Adoption and Guardianship

Our Adoption & Guardianship Services

Please schedule a consultation below to learn more about how we can assist with your guardianship or adoption case.

What is Adoption?

Adoption is the process of legally becoming the parent of a child, or sometimes, an adult.

What is Guardianship?

A Guardianship is different than an adoption.  A guardian does not become a legal parent, but they do become the person or persons who can legally make decisions for the “ward” who can be a child or an adult.

Taking on the responsibility of a child or disabled adult is a noble but often overwhelming responsibility, not to mention expensive. Whether you are seeking to adopt your stepchild, gain guardianship of your grandchildren, or are caring for an incapacitated adult family member we are here to make the process simple and affordable. Reinvest that time and money back into the child or individual in your care.

What do you need to know about these legal options?


Are adoptions and guardianships in family court?
Adoptions and Guardianships are not handled in family law court.  They are handled in the same courts that deal with wills.  There are long term effects that make this a different animal than most people think.


When is adoption used?
There are several situations when adoption is appropriate:

  1. When you get married, your new spouse may wish to adopt your child to provide benefits, name, etc.  This can happen either before or after the child turns 18.  It is possible to make that change when the child becomes an adult and is (maybe) out of your house.
  2. If a tragedy happens, a grandparent may be the best person to adopt the child. 


Is an adoption temporary?
No.  Adoptions truly mean that you are the parent forever.  Just like if you had the child at birth. 


Why is a Guardianship different than an adoption?
A guardianship has similar responsibilities but is a totally different animal.  Instead of being the parent, you are responsible for the “ward” and are accountable to the court.


When is a Guardianship used?
Common situations to use are: 

  1. A child with a disability turning 18 years old
  2. An adult with a disability who needs someone to make decisions regarding healthcare, living, expenses.
  3. A relative needing to take care of a child for an extended period of time. 


Is it easy to become a Guardian?
Becoming a guardian is a bit more complex than an adoption and has a long-term involvement long-term court system.

Is a Guardianship permanent?
It can be, but it also can be terminated once a child reaches 18, the parent of the child gets sober, etc.


Can I adopt or become a guardian without having to tell any family members?
No.  Biological parents have to be “notified” in both legal situations – even if they’re not involved with the child.


Do I need a lawyer to get an Adoption or Guardianship?

There is really no requirement to hire an attorney, but there is a reason lawyers go to school to study the law.  When looking at adoptions and guardianships (especially guardianships), there are many legal hurdles involved.  Guardianships also require annual reporting, sometimes bonds and more that an attorney, like us, can help you navigate.

Why should you use My Virtual Lawyer?

My Virtual Lawyer can help in a variety of ways.  Our experienced attorneys can help you navigate the best approach for your situation. There is no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to situations with children.  Whether is mediation, custody agreements, paternity preparation, we are here to help you with a real, affordable legal choice.









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