Why N.Y. Gov. Cuomo is not the guardian of your child in New Jersey
N.J. Gov.-elect Phil Murphy on Tuesday rejected calls to appoint a new guardian of his 6-year-old son in a state where the governor-elect has no legal obligation to step in when his son’s mother suffers from severe mental illness.
In a statement, Murphy said his position on guardianship is “not a question of my son, but of the child’s mother.”
Murphy said he and his wife are “not guardians of any children and that the responsibility of that position rests with the mother, who is also a caregiver to my son.
The state’s Department of Health and Human Services, however, is a guardian of the mother’s guardianship rights.
The statement followed a heated debate over the issue between Murphy and Republican state Sen. James Risch. “
My decision does not mean I am willing to allow any legal action to be taken against the mother to get at the issue,” Murphy said in a statement.
The statement followed a heated debate over the issue between Murphy and Republican state Sen. James Risch.
The son, who has been in and out of hospitals, has been placed with a family member in New Mexico and is now in his home state.
The senator was among the lawmakers who questioned Murphy’s decision, arguing the mother has the right to determine who will take care of her son, not the governor.
Murphy on Monday announced his intention to appoint an independent guardian for his son, according to a news release.
The New York Times first reported the story.
In response to the New York State Department of Children and Families, which oversees guardianship, the New Jersey attorney general’s office released a statement Tuesday saying it had received the letter from Murphy.
The letter says the office is reviewing the governor’s action, and if necessary, will seek further legal guidance.
The office said it would seek a court order to place the child in an independent care arrangement.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.