How to Take Guardianship of a Minor Child in Oregon

By Sameca Pandova

Oregon law allows for any suitable person to petition a family court for guardianship of a minor. Oregon recognizes both voluntary and involuntary guardianships. While the process is slightly different depending upon which type of guardianship sought, the general process requires you to file a petition with the applicable family court. The court will review your petition and make a guardianship determination in the best interests of the child.

Draft your petition for guardianship. You can obtain a blank petition form from the office of the clerk of your local county courthouse, along with a blank affidavit form.

If you are filing a petition for voluntary guardianship, include information on the child and the parents, along with the procedural history of the case. Then attach an affidavit that is signed and notarized indicating that the current parent or custodian consents to your appointment as guardian.

If you are filing a petition for involuntary guardianship -- for example, a child that has been placed in the custody of Oregon Department of Human Services due to abuse or neglect charges against the current custodian or parent -- you will draft the petition without an affidavit. You will still include the information on the child, the natural parents and the procedural history of the case.

Oregon law requires you to include in the petition whether you have ever filed for bankruptcy or been convicted of a Class A misdemeanor or felony.

File your petition in the county courthouse where the child lives. While fees vary from county to county, it should cost around $75. You will receive a stamped copy of the petition from the clerk, along with a date on your motion. Use a special process server to provide a copy of the petition (called service of process) to the parents and any guardians and state agencies that may be involved in the case. If in doubt, review the case file from the clerk's office to identify all the necessary parties.

Talk to the other parties to see if an agreement can be reached. If there is no possibility of coming to an agreement, the court will hold a hearing where you will be able to present your evidence and any witnesses.

About the Author

Based near Chicago, Sameca Pandova has been writing since 1995 and now contributes to various websites. He is an attorney with experience in health care, family and criminal prosecution issues. Pandova holds a Master of Laws in health law from Loyola University Chicago, a Juris Doctor from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor of Arts in history and political science from Case Western.