The Difference Between Guardianship and Adoption

If you are a child's legal guardian, it is different than being their adopted parent. While legal guardians typically have rights to decide about a child's educational upbringing, daily life, religion, and more, a guardian is not considered a parent. An adoptive parent, however, has gone through the legal requirements necessary to secure a parent-child bond with the child and will be considered that child's parent in all legal situations.

According to Nolo, a guardianship always concerns an adult who is not the child's parent, and it does not end the child's relationship with his or her biological parents. A child may still have visitation with biological parents or may benefit from their estates in the event of a biological parents' passing. In some cases, biological parents may still be required to support their child, even if that young one is living with another adult.

An adoption terminates the legal relationship between a child and his or her biological parents and gives all financial responsibilities over to the new parents. The adoptive parents will have automatic estate planning implications with their new children, and will be responsible to care for the child. The biological parent that had the child previously will not have any reason to continue paying child support for the child. If a biological parent dies without a will, the child will have no right to inherit.

If you are currently pondering a guardianship or an adoption, then you may want a family attorney on your side. Sometimes adoption procedures can get complicated, especially if a biological relative decides that they want to keep the child. You will want a hardworking lawyer there to help you fight for your right to the child if you decide that you want to seek compensation. With the right Los Angeles family lawyer on your side, there is a greater chance that you can work through any difficulties.