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The informed consent rights of stepparents

Stepparents in Kansas and other states may be allowed to give consent as it relates to their stepchild’s medical care. However, this is generally only true if the stepparent is the child’s legal guardian or has legally adopted the child. It could also be true if the child’s legal parent has consented to the stepparent providing consent related to a child’s medical care. An exception could be made in the event that the child is in significant pain.

If failing to treat a person under 18 could result in a permanent disability or death, medical professionals will generally provide treatment without parental consent. This is because it is assumed that a parent or guardian would have agreed to care that would prevent long-term damage.

It is important to note that stepparents are generally obligated to care for their stepchildren. Therefore, it is in their best interest to get consent from the child’s legal parent to be able to make medical decisions for a stepson or stepdaughter. Otherwise, a medical professional may need to contact the child’s legal parent or guardian first in an effort to obtain it. However, it can be possible for stepparents to provide informed consent if the legal parent or guardian cannot be reached in a timely manner.

Generally speaking, the best interests of the child are paramount when making parenting decisions. The legal parent or guardian is tasked with providing consent regarding medical and other forms of care. However, an attorney may be able to help a stepparent obtain greater oversight in raising a stepson or stepdaughter. This may be done by pursuing a formal adoption or working the child’s legal parent to obtain authorization to provide informed consent on behalf of the minor.