What is the difference between a guardianship and an adoption? Well, there are completely different procedures involved. Let’s talk about an adoption. An adoption usually involves a minor child and that means whenever you adopt someone, that they become like your natural born child and you have to give notice to the natural parents or get their consent, as far as that’s concerned. There is basically a boorish child services that provide a range for adoptions particularly when the parental rights had been terminated through a court proceeding.
An adoption is where you cut off all the rights of the natural person or natural parents and then the child becomes like the natural children of whoever the people are or the persons who adopt them. They no longer inherit or have a right to inherit from their natural parents. Their natural parents have no right whatsoever. All their parental rights have been terminated. That doesn’t mean that the adopting parents may not in particularly if they know about it or if it’s a family adoption that they may not still keep them, let them see their natural born child or contact, but that’s done on a case by case basis. That’s where you completely terminate the parental rights of someone.
Turning to a guardianship, in a guardianship, just breakdown the word as far as guard or guardian, that means someone that’s put in the position to protect a particular person. Guardianship’s can be for minors, since they are not of age and don’t have the ability to contract, particularly if the minor has inherited a lot of money or has received a lot of money.
The guardian, number one doesn’t adopt this person and then become their child, but they are charged with possibly making decisions as far as what they call a ward or the person who is subject to the guardianship and make decisions about their welfare. You know, what kind of medical treatment and make decisions if it’s a child, as far as schooling, [inaudible 02:48], and basically raising the child. If it’s an elderly person, as far as where they would stay, whether they need to be have assisted living, whether they need to be in a skilled nursing facility. You have the guardian of the person who makes those decisions.
As with the minor, you also have the guarding of property. The guarding of property is a person who’s responsible for the money that the minor is … If you have a minor who has money or if you have an older person who has become incapacitated, they are charged with taking care of that persons money. They must have an accounting. Guardianship’s are supervised by the court, so that you have to prepare an annual accounting. With older folks, you have to file a plan as far as where they’re going to be. You have to have all the expenses and everything else approved by the court. It’s not an inexpensive proceeding and it’s usually followed by an incompetency proceeding.
A guardianship has to do with taking care of somebody, both as the guardian of the person and also as the guardian of the property, taking care of their money and accounting for it, and using it for the person or who’s called the ward. Usually requires they bond so that if you don’t use it, they have someone to look to. Guardianship’s and adoptions are completely different procedures. The adoptions are usually with minor children whenever the parental rights have been discontinued or there’s some family matter where they want to have the child be adopted by some other member of the family.
If you have any questions, we don’t handle adoptions here, however, we do handle guardianship’s. If you have some questions about guardianship’s, you can give us a call. It’s 727-847-2288.