How Do I Get a Medical Power of Attorney for Child
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How Do I Get a Medical Power of Attorney for Child?

What happens if you were a long way from home and your child has a medical emergency and someone is required to sign consent documentation? A temporary medical power of attorney might solve the issue. Learn more concerning how to obtain a medical power of attorney for your child.

If you are going to be leaving a child in another person’s care for a long period of time, you might want to provide them with legal authority to act on your behalf. This is able to be done with a power of attorney, giving an individual you trust (referred to as the agent) the capability of making medical decisions and obtain medical treatment for your child.

When Is a Power of Attorney for a Child Required?

Parents or a legal guardian has the power to act on behalf of their child. This is particularly important in relation to consenting to medical treatment(s) and making other important medical decisions. Assuming a parent or guardian is available, there is no requirement for a POA for your child. On the other hand, if neither parent is available to carry out things like signing medical consent paperwork, another individual over 18 can be authorized to do so with a documentation commonly referred to as a minor/child power of attorney.

What Is Medical Power of Attorney?

This is usually carried out when children’s parents are heading out of town (for emergencies, business, military deployment, etc.) and are going to be leaving a child with friends or family members, or when their child gets sent out of town to live with friends or family members. If your child is going to be living in a different state, the document needs to adhere with the legal provisions of that state.

The Difference from Guardianship

A power of attorney for child provides the appointed agent the brief authority in making decisions, but the parent still holds their same authority. In guardianships, the parental authorization is permanently placed on the legal guardian, and the parent no longer has the authority in making decisions for their child. A parent may rescind a power of attorney whenever they want, but only a court can alter guardianship.

Basic Requirements

Any power of attorney for child is going to include:

  • The names, addresses, and contact numbers of the parent(s) or guardian(s) signing the POA.
  • The names and addresses, and contact numbers of the agent(s).
  • The name and birth date of each child under the document.
  • When the agent’s authority starts and stops.
  • Contact information for each parent or guardian (where they can be contacted when away, including e-mail addresses when available).
  • The POA proxied to the agent.

If both parents are still living, then preferably each of the parents needs to sign the document. On the other hand, because it is not required for each of them to sign a medical consent document, it should also not be required for each of them to sign a power of attorney. When only one parent signs, and the other parent is available, then that parent is able to make decisions and the power of attorney is not going to be required.

The document is also going to be required to be signed and dated by the parent(s) or guardian. It is going to need to follow the law of the state for a power of attorney, in which usually requires the signatures of witnesses, and might also necessitate that it be signed in the presence of a notary public.

Deciding on an Agent

Legally, any mentally capable person over 18 can serve as your agent. It is not required to be a member of your family. Essentially, your agent needs to be someone you trust to care for your child, someone your child is familiar with, and someone that is willing to take the responsibility on.

Duration of a Power of Attorney for Child

The POA should detail when the agent’s authority starts and ends. It can detail that the authority starts immediately, or upon a specific date. Many states restrict the duration of a power of attorney for child to 6 or 12 months. When that is the case, you would need to carry out a new document when the initial one expires. Federal law enables a member of the military to grant a POA for child until the service member gets back from deployment.

Authority Granted

To grant an agent the authority for medical care decisions, you can either carry out a temporary MPOA for child or include this authority as part of a more extensive power of attorney document for child. Normal medical-associated powers comprise of the authority in making medical, dental, and mental-health treatments decisions; and have the accessibility to health records. You could also particularly state any restriction on the power your agent can exercise, and designate your preferences for medical professionals, hospitals, and/or other health care providers.

A more extensive document is typically going to include the authority of enrolling the child in school, consent to participate in extracurricular activities, have the accessibility to school records, go to parent-teacher conferences, and make decisions in regard to the child’s schooling. It can designate particular types of authority or can widely grant typical authority to act on behalf of the child. A lot of states disallow granting an agent specific parental rights, like consenting to marriage or adoption, or the transferring of property of the minor child.

Using a Power of Attorney

The initial signed documentation should be presented to your agent. They are then going to provide copies of the documentation, as required, to health care providers, educational institutes, etc.

Power of Attorney for Child In Conclusion

In certain circumstances a power of attorney for childcare can aid in assuring that your child is going to receive the care they need when you are unable to be readily available.


  1. Edward A. Haman, E. (2022, May 2). How do I get a medical power of attorney for child? LegalZoom. Retrieved May 25, 2022, from

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