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What is the difference between guardianship and adoption?

What is the difference between guardianship and adoption?

There are times when circumstances dictate that the care or custody of a child has to be the responsibility of somebody who is not that child’s parents. Often, this person is another family member – a grandparent, an older sibling, an aunt or uncle, and so forth – though sometimes this person is not related to the child. In general, there are two distinct possibilities when custody of a child is transferred away from that child’s parents and to another – Guardianship and Adoption. In an Adoption, a person or a couple takes over all parental rights and responsibilities for a child, replacing that child’s biological parents entirely. Legally, once an adoption has been finalized the child’s adoptive parents are premanently considered the child’s parents, and they are treated exactly as the child’s birth family. Custody, legal decisions, and inheritance are all treated exactly as they would be in any other family, and the court does not supervise or otherwise intervene in an adoptive parent’s relationship with their adopted child – unless there is some evidence of parental wrongdoing, which is handled the same way as it would be handled if the parents were biological. A guardianship, however, can be more complex. Like an adoption, in a guardianship a child is living with an adult who is not their biological parent, but this person is not legally considered a replacement for the child’s parents. Guardians are responsible for the care and well being of the children in their care, and are empowered by the court to make decisions regarding the best interests of the child, but often guardians are...