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Old 03.08.2008, 18:30
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Child guardianship advice needed

Hiya, I'm in need of some advice for a friend.

We live in the UK and my friends sister moved to Switerland and married a Switz man and had a daughter. Unfortunatly she died a few yrs ago now and my friends niece has continued to live with her father and new girlfriend in Switzerland. Both the sister and daughter had/has british nationality as well as Switz.

The father is now at a stage where it (to the rest of the family) has become unacceptable for the child to continue living with him (he drinks and often hits both her and his girlfriend, who also is planning to leave him).

What we really need to know is what possible problems there could be on applying for legal guardianship of the child and bringing her back to the UK permantly? And to which government/official we would have to apply to for this to happen?

Thanks in advance
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Old 04.08.2008, 11:16
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Re: Child guardianship advice needed

Adoption is a drastic measure that should be well considered before starting. You assume that the father's condition is not temporary, while it hasn't even been registered by the local authorities, nor probably treated. The adoption isn't going anywhere without the consent of the father (and who would voluntarily give his daughter away?) or a revokeing of his custody by the authorities.

The first step forward, that may or may not lead to an adoption, is to contact the local authorities (social services department if it's a big municipality) so they take a look at the situation and start an assisted custody (Beistandschaft) if appropriate. Since your friend is already in touch with the father's partner I'd ask her to do this. Good luck.
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Old 04.08.2008, 12:21
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Re: Child guardianship advice needed

Just quick, applying for guardianship isnt the same as adoption. My aunt was my leagal guardian for a short time while my parents had to sort out some problems. I later moved back in with my parents. you also hear of kids being a ward of the courts, its the same thing as the state being thier leagal guardian. It isnt the same as adoption (adoption can cost you over 20k if everyone agrees to it and you know the person, it is also permanent).
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Old 04.08.2008, 13:20
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Re: Child guardianship advice needed

If the father recognizes he has problems to work out with his drinking or taking care of his daughter, maybe she can get him to agree to sending her to live with her aunt temporarily. Then they could contact a lawyer to organize the legal gardianship. If they have to prove he is unfit, then they can go through social services or the Vormandschaftbehört in the Justice Department. I expect it depends also what city they are in who exactly they should contact.
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Old 04.08.2008, 13:22
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Re: Child guardianship advice needed

If the girlfriend is about to leave him, get her to report his [alleged] abusive behaviour; without proof of some description, getting the child from the only living parent will be hard work.

And you'll want a lawyer to help you and it will cost and it might not succeed.

The first step might be to actually talk to the chap and reason with him.
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Old 04.08.2008, 15:50
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Re: Child guardianship advice needed

...................and the second step would be asking where the daughter wants to live. Depending on her level of english, england maybe wouldn't be the best choice.
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