Life can present a variety of unexpected circumstances that can change your life in a multitude of capacities. Family members may voluntarily or involuntarily no longer be able to care for their children, grandparents may wish to legally adopt the grandchild they already care for, parents may pass away and children are left to be cared for by others, and many more scenarios can unfold. Whether situations arise suddenly or slowly evolve over time, expectedly or unexpectedly, a child’s best interest is at stake and should be the focal point when deciding how to create a care plan on their behalf.
In Kansas, both adoption and guardianship options are available to provide legal care for a child. Depending on the details of the circumstance and the subjective needs of the child, one option may be more appropriate and beneficial than the other. Although many people use the two terms synonymously, they are actually very different and should be recognized as such. Adequately educating yourself on each type of care will help you make an informed decision that best suits the needs of the child in the short and long term. The key distinction being the permanency one provides and the temporary custody and ability to care for the child the other offers.
The Differences Between Guardianship and Adoption in Kansas
A legal guardianship is granted when one adult who is not the parent of the child obtains rights and legal responsibilities to care for the child. Conversely, an adoption permanently and legally places an adult in the position as the child’s legal parent. While a guardianship can be established in a limited or temporary capacity, an adoption is permanent and cannot be reversed or terminated.
Both forms of care require an adult to care for the child’s education, medical needs, safety and stability, and their overall well-being. However, a guardianship only requires those needs to be met for the duration of the guardianship and an adoption requires that they are met as long as the child is a minor and maybe even beyond that.
An adoption also requires that the biological parents terminate their parental rights and offer consent to the child’s adoption. On the other hand, a guardianship may or may not require the parents’ consent and the judge may use his or her discretion to establish the appointment beyond the parents’ wishes.
Kansas Guardianship Attorney Tom McDowell Can Answer Your Questions Today
Knowing the level of care and the available options for a child in need can be challenging. Kansas Guardianship Lawyer Tom McDowell has successfully helped families and loved ones find the appropriate legal child care for over 40 years, and he looks forward to helping your family as well. He understands the questions and concerns you may have and looks forward to helping you establish the guardianship or adoption your family deserves. Call McDowell Chartered Legal Services today at (316) 633-4322 to see how we can help you and your family.