Voluntary Adult Caregiver Agreements
A Voluntary Adult Caregiver Agreement, more fully described as an Authorization Agreement for Voluntary Adult Caregiver, has a convoluted name yet a simple function. These agreements enable a parent or parents to allow another adult to exercise certain parental rights. Such an agreement can enable the authorized individual to exercise any of the following rights related to a child:
(1) To authorize medical, dental, psychological, surgical treatment, and immunization of the child, including executing any consents or authorizations for the release of information as required by law relating to the treatment or immunization;
(2) To obtain and maintain health insurance coverage for the child and automobile insurance coverage for the child, if appropriate;
(3) To enroll the child in a day-care program or public or private preschool, primary or secondary school;
(4) To authorize the child to participate in age-appropriate extracurricular, civic, social, or recreational activities, including athletic activities;
(5) To authorize the child to obtain a learner's permit, driver's license, or state-issued identification card;
(6) To authorize employment of the child;
(7) To apply for and receive public benefits on behalf of the child; and
(8) To obtain copies or originals of state-issued personal identification documents for the child, including the child’s birth certificate; and to the extent authorized under federal law, copies or originals of federally issued personal identification documents for the child, including the child’s social security card.
These agreements operate as powers of attorney related to a child and often make sense in situations where the adult caregiver will be caring for a child or children for several months or longer. Chapter 34 of the Texas Family Code defines the requirements for these agreements, which results in a prescribed format. Failure to meet the demands of Chapter 34 may result in an invalid authorization agreement and misdemeanor criminal liability for the adult caregiver. For these reasons, it’s desirable to have an attorney draft the authorization agreement. However, having the advice and counsel of a family law attorney can prove invaluable in evaluating the full landscape of the circumstances and the impact of an authorization agreement.
If a Court order is currently in effect related to the child or children, then that Court will need to approve the authorization agreement related to the child.