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Filing for custody as a non-parent

Sometimes, there are special circumstances in which the parents of a child are unable to provide care. If an Ontario court does not declare a parent or the child is not adopted, a non-parent may seek custody of the child.
Securing a custody order is important for non-parents because it provides proof of custody when the child needs to be registered for school, obtain a passport, seek medical treatment or gain access to benefits. There are four things that a non-parent needs to do when filing for a child custody order. This includes filling out and submitting a Form 35.1: Affidavit and a Form 8: Application with the court. The third thing is getting a police records check, which may be requested at a police station.
A fee will need to be paid for this service, and the date of the request will need to be added to the affidavit. The non-parent may arrange to retrieve the document or have it delivered via post. The final task is filling out a form that provides children’s aid societies with authorisation to give details about the non-parent. The court staff will provide the CAS form to non-parents when they file child custody applications. With the information provided, the court staff will determine which CAS offices need to provide reports and send the form to those offices.
A CAS report contains details on any file that an office had or has open in which the applicant received services or was the focus of a protection probe as an adult. A situation in which a non-parent might seek custody of a child is if one biological parent is disabled and incapable of providing for the child while the other biological parent suddenly passes away. The non-parent could be a relative or close family friend.
If the non-parent is unsure about how to obtain, fill out or file the forms or has further questions about the application process, a lawyer could provide guidance and ensure that the forms are filled out properly and thoroughly.
Source: Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, “What you should know if you are a non-parent applying for custody of a child”, November 06, 2014