Adoption and guardianship fall under the same umbrella, but they are actually quite different. While both are designed to provide safe and healthy care for children, there are details surrounding both that you should familiarize yourself with. In the most basic sense, guardianship establishes a legal relationship between a child and an adult who is not the biological parent. Please keep in mind that guardianship does not change or extinguish a birth parent's legal relationship with the child, but is simply set in motion in order to provide the child with more adequate, safe care. There are numerous instances in which guardianship may come into play, but more on that later.
On the other hand, adoption is a far more permanent and substantial option. When an adoption takes place, the rights and obligations of the biological parents is taken away and the adopting parents take their place. It is important to recognize this distinction, as the adoptive parents will not only become the child's guardian, but the actual legal parent of the minor. The adoptive parents will not only be responsible for the child's well-being, but any future and ongoing obligations of financial and emotional support. We often field questions here at our Oklahoma City adoption law firm about guardianship and adoption, which is why we thought it may be helpful to go over some of the similarities and differences between the two today.
Even though many people mix up the terms guardianship and adoption, in the eyes of the law they are quite different. First, let's talk about guardianship. A guardianship takes place when an adult who is not the child's parent is given a parent's rights as it pertains to the child in question. As mentioned above, a legal guardian will have the same obligations a parent normally would, including providing the child with financial and emotional support, proper schooling, housing, and all other basic necessities that a child needs to live a safe and healthy life. In the case of a guardianship, the birth parent's rights and responsibilities are not surrendered. In many cases the child's birth parents are still present and play a role in their life.
An adoption is a legal process that takes place when a person or persons takes on all rights and responsibilities in caring for and parenting a child. Once an adoption goes through, that person is now the child's parent, and therefore has the right and the responsibility to make choices and care for the minor child. Unlike guardianship, adoption is considered a permanent relationship between the adopting adult and child. The biological parents' rights are terminated once the adoption goes through.
If you are looking for an adoption or a guardianship attorney in Oklahoma City, look no further than Worden Law Firm. We have extensive experience representing individuals in both types of cases and are happy to discuss your specific case with you today. We understand that these terms can be confusing, so if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our Oklahoma City law firm today.