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

What is going to happen should you be a long way away from home and your child has a emergency medically and someone is required to sign a consent form? Temporary medical powers of attorney might solve the issue. Discover more concerning the way to get a MPOA for your child.

If you are going to be leaving a child in somebody else’s care for a prolonged period of time, you may want to provide them with the legal authority to act on your behalf. This can be done with a power of attorney, giving somebody you trust (referred to as the attorney-in-fact) the capability for making medical decisions and guarantee medical treatment for your child.

When Is a Power of Attorney for a Child Required?

A parent or legal guardian has the authorization to act on their child’s behalf. This is especially crucial when it’s time to agree to medical treatments and make other medical determinations. Provided that a parent (or guardian) is available, there is no requirement for a POA for your child. On the other hand, when neither parent is available to carry out things like signing medical consent forms, another adult can be authorized to do so with a document commonly referred to as a power of attorney for minor child or power of attorney for child.

This is usually accomplished when parents are heading out of town (for vacations, employment, military deployment, and the such.) and is going to be leaving their child with friends or family members, or when a child is getting sent out of town to live with family members or friends. When your child is going to be living in another state, the POA should adhere to the legal requirements of that state.

Difference From Guardianships

A power of attorney for child gives the appointed attorney-in-fact the temporary authorization to make medical decisions, but the parent(s) still keeps their same authority. Through guardianships, the parental authority gets transferred permanently to the legal guardian, and the parent no longer retains the authority for making decisions for their child. A parent may rescind a power of attorney at any time, but only a court can alter guardianship.

Primary Requirements

The below are primary requirements for power of attorney for child.

Any power of attorney for child is going to include:

  • The names, addresses, and phone numbers of the parent(s) or guardian(s) signing the POA.
  • The names and addresses of the agent(s) (and any substitute agent).
  • The name and birth date of each child that are covered under the document.
  • The time the agent’s authority starts and ends (more below).
  • Contact information for parent(s) or guardian(s) (where they can be located when away, including e-mail addresses when available).
  • The powers or authority proxy to the agent (more below).

If both parents are still living, then preferably both parents should sign the document. Nevertheless, because it is not necessary for both parents to sign a medical consent document, it should also not be required for both parents to sign a POA. When only one parent signs, and the other is available, then that parent is able to make decisions and the POA is not going to be needed.

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

Selecting An Agent

Legally, any mentally sound adult can serve as your agent. It is not required to be a family member. Basically, your agent should be an individual you trust with caring for your child, someone your child is familiar with, and someone that is ready to undertake the responsibility.

Duration Of a Power of Attorney for Child

The power of attorney should clarify when the agent’s authority starts and ends. It can clarify that their authority starts immediately, or upon a specified date. Many states restrict the duration of a power of attorney for child to half a year or a year. Should that be the case, you would be required to carry out a new document when the initial one concludes. Federal law enables armed forces members to grant a power of attorney for child until the service member comes back from duty.

Authority Granted

To provide an agent with authority for medical care, you can either carry out a temporary medical power of attorney for child or include that authority as part of a more thorough power of attorney form for child. Common medical-associated powers include the authority to make mental health medical, and dental treatment decisions; and have health records accessibility. You could also specifically declare any restrictions on the power your agent could exercise, and specify your preferences for physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare providers.

A more thorough document would usually include the authority to enroll the child in school, authorization to participate in extracurricular activities (sports, day trips, etc.), have school records accessibility, attend parent-teacher meetings, and make decisions regarding the child’s schooling. It can designate specific kinds of authority or can widely grant common authority to act on behalf of the child. Some states forbid granting an agent specific parental rights, like consenting to adoption or marriage, or the transference of the property of the minor child.

Using A Power of Attorney

The initial signed document should be provided to your agent. They are then going to present copies of the document, as required, to healthcare providers, schools, etc.


In specific situations, a power of attorney for childcare can help guarantee that your child is going to receive the care they need when you can’t be reachable.


  1. Edward A. Haman, Esq. (2023, May 11). How do I get a medical power of attorney for child?. LegalZoom. https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/how-do-i-get-a-medical-power-of-attorney-for-child

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