October 25th, 2008

US Government attittude to moving minors overseas

Searches used: I wandered around various CPS (and variant) websites, and googled "taking minors overseas", "moving overseas guardians" and a few other options which yielded a bit of info about Visa/Passport applications. I also had a bit of a fish through the tags for the community.

So (and yes, this is for NaNo, why do I do this to myself?). I have an MC, who is in his mid-twenties, has a degree, a respectable job, no history of any kind of illegal activity, etc. He lives in the United States, but the specific state is currently flexible. He has a half-sister who is 15, sharing the same mother (who is deceased). Her father is around, but due to a request in their mother's will, and with her father's blessing (or at least, complete indifference), she lives with him. I would prefer if he was her legal guardian, but I don't know how likely that is, given her father is alive? So my first question is what is the most likely legal arrangement here? Would it be basically formed by what the parties preferred, or would the authorities have a particular arrangement they favoured?

And my second question, which follows on, is this: my MC applies for, and gets, a job in Australia. He, obviously, wants to take his sister with him. Based on the probable options above, what would the hoops needing to be jumped through here? I assume that basically, whoever is her guardian, needs to give permission, but is the process lengthy or complicated? I guess my question is, how difficult is it to move a minor outside the United States, especially if you are not actually their guardian, or share guardianship with their father?

At any stage since his mother died, would my MC be subject to scrutiny by CPS or similar? Like, would he have a case worker? Or, since he's obviously financially and socially unobjectionable, and her father approves the arrangement, would they be largely left alone? I suspect the answer is the latter, but I want to be sure.

Thank you for any help you might be able to give me!