In Most Cases, Who Is (Are) The Usual And Appropriate Surrogate Decision Maker(S) For A Newborn?

When it comes to newborns, parents are usually the people who make decisions for them. In situations where the parents cannot make decisions due to illness, death, or other reasons, surrogates may be called upon to make decisions instead. In most cases, who is (are) the appropriate surrogate decision maker(s) for a newborn?

Legal Guardianship

The most appropriate surrogate decision maker for a newborn is usually the legal guardian appointed by a court. This is often the parents, but could also be a relative or other trusted adult. In some cases, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem, which is a lawyer appointed for the purpose of representing the child’s best interests.

Medical Decisions

When it comes to medical decisions, the surrogate decision makers for a newborn may vary based on the situation. Generally, the parents of the newborn will be able to make medical decisions when they are healthy and capable. In cases where the parents are not able to make decisions due to illness or death, a guardian may be appointed by a court. This guardian would be responsible for making medical decisions for the newborn.

Alternative Options

In cases where the parents or legal guardian are not available, or when the parents have named another individual to make decisions for their child, there are other options available. A trusted family member or friend may be appointed by a court as a surrogate decision maker, as well as a public or private agency. For example, in some states, a hospital or health department can appoint a surrogate decision maker for a newborn in cases where the parents cannot be located or have not designated a representative.

No matter who is appointed as a surrogate decision maker for a newborn, it is important to remember that their decisions should always consider the best interests of the child. It is also important to consider the wishes and values of the parents, if they are able.

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