June 29th, 2012


Guardianship of intellectually disabled adult in Regency England

(Just stumbled upon this community and omg, how fabulous you all are!)

Multi-part question...

Where/When: Regency/late Georgian England

Googled: "regency guardianship" "guardianship history" "regency mental retardation" etc. I've also checked the books I have on regency/georgian life.

Scenario: The character in question has moderate intellectual development delay-- basically, while she is physically an adult, she has the mind of a child.

Question One: The research I've done suggested that the norm in this case would have the character (as a child already) sent to, essentially a madhouse. However, would it have been totally unheard of for the family to keep her? (They have some money and are landed gentry.)

Question Two: I assume her legal guardian is her father until his death. At that point, I assume her closest male relative would be-- in this case, an older brother. (Mother is already dead at this point, too.)If my assumptions are correct, my question is-- is there a way for said older brother to relinquish custody/guardianship to another person (without having died)? Can he and the male (unrelated) who wants to take guardianship go to a solicitor and create a legal document giving guardianship?


EDIT TO ADD: Thanks everyone for the input and feedback. I really just needed some confirmation that what I'd planned will work, and understanding of the alternatives for the sake of completeness. Also, I'll probably have to work around the exchange of guardianship bit (for Plot Reasons) but I can at least make it not anachronistic now. Thanks!!