This can be confusing for a bunch of reasons, because the fact remains
– when you adopt a child, you're
automatically in guardianship of that child. You retain legal and physical rights. You're
in charge. So then what's the difference between a simple 'guardianship'? How does
By law, a guardianship simply sets up a
legal relationship between an adult and a prospective child, and that adult
must not be the child's parent. The same goes for an adoption except
for the fact that a guardianship doesn't actually terminate the legal
relationship between the biological parent and the child in question.
In essence, if you file for legal guardianship of a child, the biological
parent must still be responsible for paying child support, and even visitation.
Even when a biological parent dies without a will, a child of that parent
can have certain inheritance rights by default.
In contract, an adoption changes
everything. It's not only a
legal contract, but a
physical one and an
absolute one. The biological parent no longer has any rights at all to the child.
The parent doesn't even have to pay child support. By law, the supposed
relationship between a parent and child would be completely severed, and
there would be no action taken at all for such a parent to demand any
kind of parenting time or visitation rights. It would be as if the parent
was no longer the child's parent at all. In fact, even the birth certificates
would be revised.
Bear in mind that important difference. It could change the way you look
at simply caring for a child – and being that child's parents.
That's a massive difference.