Guardianships and Adoptions

Guardianships and adoptions are processes where a non-parent individual is permitted to take care of a child on a long-term basis.  While one gives an individual the responsibility to act as a temporary parent of a child, the other permanently terminates the rights and the responsibilities of a child’s biological parents.  It is important to understand these differences if considering either one of these legal processes.

A legal guardianship occurs when an individual who is not a parent of the child is granted the rights of a parent in regard to that child (or sometimes adult).  A legal guardian will assume all of the responsibilities that a parent would have, such as providing financial and emotional support for the child.  They provide the child with the basic necessities required to survive, and ensure that the child is receiving a proper education.

A legal guardian will also receive new rights, through which they can make decisions that will affect the child’s life.  For example, a guardian will have the right to consent to medical treatment for the child.  Although a guardianship provides an individual other than the parent of the child the rights and the responsibilities of raising the child, it does not necessarily relinquish the birth parent’s rights over that child.  On the other hand, an adoption is quite different.

An adoption is the legal process by which an individual assumes all of the rights and responsibilities that are involved with parenting and caring for a child.  During an adoption, the biological parents of the child lose all of the rights and responsibilities that they had to that child.  Legally, the tie between the child and their biological parents is severed.

The Aranda Law Firm specialized in navigating these complex legal processes with clients, who often have questions such as these when considering each of these actions:

  • Can I designate a legal guardian for my child?
  • How long does it take to make someone a guardian?
  • Can I become my child’s legal guardian once it has been revoked?
  • How long does an adoption take?
  • What are the qualifications to adopt?
  • How can I adopt my relative’s child?

There is a great deal that goes into the adoption and guardianship process, and at the Aranda Law Firm, we can walk you through the entire process.