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Child custody for children of deported parents

Texas parents who are undocumented or who know someone with an undocumented immigration status may already be aware of some lawyers' volunteer efforts to help immigrants with children. Throughout the country, some attorneys and law students are volunteering to help immigrants without documentation to prepare the documents they need to transfer custody of their children to trusted individuals in the event that they are deported.

It is possible to transfer child custody to a relative by filling out selected legal forms. These forms legally appoint people to take over the care of the children if United States Immigrations and Customs Enforcement were to detain and deport the parents.

In a representative case, a mother decided to fill out this paperwork in order to transfer custody of her 12-year-old daughter to her adult daughter and sister-in-law. If she and her husband were deported, her sister-in-law and older daughter would not only be given custody of her 12-year-old child, but they would also be given control over her assets. This mother commented that she chooses to make these preparations just in case she and her husband are deported because she does not want to take her 12-year-old, who is an American citizen, to go with her to her country of origin because she would fear for her child's safety.

Parents who do not have immigration documentation might decide to prepare documents that designate who would receive custody of their children if deportation occurs. Physical custody is just one aspect of family preparedness plans, and it may be helpful to discuss these matters with a lawyer who might help by specifying which documents are needed in order to legally transfer legal and physical custody.

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