Can the grandparents, who the child lives with, get braces put on the child without the parent’s signature?

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Can the grandparents, who the child lives with, get braces put on the child without the parent’s signature?

My niece is due to get braces put on Tuesday but suddenly my sister is saying that my parents can not get them put on her without my sister’s signature. She has shared custody with her ex-husband who lives out of state. However my niece has lived with my parents for at least three years now. Sometimes my sister was there too, but now she is still in town but left the child with our parents to live with the boyfriend and their new baby.

Asked on November 2, 2012 under Family Law, Illinois

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Braces and other dental procedures are considered medical type procedures, and generally, only a parent or legal guardian can consent.  Some doctors will accept a notarized affidavit by a parent , however, others require proof of legal guardianship-- which a simple affidavit is not.  If your sister is refusing the medical treatment, then she has that right as the biological parent of the child, and that right, trumps your parents... at least for now. 

If your parents have had the child for three years, then they need to intervene in the custody suit and have it modified to grant them custody on the basis that mom has essentially abandoned the child.  Once your parents have been granted either full or shared custody, then they too will have the legal right to consent to medical treatment, despite mom's interference. 

 


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