How is it possible to legally leave a child in Poland when his parent goes to Ukraine (or to another country, for example to work), so that the guardian can legally care for the child?

In such a situation, the most important question is who will be taking care of the child.

A person under the age of 18 may not stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland without adult supervision. There is no such thing as leaving a child alone with custody (the mere fact that the child is left behind will make it impossible to provide actual custody).

This means that a child left unattended will be covered by a system of foster care, such as institutional, for example, a socialization or family facility. Pursuant to Article 112 (1) of the Family and Guardianship Code, the obligation and right to perform ongoing care of a child placed in foster care, bring him up and represent him in these matters, and in particular in the investigation of benefits intended to meet his needs, belong to the foster family who runs a family orphanage or the person managing a care and educational facility, a regional care and therapeutic facility or an intervention pre-adoption center, in the remaining scope, unless the court decides otherwise, the parental authority remains with the parents.

That is, the parent of a child placed in the foster care system will not be able to decide on upbringing, represent the child in current matters and receive benefits for them.

It should be remembered that introducing a child to the foster care system is not difficult, while recovering a child from this system is already a difficult and backbreaking job – you will have to fight for the child and explain yourself before the court, Municipal Social Welfare Center (pol. Miejski Ośrodek Pomocy Społecznej – MOPS) and possibly that the probation officer is a guarantor. proper care for a minor.

The law on assistance to Ukrainian citizens in connection with an armed conflict in the territory of that state introduced the institution of a temporary guardian (Article 25).

Such a guardian will be appointed for children of Ukrainian citizenship who came to Poland after February 24, 2022 and who remain in this territory without the care of an adult responsible for them in accordance with the law in force in Poland. In such a situation, the temporary guardian will be authorized to represent the minor and take care of his person and property. The provisions of the special act do not say anything about depriving a parent of parental authority, therefore it seems that the above-mentioned Art. 112 (1) of the Family and Guardianship Code.

Each situation is, of course, different and requires an individual approach, if there is someone from the family on the territory of Poland who could act as a temporary foster family or temporary guardian, then when preparing the application to the court, you should broadly justify the reasons for leaving the child in the care of other people, so as to show the Court that that leaving the child in Poland is dictated by special circumstances – this may later save us from the hardships and problems with recovering the child, without the supervision of MOPS or the Probation Officer.