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How to Choose Between Adoption or Establishing Guardianship of Your Foster Child

 Posted on March 06, 2019 in Family Law

Oak Park Family Lawyer

Foster parents develop close relationships with the children they bring into their homes. Sometimes the bonds grow so strong they are difficult, if not impossible, to break. If you have been fostering a child (or children) and you are ready to dedicate yourself to raising them permanently, you may be leaning toward adoption. In some cases, however, guardianship may be a more viable choice. 

When to Choose Adoption

Adopting a child means you legally assume the full role of a parent. You will have all the same rights as parents who have had their own children, and you must also take on all the same responsibilities at your own cost. You will be the child’s lifelong parent, and you will need to provide food, shelter, education, medical care, and ensure the child’s needs are met at least until they are 18 years old. In order to be eligible for adoption, a child’s parents must give up their legal parental rights, or they must have their rights revoked in court.

When to Choose Guardianship

When you are granted legal guardianship, it means you are taking on the role of permanent caregiver for the child, but you may still take advantage of assistance from the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) if the child is still in the system. However, it is not necessary for you to be supervised by DCFS. While adoption is for life, guardianship only legally lasts until the child is 18. 

Also unlike adoption, guardianship may be granted without parents’ rights being taken away or given up. Oftentimes, guardianship is the best option for relatives who are willing to raise a child, and it is commonly a choice made by those who have already been caring for a child for six months or more.

Contact a Cook County Guardianship Lawyer

Illinois residents who want to establish a guardianship or adopt a child require skilled legal guidance to ensure adherence to all applicable procedures. Wakenight & Associates, P.C., has a team of experienced family law attorneys who will help you through the process. By contacting a knowledgeable Oak Park adoption attorney, you ensure your adoption or guardianship will go as smoothly as possible. Call 708-480-9651 to set up a free consultation.


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