Kinship Guardianship as a Permanency Option - Guam

Date: July 2018


Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 19, § 13101

The term 'family' means each legal parent, the grandparents, each parent's spouse, each sibling, or person related by blood up to the second degree or by marriage, each person residing in the same dwelling unit, and any other person or legal entity that is a child's legal or physical custodian or guardian, or who is otherwise responsible for the child's care.

The term 'long-term foster custody' means the legal status created by order of the court after the court has determined by clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interests of the child to order an appropriate long-term plan concerning the child.

Purpose of Guardianship

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

A Guardian's Rights and Responsibilities

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 19, § 13321

Long-term foster custody divests from each legal custodian and family member who has been summoned pursuant to § 13306 and vests in a long-term custodian each of the parental and custodial duties and rights of a legal custodian and family member, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • To determine where and with whom the child shall live, provided that the child shall not be placed outside Guam without prior approval of the court
  • To assure that the child is provided in a timely manner with adequate food, clothing, shelter, psychological care, physical care, medical care, supervision, and other necessities
  • To monitor the provision of appropriate education to the child
  • To provide all consents that are required for the child's physical or psychological health or welfare, including, but not limited to, medical, dental, psychiatric, psychological, educational, employment, recreational, or social needs and to provide all consents for any other medical care or treatment, including, but not limited to, surgery if such care or treatment is deemed by two physicians licensed or authorized to practice in Guam to be necessary for the child's physical or psychological health or welfare
  • To provide the court with information concerning the child that the court may require at any time

Qualifying the Guardian

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Procedures for Establishing Guardianship

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 19, § 13324

If, at the permanency plan hearing, the court finds that it is not reasonably foreseeable that the child's family will be able to provide the child with a safe family home, the court shall order that an appropriate permanency plan be implemented concerning the child. The court shall presume that it is in the best interests of the child to be adopted, unless the child is in the permanent custody of family, or persons who have become as family, and who for good cause are unwilling or unable to adopt the child but are committed to and capable of being the child's permanent custodians.

If the child has reached age 12, the child must be supportive of the permanency plan.

Contents of a Guardianship Order

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 19, § 13321

Unless otherwise ordered by the court, a child's family member shall retain the following rights and responsibilities after a transfer of long-term foster custody to the extent that the family member possessed that responsibility prior to the transfer of long-term foster custody:

  • The right to consent to adoption or marriage
  • The continuing responsibility for support of the child, including, but not limited to, repayment for the cost of any and all care, treatment, or any other service supplied or provided by the long-term custodian, any subsequent long-term custodian, other authorized agency, or the court for the child's benefit

A family member may be permitted visitation with the child at the discretion of the court.

An order of long-term foster custody entered under this chapter shall not operate to terminate the mutual rights of inheritance of the child and the child's family members or any other benefit to which the child may be entitled, unless and until the child has been legally adopted.

Modification/Revocation of Guardianship

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 19, § 13321; 13324

If child protective services receives a report that the child has been harmed or is subject to threatened harm by the acts or omissions of the long-term custodian or custodians of the child, child protective services may automatically assume physical custody of the child. In such event, child protective services shall immediately notify the court and the court shall set the case for a progress hearing within 10 working days from the date that child protective services assumed physical custody of the child, unless the court deems a later date to be in the best interests of the child.

The child may remain in permanent custody until the child is subsequently adopted or reaches age 18. Such status shall not be subject to modification or revocation except upon a showing of extraordinary circumstances to the court.

Kinship Guardianship Assistance

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Links to Agency Policies

Kinship guardianship is not addressed in regulation.