What are the Different Kinds of Power of Attorney for Children?

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  • Written By: Daphne Mallory
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 15 January 2020
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A power of attorney for children is one in which the named agent or attorney-in-fact is delegated rights and the authority to meet the needs of the children that would otherwise belong to the parents. The document may become necessary when the parents are mentally or physically unable to carry out the rights granted. It’s also used when a parent has to be separated from the child on a temporary basis.

There are many types of power of attorney, and the scope of the powers given to the agent can be broad or limited. For example, the purpose of a durable power of attorney for children is to allow the agent to care for all of the children’s needs, including financial, medical, and physical. A limited power of attorney for children, on the other hand, enumerates specific tasks for the agent to accomplish.


A widely used power of attorney for children is called a power of attorney for care of children, which is a type of durable power of attorney. In the document, the parent states that it’s necessary to leave the children in the care of the agent and gives the agent full permission to carry out all tasks and decisions that are in the best interest of the children. Parents who are active in the military or travel for an extensive period for a job often use this power of attorney. Some of the rights given to the agent include the right to determine the needs of the children in a medical emergency and the authority to consent to emergency treatment. The agent is often given temporary custody in the power of attorney and can supervise and care for the children in the way in which the parent granting the rights would.

A medical power of attorney for a minor child is a limited power of attorney for children. It’s a document that’s used to transfer a specific parental right to an agent. Hospitals and health centers often require one if the parent is not physically present to give consent to the medical treatment of the children. The power of attorney authorizes the agent to consent to all procedures and medical treatments that the agent feels are necessary for the children named in the power of attorney. There’s often an expiration date that terminates the powers granted to the agent, but it may also terminate if the parent becomes incapacitated or disabled. The limited scope and time period of the document make it a non-durable power of attorney.


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Post 2

@Markerrag -- I don't really know the answer to that, but I can make a guess. I would think that a guardianship would be problematic for the parents involved because those kind of kick of the path to an adoption.

You'll find parents a lot less likely to fight a power of attorney than they would an adoption.

Post 1

Why would you use a power of attorney for a child? If someone other than a child's parents are necessary to do something like make medical decisions, why not do a temporary guardianship instead? It just seems to me that arrangement is a lot more stable and makes a lot more sense.

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