As long as a child's biological parents are deemed fit to fulfill the responsibilities of providing for their child and are willing to care for the child, they will receive custody. Third parties, however, can be granted custody when those factors are not present.
Third parties who may be granted custody rights are:
Before the court makes a determination of child custody, it will examine various factors that relate to the child's best interests. If custody by a third party is in the best interests of the child, the court will issue an order granting custody.
Other factors that will be assessed include:
As third parties, the people seeking rights to a child may receive limited visitation if they are considered "de facto" parents.
To be considered a "de facto" parent, the third party must be able to prove that: