Michael Jackson

Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

Who will look after Michael Jackson's kids now that he's passed away? Will it be Debbie Rowe? We don't even know who Blanket's mother is.
—Lalagrrl84, via Twitter

As of right now, Jackson family matriarch Katherine is caring for Prince Michael, 12, Paris, 11, and Prince Michael II, also known as "Blanket," age 7. To be clear, Debbie Rowe is the mother of the two older children, but the name of Blanket's mom has never been released.

Family attorney Brian Oxman has indicated the arrangement with Katherine may be made permanent: "Probably Mrs. Jackson will take care of them, she loves them dearly," Oxman told Radar. But if Rowe decides to make a bid for at least the two children she carried, she has quite a case, too...

Although many reports indicate Rowe legally waived her parental rights over the two kids after her divorce from Jackson, that decision actually was reversed by a judge. Eventually Jackson and Rowe reached a specific agreement of their own: Rowe retained parental rights and got a fat check while Jackson retained custody.

Does that mean she can come back and make a bid for the two children? Apparently, yes. (One of her former attorneys just told the AP that Rowe will probably do just that.) But that doesn't necessarily mean she'll win.

"The question is what parental rights did she have and did she exercise them?" New York-based family attorney Daniel Clement tells me. "Did she visit them, did she send them gifts on their birthdays?"

Rowe's past decisions also wouldn't be doing her any favors; the mere fact that she once tried to give up parental rights could certainly hurt her chances, attorneys tell me.

And what of Blanket? What would happen to him if the other two kids went to Rowe?

"The court may not want to separate the child from his siblings," family law attorney Ash Nangia of Nangia & Kazansky tells me. "But at the same time, Rowe is not the mother of that child...My guess is that the grandmother gets all three kids, which is the simplest, and probably most conducive to the best interests of the children."

One final factor: The children would also get a say in where they live; here's hoping they get all the love and support they need.

—Additional reporting by Ashley Fultz

From child star to music icon—reflect on Michael Jackson's life with our collection of photos

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