In both guardianship and adoption, a legal relationship is created to enable a person appointed by the court to take care of a minor child. The guardian or adoptive parent has both physical and legal custody of the child, which includes the physical care of the child and the right and responsibility to make educational, religious, medical and other decisions regarding the child's upbringing. Guardianship or adoption may be necessary if the parents are unwilling or unable to care for their child.
Beyond the similarity of purpose, guardianship and adoption are very different, as shown in this summary:
If a family friend or relative decides to care for the child without the benefit of guardianship or adoption, he or she may find some aspects of care giving to be challenging without legal authority. The Minnesota Judicial Branch has a wealth of materials available online for individuals interested in becoming guardiansor adoptive parents to children in the state.
For advice and representation from a skilled lawyer regarding guardianship, adoption and non-parental care giving, contact Hess & Jendro Law Office, P.A. to schedule a free consultation.