What is the Difference Between Adoption and Guardianship?

What is the Difference Between Adoption and Guardianship?

Adoption creates a legal, parent-child relationship and, in all but stepparent adoptions or second-parent adoptions, terminates the parent-child relationship between the birth parents and the child. In other words, after the court grants an adoption, the adoptive parents become the child’s legal parents and the parental rights of the biological parents come to an end. Guardianship, on the other hand, does not create a parent-child relationship. The guardian assumes responsibility for the child but not parental rights to the child. If a guardianship ends, the birth parents reassume their roles as parents of the child. This highlights another important difference between adoption and guardianship – adoptions are permanent, and guardianships may end. If a birth mother does not feel ready for the responsibilities of parenthood due to circumstances, which she believes will resolve in a relatively short period of time or wants to maintain contact with her child and knows someone who will remain guardian indefinitely, she should opt for guardianship rather than adoption.  However, a birth mother should understand that even if a person says they will serve as guardianship of the child for as long as the birth mother wants, at some point, the guardian may start seeing the child as “their” child, form a deep emotional bond with the child, and be unwilling to voluntarily give the child back. If that should happen, the birth mother would likely have to go to court and prove that the guardianship no longer serves the child’s best interests. That task becomes more difficult the longer the guardianship has lasted. Additionally, the birth mother will need to overcome the fact that she implicitly admitted to her inability to care for her child when she asked for the guardianship in the first place. While guardianship often provides a viable alternative when a birth mother cannot immediately take care of her child, a birth mother should honestly assess her present situation and prospects for the future. If adoption might possibly be in her child’s best interests, she should contact an adoption professional — a national adoption agency, local adoption agency or an experienced, well respected adoption attorney – to find out more about adoption. 

If you would like to explore adoption, we, at Kirsh & Kirsh — or the “Kirsh Boys,” as the adoption attorneys at Kirsh & Kirsh are sometimes called – Steve, and his brothers, Joel and Rob, and his son, Grant, pride themselves on answering questions about adoption and explaining the process without pressure or judgment. 

The four adoption attorneys at Kirsh & Kirsh have over 100 years of combined legal experience arranging adoptions.  Kirsh & Kirsh has been in existence since 1981. As attorneys, we at Kirsh & Kirsh, have very high standards for the prospective adoptive parents we choose to represent. All of our waiting families are carefully screened and thoroughly investigated. We will arrange for you to have contact with the family you choose on your terms, without families trying to reach you at all hours of the day or night. 

Our contact information is below. We will answer your questions and provide the information you seek, without cost or obligation on your part. In other words, talking to us is FREE and does NOT mean you ever have to talk or text with us, again. We can help you in finding an AMAZING, WONDERFUL, adoptive home for your precious baby, whether you live in Kokomo or Indianapolis, Columbus or Bloomington, Clarksville or Evansville, LaPorte or South Bend, Huntington or Ft. Wayne, or any Indiana county or city in between, or ANYWHERE in Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, Michigan, or Illinois.

There is always a family waiting to love your child. We have lots of family options from which you can choose, all of whom are wonderful, carefully screened, loving families, FROM INDIANA AND ALL OVER THE COUNTRY (married, single, Lesbian, and Gay) who cannot wait to welcome a baby into their hearts and homes and are happy to assist with living expenses to the fullest extent allowed by law. You make all the choices about which family adopts your baby and the extent of contacts you want after the child’s birth.

You can call, text and or email us anytime — call: 317-575-5555, text: 800-333-5736, contact us, or Facebook message. We answer our office phone 24 hours a day, every single day. We try to respond to emails and text messages within minutes of receipt.

POSITIVE ADOPTION LANGUAGE DISCLAIMER:  Please understand that these blog posts are written in a way to use language that people use when searching for help with their adoption plans.  Unfortunately, while all of us understand what positive adoption language means, most expectant moms that come to us at first do not understand what that means. The most common search term on the Internet for expectant moms is “how do I give up my baby for adoption”.  If we do not include those words in our blog posts, and instead put “how do I create an adoption plan for my baby” then our website will not show up in most expectant mom’s search results in Google.

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