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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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  #1  
Old 10-02-2013, 03:10 PM
DontGiveUp DontGiveUp is offline
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Default Step parents and permission forms / signing authority

Can anyone provide me clarity? Is it not true that only the biological parents have the signing authority / permission for forms for school, medical etc? I thought unless a step parents has successfully applied for guardianship or adopted the child, only the Mom and Dad have this parental right / authority with third parties and such.
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Old 10-02-2013, 03:31 PM
DunnMom DunnMom is offline
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I'm not sure but I don't think that only a biological parents can sign. It can be anyone who is acting as the child's guardian.

My husband (my kids' step-father) routinely will sign their agenda's or a field trip form.

My mother-in-law (kids' step-grandma) has watched the kids' for a week while hubby & I were on vacation and she signed forms, took them to dentist for their cleaning, etc ...

I don't see what the big deal and thankfully in my case, neither does my ex.
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Old 10-02-2013, 03:38 PM
DontGiveUp DontGiveUp is offline
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I didn't say that there was a big deal, I'm simply asking what the law says on such a matter. So much of what I've read online says that step parents have no parental rights over the children. I mean obviously decisions within their own households but the step parent writing and signing permission forms for the children to leave school grounds or for them to be taken out of school early for an appointment, I'm sorry but they have a guardian Mom and Dad for that. If one isn't available, the other is.

Last edited by DontGiveUp; 10-02-2013 at 03:38 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:46 PM
red6419 red6419 is offline
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ugg.

I don't believe the "law" says anything. If my partner gives me permission to sign his daughters homework, field trip permission slip, or other such day to day paperwork then its in everyone's best interests for this to happen - can you imagine the fall out if every time a step parent signed a step childs Terry Fox permission form and his ex called the police on them?? For real??

Its called delegation of authority - I give permission for my partner to act on my behalf when I'm not there to make decisions or to physically sign paperwork. We're partners for a reason. I do this at work all the time - there's a delegation of authority when the person who's supposed to sign something isn't there.

If my partner asked me to sign a permission slip to allow one of my step kids to leave school property for some reason then yep, I'm going to to it. And if he was going to do it anyway but couldn't for some reason then its not an issue. His ex shouldn't cause an issue with this, police or the "law" shouldn't be involved.

I can only see an issue if the step parent is signing things without their partners permission or guidance - but only in extreme cases (like helping an underage child get a tattoo or some medical that the parents didn't agree to). But basic school permission slips, and the odd yep I understand the risks of this procedure at the dr's office - under the direction of the child parents - then by all means knock your self out.

You need to figure out what your issue is - are you mad that the step parent signed the form, or that the child missed a day of school - and address that issue appropriately.

Good luck - try not to sweat the small stuff.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:49 PM
Serene Serene is offline
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Red, I totally agree with you.

Often the test I use is this: If it were anyone else doing xx or yy, would it be an issue?

If it were grandma and it were in the best interests/no harm done to child - no problem. Then if it is stepmom or stepdad, again no problem.

Who really cares who signs the permission form. Especially if it was going to be signed anyhow.

Now I realize that the original poster wanted to know what the law states about this particular issue. But there are many laws out there that aren't enforced or even known... all good info, but likely irrelevant.

Its a distinction without a difference.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:50 PM
dinkyface dinkyface is offline
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Regulated health professions will have one set of rules, schools may have another e.g. for obtaining consent for some medical procedure there is a hierarchy where you have to ask at the highest possible level e.g. - parents/guardians, then siblings then adult children (or something like that).

I believe the law is quite explicit on who has guardianship/custody of the kids is the one who can decide. Step-parents do not - unless they have adopted.

And then, the systems are lax (hopefully less so for brain surgery, but definitely for signing up for low risk recreational activities). It is assumed that a step-parent is signing with the blessing of the actual custodial parent.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:00 PM
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I agree, that if my child is in the care of someone else - parent, other relative, friend etc, that I'm essentially giving that person authority to sign on my behalf if the form MUST be returned before I am available.

When my kids are in the care of someone else, I always notify the school who that person is and the timeframe the kids will be in the care of that person, plus all contact information, of course. That way, if there is a form returned and they are unsure, they do have the information I've provided. Not to mention, the kids MUST have their agendas signed daily and if I'm not there, obviously someone needs to do it.

I have never seen any 'law' that says a parent can't authorize someone else to sign on their behalf for field trips. But if you're in doubt, why not call the school and find out what their policy is?

It's a field trip, not a lobotomy.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:49 AM
DontGiveUp DontGiveUp is offline
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Nobody ever said it was a field trip.

a) It was allowing a child to leave school grounds on his own
b) Ex has never been asked that nor has signed permission for such before
c) Ex is away for one day, I am available to review sign and a interfering step parent in the parenting of OUR children not his took it upon himself to grant permission.

If there was not a history of conflict here with him then perhaps there is no issue in him giving permission when he is not a legal guardian of the child to go off school property or to remove him from school early etc.

It was not a legal guardian who wrote and signed the note and to me that is offside.
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:27 AM
HappyMomma HappyMomma is offline
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Is there a reason why allowing your child to leave the school grounds has upset you so much?

Honestly, how your ex and her partner choose to parent is none of your business. It seems like you are looking for a reason to start a fight. Who cares who signed the permission form? The ex's partner is acting as a step parent - and I doubt he made the decision to write the note without consulting your ex.
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DontGiveUp View Post
Nobody ever said it was a field trip.

a) It was allowing a child to leave school grounds on his own
b) Ex has never been asked that nor has signed permission for such before
c) Ex is away for one day, I am available to review sign and a interfering step parent in the parenting of OUR children not his took it upon himself to grant permission.

If there was not a history of conflict here with him then perhaps there is no issue in him giving permission when he is not a legal guardian of the child to go off school property or to remove him from school early etc.

It was not a legal guardian who wrote and signed the note and to me that is offside.
So it's not a field trip, big deal! It's on the same level as a field trip: harmless.

Why look for conflict over something so ridiculous?!?
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