Adoption and Guardianship: Compare and ContrastAdoption and Guardianship: Compare and Contrast

You may have heard the words adoption and guardianship used interchangeably throughout a conversation. Someone might view themself as being a parent to a child once they’ve obtained guardianship. However, the truth is that being a guardian to a minor and adopting a child are two relatively different things. Perhaps the central difference between these two terms is how they impact the children’s parental relationship.

A child can have guardians and retain their original parents, but an adoption involves the child becoming a part of another family unit. A guardian can be a blood relation, and that might be the role you should look into if someone wants to retain parental rights. Adoption and guardianship law have quite a few differences when you start to look at them closely.

Defining Adoption |

Adoption and Guardianship: Compare and Contrast

To give a short explanation, adopting a child in Minnesota means becoming their parent. It’s not the same as becoming a guardian because children can have guardians and parents while, at the same time, those don’t have to be the same people. As far as anyone is concerned, once the child has been adopted by you, you are their parent for all terms and purposes aside from genetics. An adoption can happen even without the birth parents and adoptive parents meeting. Guardianships, comparatively, tend to happen as a result of the present parent’s consent and potential choosing.

A big thing to note about adoption is that it tends to nullify the birth parent’s rights. If you’re looking to remarry and have your new spouse adopt your offspring, that’s a possibility, and you shouldn’t worry about your rights. Cases which involve termination, however, prevent the birth parents from reclaiming their parental rights. Adoptions are meant to be permanent affairs. So, there might not be much of a chance to turn things around once the adoption is official.

Defining Guardianship of a Minor

Not to be confused with guardianship of an adult, becoming a child’s guardian means that you’re filling in for their parent. That isn’t to suggest that the parents won’t be there, but certain folks want to have backup in case they’re away for a while. The child’s needs become their guardian’s priority when their parents can’t be there. So, when they get hungry or need a place to stay, that may involve their guardian providing those necessities. Guardians, nonetheless, aren’t legal parents. They may have powers and authority like the children’s parents, but the parents are still their real parents.

A guardianship can also be temporary. You aren’t giving up your children if you make someone their guardian, but you are giving someone power to act in your place when you’re unable to help. Keep in mind that someone might use their powers as a guardian while you’re still alive. Say that you go on a trip and leave your kids behind. Even if it’s only for a day, their guardian might assume that it’s their duty to not only protect them, but to look after them. You might even think of it as insurance for parents, but without having to talk to an insurance broker.

The Adoption Process

Not all adoptions are the same, as was suggested previously. You may or may not meet the birth parents. The children might come from another country. What you can expect, nevertheless, is that your home is going to be searched. Those in authority will probably want to ensure that the child’s future home is safe for them. How much you may spend on the adoption, moreover, can also vary depending on the situation. Adopting a child can take months. Remember the birth parents may be forfeiting their rights so that their baby can have a healthier environment for growing.

The seriousness of an adoption extends even into estate planning law. Your adoptive children can lay claim to your property just as any of your biological children can. The parents who gave your adoptive child life, on the other hand, don’t have any responsibility over them once you pass. Their rights have been taken away. On a different note, you must gain the confidence of any social worker that you try working with if you’re looking to obtain parental rights. You want to make the most of the months that you spend with them leading up to the adoption.

The Guardianship Process

Since you aren’t going to legally become the child’s parent once you obtain guardianship, everything is probably going to change on their eighteenth birthday. That’s the day when guardianship ends normally. You don’t have to kick them out of the house, but you may not have to care for them any longer. Talk with their parents, of course, because that may change things. Should their folks be unable to care for the child, you still may have to care for the new adult until the parents say otherwise.

The process to establishing guardianship is, more or less, doing paperwork with the court. You may need to state that you’re interested in becoming the child’s guardian and pay a filing fee. The three parties that might be interviewed during this process are the child in question, the child’s parents, and anyone else who has interests in the child’s affairs. Like adoption, becoming a guardian may also involve having a house inspection. This kid could be living with you for almost two decades, and they’ve got to be treated well.

Minnesota Adoption and Guardianship Lawyers

Choosing adoption or guardianship doesn’t need to be a difficult choice. Yes, there might be emotions. But the central issue might be whether or not someone wants to be a parent in more than just name. That can be broken down into whether or not the parents still want to be a part of the child’s life or if someone wants to help out the family. Further questions can be answered by calling 612-424-0398.

Flanders Law Firm LLC has helped people deal with these kinds of ordeals for some time. Adoption and guardianship law doesn’t need to be a mystery when you’ve got the right team.


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