If you have not gone through the process of adoption of guardianship, then you may not know what the difference is.
A guardianship is a legal relationship between a child and a adult who is not the parent. This legal relationship will not end the relationship that the child already has with their biological parents. The biological parents will still need to provide the child with financial support. The child will still have rights to inheritance even if the biological parents passes away without a will.
A guardianship will usually last until the child reaches the age of 18, the child passes away, the child’s assets are used up , or if a judge determines that the guardianship is no longer necessary.
A guardian ad item is when someone is appointed by court to investigate what would be the best solution for the best interest of the minor involved. A guardian ad item is often a parent, close relative, or attorney.
You do not need guardianship if a child is just living with you for a few weeks or months. If you will be taking care of a child for a longer time period, then you will most likely need a legal guardianship. Without this legal guardianship, you may have trouble registering the child for school, arranging medical care, and obtain benefits on the child’s behalf.
There are several reasons why an adult may not want to be the legal guardian of a child. These may include if the caretaker expects that the parents will not consent to this, if the dynamics between family members may set off a custody battle, or if the caretaker does not want to be scrutinized.
Some individuals will try to raise a child without the proper legal authorization. This will cause problems later on.
An adoption is very different from guardianship because it completely changes the relationship between the child and their biological parents. The adoptive parents are becoming the legal parents of the child. The biological parents of this child are choosing to give up their rights as a parent to the new adoptive parents. This includes the responsibility to pay child support.
To find out more about the process of adoption, check out PLG’s previous blog posts!