Do I sign forms for my stepchildren?

Carol - posted on 09/11/2009 ( 28 moms have responded )

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Hi. I am mom to three children and stepmom to another three. My question is about signing forms for school, sports, etc. Every year, when school starts, I fill out many forms for each child. Normally, I sign the forms for my biological children and have my husband sign the ones for his biological children. This year, though, he has been very busy with a project at work and has not been around much the past couple of weeks to sign forms, many of which need to be returned by "tomorrow." He thinks it would be easiest for me to just sign the forms myself or sign his signature (with his permission) on them, but I'm a little nervous about doing either. My questions are: Do the others of you sign forms for your stepkids and if so, have you ever had a problem legally with this? What should I be concerned about? Am I just being paranoid? Help?

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[deleted account]

Quoting Anne:



Quoting Tara:

Most forms say parent/legal guardian. If your husband has custody of "his" kids then you can sign...just like if you have custody of "your" kids then he can sign 'cause your the legal guardian of either set of kids. No legal issues and BM or BF can't say anything because of law.





 






 






I'm not sure what state you're in, but where I live (Mississippi) this is not the case.  Stepparent or not, you still would not be considered the legal guardian if it somehow ended up in court.  I just went through this same issue with the stepmother of my three biological children.  I would never sign anything for my stepdaughter without her mother's permission, nor would I allow my husband to sign for my three.  While some things can be on the trivial side, it's a matter of courtesy.





I agree Anne

[deleted account]

Quoting Leah:



Quoting Tara:

Most forms say parent/legal guardian. If your husband has custody of "his" kids then you can sign...just like if you have custody of "your" kids then he can sign 'cause your the legal guardian of either set of kids. No legal issues and BM or BF can't say anything because of law.






You took the words right out of my mouth...lol






I  actualality, if a legal govt. or medical form states parent/legal guardian, only the parent or legal guardian (grandparent, aunt, uncle, foster parent, etc.)then ONLY their dad or mom can sign...steps are not considered legal guardians in a court of law.

UNLESS court documents have been filed SPECIFICALY stating a step as a legal guardian.

[deleted account]

Quoting Sarah:

Careful...BM might throw a stink! ...speaking from my own experience. BM had a huge issue with me even filling out forms for my stepson----hmmm, but she apparently doesn't see any issue with stepdad filling out or signing forms:-o

P.S. I still fill out forms for my stepson, and hubby signs---his handwriting sucks!



Yeah, been there, done that one.  The bad thing about all this is if he doesn't have 3 minutes to sign his kids'  school forms, he isn't making any time for the kids' themselves.  If the BM is not so bad about stuff like that, I don't see the big deal.  However, in alot of states, remember the steps can't sign for medical things such doctor's appt, and emergancy room visits unless they are bleeding very heavily or not consciense or breathing.  Broken bones, etc, they will have to sit until an actual parent comes in to sign them in to be seen.

[deleted account]

Usually schools like the bio-parent to sign some kind of letter of consent allowing a step-parent to sign forms, permission slips, etc. But I can tell you being a teacher, I just look to see that an adult has signed it and it has a couple emergency numbers on the form. When hubby got joint-legal SD's school had us fax the actual court document for their files.

Cheri - posted on 01/03/2010

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I sign forms for my stepkids. I enroll them in sports, school activities, go to conferences, all of that. You're mom. It's a mom thing. If my kids go to my husband to get something signed, he tells them to give it to me :)

Kymberli - posted on 01/03/2010

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I also have three non-blood children as well as three bio children. I sign all the forms for all of them.. I sign weekly papers and take them to doctors and do everything the same as the others. I was told that the only way there could be a legal issue is if the bio parents made an issue of it. I sign my own name.. I register them for school, sign them in and out for appointments. In most states you are considered a legal guardian.

Karen - posted on 01/02/2010

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It all depends on your state, the school, and the custody agreement. As someone else mentioned, you may have to deal with the BM being upset about it. My husband had shared legal (SD is now 21). The BM never shared any info w/ him. So do your research. Talk to the school and see what they require what is ok and what isn't... It's tough taking care of the kids if you can't "do" all the stuff. i.e. sign permission slips...

Leah - posted on 01/02/2010

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Quoting Tara:

Most forms say parent/legal guardian. If your husband has custody of "his" kids then you can sign...just like if you have custody of "your" kids then he can sign 'cause your the legal guardian of either set of kids. No legal issues and BM or BF can't say anything because of law.



You took the words right out of my mouth...lol

[deleted account]

I would just sign it with your name or his name... Like someone else said, they don't care who signs it, just as long as it is an adult responsible for the child... my "SD" is 18 months, I take her to her doctors appts without my fiancee and get her prescriptions filled and have had no problems. However, my fiancee and SDs biograndma (who has joint custody with my fiancee as BM was stripped of custody) wrote a note and signed it saying that I have permission to do medical care, and all that sorts of stuff... so if you are worried about any of it, just have ur husband write a note and sign the papers and stuff and when u take them into the school, hand them the note so that in the future, whether u have to pick up a sick kid or fill out something, u can do it without worrying because they know you have permission to...

Anne - posted on 12/31/2009

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Quoting Tara:

Most forms say parent/legal guardian. If your husband has custody of "his" kids then you can sign...just like if you have custody of "your" kids then he can sign 'cause your the legal guardian of either set of kids. No legal issues and BM or BF can't say anything because of law.


 



 



I'm not sure what state you're in, but where I live (Mississippi) this is not the case.  Stepparent or not, you still would not be considered the legal guardian if it somehow ended up in court.  I just went through this same issue with the stepmother of my three biological children.  I would never sign anything for my stepdaughter without her mother's permission, nor would I allow my husband to sign for my three.  While some things can be on the trivial side, it's a matter of courtesy.

Chelsea - posted on 09/26/2009

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I fill out all the forms. They hadn't asked yet and I've been doing it for 5 years haha.

Laura - posted on 09/26/2009

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I fill them out however I also have parental authority papers as well as being listed in the custody papers as her guardian.. BUT before that I did it as well and was never asked anything.. What I recommend you do is have your husband give you parental authority no big hassel and your covered legally.

Angele - posted on 09/25/2009

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If you and your husband have custody of your stepchildren than you have the right to sign any paperwork because you are a legal guardian. Even if you do not have custody you have the right to sign with your husbands permission. My stepdaughter lived with us, she is grown and moved out... but all through school I signed everything. I even went to school for conferences. They would not have known I was not her real mother. My stepson lives with us now and his mother is active with the school. I do have my husband sign mostly everything, but when he is not around I do sign. His mother knows I only have his best interest. She is on all the documents at school.

Sarah - posted on 09/25/2009

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i fill them out and sign them for my step son.... on most of the forms it says parent or guardian.... i have never had happen.... only thing i have never signed for is enrolling him for school... even though it said a guardian can sign it i would rather his dad sign the forms

Priscilla - posted on 09/24/2009

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I have been signing forms for my stepchildren for about 5 years now, I have had no problem from the school on this issue. When we got married he just got even easier. Just for 1 time there real mother tried picking them up from school and she couldn't, becasue I had forgotten to put her name on the paperwork as one of the people that could pick them up. So they called me at work to make sure that it was ok for her to pick up the kids. I went into office later that day and asked that she got put on list. Out of the 5 years we have been together that was the only time she has ever picked them up from school. I do not think you have any thing to worry about, just as long as she is on the paperwork also as secondary household.

Stephanie - posted on 09/24/2009

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I sign paperwork for my kids (step) Hubby does too. Since we both work full time its kinda a whoever is there when something needs to be signed. For instance our oldest has an agenda that has to be signed every night after he does his homework, If I'm at work ( I work until 7 or 8 pm) hubby signs it, if homeworks not done when I get home I usually sign it. Our youngest has a paper that's pretty much the same thing and if he brings it to me I sign it if he takes it to daddy he signs it. The school knows that I am not the kids Bio mom but they also know that she isnt involved much. She calls and takes them for a weekend every now and then. Even things that arent school involved I sign for. I think as long as Dad doesnt have a problem with it I dont see the big deal.

Tammy - posted on 09/16/2009

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Every state is different, you have to investigate. Gary and I are not married but have lived together since before we got custody of his kids. I am NOT a legal guardian but I have always signed the paper work. Only one time did anyone question my signature and we just typed up a form that says I have the right to sign his name or mine to anything regarding his children. He works in the oil field which can at times take him away from home for up to 6 months at a time, I need to be able to sign for the kids safety and welfare. Most states state that once you are married you automatically become at the very least a legal guardian.

Katie - posted on 09/15/2009

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When my husband and I had custody of his son, I filled out his forms for school, medical, etc...

But, if his BM got a wild hair up her butt... boy did it cause problems! Whether my husband and I were married or not, whether or not he had primary custody, it didn't matter in the State of Indiana. HE was the legal guardian of his son, not me. Even though we were married! Stupid I know. I was told that unless I was stated as a legal guardian in the custody paperwork, I had no rights. She could fight it and put a stop to any medical treatment that her son needed. (Which she did btw.. numerous times) All because of a wonderful thing called joint custody.

To fill out his school, medical, etc forms, I ended up typing up a letter stating that I had my husbands permission to enroll his son in school and that I could get his son any medical attention necessary. We took it to a notary, paid a buck and from then on, it was legit. Of course, his mom could still fight it (and did sometimes), but at least my rear was covered and I could not get in trouble for it.

Christine - posted on 09/15/2009

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Ryan and I are not even married yet, but I have handled almost all the paperwork for Damien's school/daycare since he started because, let's face it, most times men are hopeless when it comes to remembering due dates and to hand over everything (ie. our first pre-school didn't get his immunization forms for a month... Way to go, Ry! After that, I took the reins, and we have been fine ever since.)



You are still a responsible adult actively involved in your SK's lives, esp if BM is non-custodial. If anyone has a problem with it, I am sure they would be able to address it with you and the hubby. As long as you, the hubby and the kids are fine with it, I don't see any problem! ;-D

Michelle - posted on 09/15/2009

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hi Carol. I sign forms for my "step" child all the time with my husbands signature. I have his permission, and it is legal for me to do that here in Ohio. I no longer put the bm phone number or name on any forms do to previous problems that we have had with her and the school and things my son heard being said. I don't think that your being paranoid, I just think that your being cautious. that's all. Good luck!!

Stephanie - posted on 09/14/2009

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Just another note - the lawyer wouldn't create our document until he saw the custody agreement saying that Bryon had custody.

Sondra - posted on 09/14/2009

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I sign for mine and have had no problems, but I can't say what is legal. Like others have said it probably depends who has legal custody. Always a good idea to have a legal document for back up. We have a POA.

Stephanie - posted on 09/14/2009

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Bryon put a legal document in the kids file so that I can take care of issues (we aren't married yet, but I handle most of the school stuff right now with him working full time and going to college too). It is kinda like a "power of atty" for issues for the kids only - allows me to act in his place for school and medical.



If anyone has an issue with your signing - you can always get something like that drawn up. My understanding though is that once we are married, I can sign without the document in their file.

Tara - posted on 09/14/2009

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Most forms say parent/legal guardian. If your husband has custody of "his" kids then you can sign...just like if you have custody of "your" kids then he can sign 'cause your the legal guardian of either set of kids. No legal issues and BM or BF can't say anything because of law.

Betty - posted on 09/13/2009

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I don't see the problem with this. You can't get in trouble for signing someones name if you were given permission to do it. I do shopping for my boss with her bank card and sign her name all the time. No one really cares.

[deleted account]

i fill out forms and sign them. the school honestly doesn't really care who signs them, they just want to make sure someone (an adult) istaking responsibilty. i have been signing my sd's form for about a year now and i have never been questioned.

Sarah - posted on 09/12/2009

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Careful...BM might throw a stink! ...speaking from my own experience. BM had a huge issue with me even filling out forms for my stepson----hmmm, but she apparently doesn't see any issue with stepdad filling out or signing forms:-o



P.S. I still fill out forms for my stepson, and hubby signs---his handwriting sucks!

Monica - posted on 09/11/2009

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If it is for an emergency contact card, I just put their mom's name where they as for the mother and fill the rest out. If it is a permission slip or something like that I sign it. Never had any problems

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