How to become a temporary guardian of a child from Ukraine without parents?

If a child who came from Ukraine does not have parents or other legal guardians in Poland, apply for the appointment of a temporary guardian for him or her.

The temporary guardian represents the child before courts and authorities, takes care of the child and its property (Article 25 of the Act of March 12, 2022 on assistance to Ukrainian citizens in connection with an armed conflict in the territory of that country).

A guardian may be a child’s relatives or other persons who guarantee the proper performance of the guardian’s duties. There are no requirements regarding citizenship, knowledge of Polish or Polish law. Both Polish and Ukrainian citizens can become a child’s guardian. One temporary guardian can be appointed for several children, if there is no conflict between their interests, and for siblings it should be one guardian. It should be remembered that the guardian does not have the same broad powers as the parent. Although he is responsible for the day-to-day care of and represents the child, he can only make decisions about everyday matters. In order to make a more important decision regarding the child (e.g. having the child undergo surgery, leaving the country), he or she must obtain the permission of the guardianship court.

Proceedings for the appointment of a temporary guardian may be initiated upon request or ex officio. The catalog of entities authorized to initiate this procedure can be found in Art. 25 sec. 11 special act. However, if you know about a child from Ukraine who is staying in Poland without care and no temporary guardian has been appointed for him, you can inform the competent court of guardians about it. The court should then initiate appropriate proceedings ex officio.

Proceedings for the appointment of a temporary guardian are conducted by the guardianship court appropriate for the child’s whereabouts. If, for example, the child is in Warsaw, an application for the appointment of a temporary guardian should be submitted to the District Court, which covers the given district.

In these proceedings, no fees are paid and the expenses are borne by the State Treasury. The court examines the case immediately, not later than within 3 days from the date of receipt of the application by the court or obtaining information about the need to appoint a temporary guardian. The court conducts the hearing, hears the candidate for the temporary and de facto guardian, and the child, if the child’s maturity level allows it. Sometimes, in particularly justified cases, the court may rely on the submitted documents and hear the case in closed session.

The decision on the appointment of a temporary guardian is enforceable upon announcement or release. It is delivered to participants in the procedure, the competent social welfare unit, the poviat family assistance center and the Commander-in-Chief of the Border Guard.

Supervision over the implementation of the rights and obligations of a temporary guardian is exercised by a social welfare center or a social service center and a poviat family support center.

A temporary guardian who looks after more than 15 children, may submit an application to the poviat family support center to employ a person to help. The poviat family support center provides legal, organizational and psychological assistance to all temporary guardians and minors staying under their care.

Attached are the templates of both applications to be completed and submitted to the court: