; or
- The child is going to live with a relative or friend for awhile.
How Does a Parent or Legal Guardian Give the Rights to Another Person?
You do not need to go to court to do this. You just need to fill out a power of attorney form, have it notarized and give it to the other person.
A sample form is provided, below. Power of attorney forms can sometimes be found at stationery stores.
One form can be used for all of your children, if they are all going to be cared for by one person. If two different people are caring for your children, a second form will need to be used. The power of attorney form needs to be filled out completely. Make sure you put your initials on the appropriate lines.
After filling out the form, but before you sign it, bring it to a notary public. You can find a notary public in most banks, real estate offices, and law firms. The service is usually free or low cost.
After the form has been notarized, make a copy for yourself and keep it in a safe place. Give the original to the person who will be caring for your children.
What rights should be given to the other person?
It is up to you to decide what rights to give to the other person. Some of the rights that a parent or legal guardian can give to the other person include caring for the child, consenting to medical care for the child, and enrolling the child in school. A parent or legal guardian cannot give another person the temporary authority to consent to marriage or adoption of the child.
It is important that you trust the person who will be caring for your child. Be sure that the person understands that he or she must return the child when you want and that the power of attorney gives him or her no permanent rights to the child. However, it is important for you to realize that someone who has physical custody of your child for substantial periods of time may be able to petition the court for custody or visitation.
How Does the Power of Attorney End?
A power of attorney can last no more than six months in most cases. After the six months are up, a new power of attorney form can be filled out.
A school can be given a power of attorney that lasts up to 12 months. If you are in the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves and called to active duty, you can give a power of attorney that lasts for the time you are on active duty plus 30 days.
In the sample power of attorney form, there is a place to initial if you want it to last for six months from the date it is signed and a place to initial if you want it to last for less than six months (a specific date needs to be written in the blank).
If you want to stop the power of attorney before it is supposed to end, write, date and sign a statement that says you are "revoking the power of attorney given on _________ (date)." It is a good idea to have that statement notarized. After it is notarized, make a copy and keep it for yourself. Then, give the statement to the person named in the power of attorney form.
YOU CAN REVOKE THE POWER OF ATTORNEY AT ANY TIME
POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR MINOR CHILDREN - SAMPLE
State of Oregon )
I, __________________________________________, am the (natural mother) (natural father) (legal guardian) (circle one) of the following minor child/ren:
Name:____________________________________ Date of Birth:_________________________
(Initial all that apply)