What is a Child Medical Consent Form?
A Child Medical Consent form, or Child Medical Release Form, is a written document authorizing another adult to make healthcare decisions for a minor child. As a parent or legal guardian, you will likely need other people to care for your minor child at some point. For example, a grandparent, aunt, uncle, nanny, babysitter, or family friend may take care of your kid during an emergency.
This form can be used any time you will be away from your child to authorize the caregiver to obtain medical treatment for your child.
If a parent or legal guardian is not traveling with their kid, the document is often used with a Child Travel Consent Form.
As a reference, people call this form by other names:
- Consent to Treat Minor Children
- Consent for Medical Treatment of a Minor
- Medical Authorization Form for Minor
- Medical Treatment Authorization Form
Basic Elements of a Child Medical Consent Form
- Parents: name and contact information of parent(s) or legal guardian(s)
- Child: name, address, and date of birth for each minor
- Caregiver: name of responsible adult authorized to make decisions for some time
- Medical History: child’s health condition, allergies, prescriptions, and vaccines
- Healthcare Provider: name/number of physician/pediatrician and dentist/orthodontist
- Health Insurance: name/number of insurance, policy/group number, the policyholder
- Signature: signed by the child’s parent or legal guardian
When Is It Needed?
This consent form is commonly used when a parent or legal guardian temporarily entrusts another person to care for their kid.
Medical consent forms are necessary for minors in various situations. These include:
- Granting consent for medical care by another entity or individual (i.e., medical procedures, surgical interventions)
- Temporary care by another individual or group (i.e., educational or extracurricular activities)
- Certain legal proceedings involving minors (i.e., child custody arrangements or adoption)
The reality of life means parents may not be with their children if an emergency occurs. This form allows parents to designate a responsible adult to authorize medical treatment for their kids.
➔ Related: Documents for Minors Traveling
What Will Happen if I Don’t Use a Child Consent Waiver?
When you are not with your kid, a Child Medical Consent form can give you the peace of mind that your son or daughter will receive prompt medical care.
Without this form, the following preventable suffering could occur:
|Consequences Suffered by Parent/Adult||Consequences Suffered by Child|
How To Write a Child Medical Consent Form
Step 1 – Include Basic Child Information
Include the child’s full name, sex, date of birth, age, and address as part of the contact information on the Child Medical Consent Form. The child is authorized by their parent or legal guardian to receive medical treatment when under the care of another person.
Step 2 – Provide Consent Giver Information
This step asks who will give consent and sign the form. If both parents are available, then they should both sign the form. Otherwise, if only one of the parents is available and they are the parent or legal guardian for the child’s medical care, then only one parent’s signature is sufficient.
You must specify the following:
- Name of consenting adult
- Relationship to the child
If the consent giver is a legal guardian and has guardianship papers or a court order, attach them to your Child Medical Consent form. Hospitals may request a court order and can often only proceed with proof of proper legal authority.
Step 3 – Fill in Parent/Legal Guardian Information
The parent or legal guardian is the person who is giving consent for their child to receive medical treatment when they are not present. Include the guardian’s full name and contact information, such as their address and phone number.
Step 4 – Include Caregiver Information
The caregiver is the person who will be authorized to take care of the child in case they need medical treatment. The caregiver can be a family member or friend, a babysitter, or any person temporarily taking care of the child. Provide their name and relationship to the child.
Step 5 – Write Down Emergency Contact Information
Include the contact information for an emergency contact person who can be contacted if a parent or legal guardian cannot be reached when the child is under care.
You can also include an alternative emergency contact if the first one cannot be reached or assist.
Step 6 – Clarify the Medical Treatment
You can choose the range of medical care in your child’s treatment. You may authorize the caregiver to decide specific types of medical care, including routine examinations and checkups, emergency medical treatment, emergency medical transportation, diagnostic imaging (x-rays, CT scans, MRIs), medication administration, or anesthesia-induced surgical procedures.
The start date of the medical authorization and consent should be included in the document, along with information about how long the consent is valid. You can end it on a specific date or when the parent or legal guardian has revoked the authorization.
Step 7 – Provide Health Background
This information can help medical and healthcare professionals make quick and effective diagnoses and decisions. Including as much information as possible, such as the child’s last tetanus shot, whether they have any known medical conditions or allergies, and if any prescription medications are currently being taken is recommended.
Make sure you provide information for the following:
Include the full name and address of the child’s doctor. It will be listed as part of the primary healthcare givers’ contact information on the medical consent form.
Including the primary dentist is optional, although this information may be helpful in some situations.
Preferred Medical Facility
If you do not know or have the information readily accessible, leave it blank and write it in later. Including this as part of your child’s medical treatment preferences is recommended.
You can optionally include health insurance information in the consent form. If you do so, remember to provide the insurance company name, policy/group number, and policyholder’s name.
Step 8 – Sign the document
You can include witness signatures or have the form notarized in front of a notary public when you want to sign the document.
The decision to include witnesses or notary acknowledgment varies by state. Check with your local or state law to ensure the form has the level of credibility to be accepted by medical and healthcare professionals.
In certain states, remote online notarization is allowed; documents executed and notarized remotely and electronically are valid and binding. Check with a local notary to see if they are authorized in your state.
Sample Child Medical Consent Form
Below is a sample child medical consent form which you can download in PDF or Word format.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can consent to medical treatment for a child?
Parents and legal guardians can consent to medical treatment for a child. But sometimes, there are situations where a child may not have a parent or legal guardian present. In such cases, the following persons can give consent:
- Qualified adult relatives – adult relatives who live with the child, such as their sibling, aunt/uncle, or grandparent. A child medical consent form is still required.
- Foster parents – if granted guardianship by the court or given consent by the child’s legal custodians, foster parents can consent to “ordinary” medical treatment. For example, immunizations, physical exams, or X-rays. Foster parents are not allowed to consent to surgical, experimental/controversial treatments or medications for the child.
- Stepparents – A stepparent can consent to medical treatment if they have legally adopted the child or is their legal guardian. Otherwise, they must live with the child and provide a medical consent form.
Do both parents have to consent to medical treatment for a child?
No, both parents don’t have to consent to medical treatment for a child. For married couples, the permission of one parent is enough for the child to receive healthcare. A divorced parent with joint or sole legal custody can also make healthcare decisions on their child’s behalf.
Some joint custody agreements can state that both parents need to consent to medical treatment. If the parents can’t agree, they must take the matter to court and have a judge decide.
Does a child medical consent form need to be notarized?
A child medical consent form needs to be notarized. If you want the document to be legally binding, it should be signed before a notary public, ideally by both parents.
Can grandparents give medical consent?
Yes, grandparents can give medical consent. But only when a parent or legal guardian has authorized them to make healthcare decisions for your child.
The grandparent must present a signed child medical consent form before the child can receive medical care. In an emergency, the document is essential as healthcare professionals will not perform medical procedures until they contact the parent/legal guardian.
You should ensure the grandparent has a completed medical consent form stored in a place they can quickly access. Your child can then receive medical care without delay, and you can avoid unnecessary stress.