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Designation of Standby Guardian Form

This form allows parents to designate a standby guardian. If a parent becomes unable to care for their child(ren) due to illness (specifically as a result of COVID-19)[1] or an adverse immigration action, the standby guardian shall have temporary authority to act and shall assume the rights, powers, duties, and obligations existing under law between a legal custodian and a child. The designation of a standby guardian does NOT divest the parent of their parental rights. The standby guardianship designation form enables the parent to plan for the future care of a child(ren), without terminating parental or legal rights, and to give the standby guardian the authority to act in a manner consistent with the known wishes of the designating parent regarding the care, custody, and support of the minor child(ren).

Parents can designate a standby guardian, as well as an optional alternate standby guardian, by filing out this form. The form must also be signed by the standby guardian and alternate standby guardian (if applicable).

Word Document: Designation of Standby Guardian Form

PDF: Designation of Standby Guardian Form

NOTE: This form requires the parent’s signature to be witnessed by two people (the standby guardian or alternate standby guardian cannot serve as witnesses). During the current public health emergency, witnesses can be electronically present to observe the parent’s signature. In order to be considered “electronically present” witnesses in a different physical location than the designating parent must be able to observe and communicate with the designator and one as if the witnesses and parent were physically present with one another.

This free form is intended for D.C. residents who do not have lawyers. If you have a lawyer, your lawyer will draft the legal documents you need, tailored to your own specific case.

The information on this website is presented by Children’s Law Center as a service to its clients and the public. Although Children’s Law Center attempts to keep this information current and accurate, it makes no warranty or guarantee that it is correct, complete, or up-to-date.

To access the PDF version of this form, you must have Adobe Reader. To download a free copy, go to

[1] Per modification of the standby guardianship law in the Coronavirus Support Emergency Amendment Act of 2020.