A power of attorney over a child is a document signed and notarized by a parent giving a non-
parent authority to make decisions for a minor child. It is not a court order. It is accepted by
many, but not all, people or organizations as authority over the child. It is typically used by a
parent who is unavailable for a period of time and wants to grant authority to another person over
their child. It can be used to authorize the person to obtain medical treatment for a child or sign
up a child for an activity or for other significant decisions. You can also limit the purpose to
something very specific (for example, to take a child on vacation, to authorize specific medical
A power of attorney over a minor child is effective for a maximum of six months. You can limit
this time period to as little as you want, but you cannot extend it beyond six months. If you need
another power of attorney after six months, simply sign a new power of attorney. A better idea,
however, may be to obtain a guardianship agreed to by all parties.
A parent who does not agree with this power of attorney has more authority over the child than
the person with the power of attorney.
In paragraph 3, the parent must indicate what powers he or she is giving over the minor child.
The first box is for a general power of attorney granting all powers a parent would ordinarily
have over the child. If the parent wants to limit the powers to certain areas, they should check the
second box and describe the specific powers granted.
The parent must sign the completed power of attorney in front of a notary public and another
witness. The witness must also sign. Notarize two copies of the power of attorney; one is for the
person with the power and the other for the parent granting the power. Make several copies of
the power of attorney since you will probably have to give a copy to each person or organization
that you need to deal with on behalf of the child. Show them the original, and give them the
copy. Keep the original in a safe place.
The parent granting the power of attorney can withdraw (revoke) that power at any time, even
before the expiration date on the power of attorney. It is best that the withdrawal be in writing. A
form called Revocation of Power of Attorney is attached. If you are a parent withdrawing the
power, be sure to fill out the revocation form and deliver it to the person to whom you granted
the power. The withdrawal is effective immediately upon delivery.