Guardianship vs Adoption

Within adoption reform movements, guardianship is seen as a better alternative for the potential adoptee than the formal process of adoption as it has been practiced over decades.

Guardianship preserves the identity of the child and gives the parents an opportunity to make changes and get any help they might need to be in a better position to parent the child.

What is needed is a complete restructuring of the system (and of the public’s understanding of the system) to get people thinking in a new way.  For many years, the public has been encouraged to think of foster care=temporary and adoption=permanent.

It has been difficult to get couples to accept guardianship. This alternative means the child doesn’t feel like it’s fully theirs. So many prospective adopters want an “all in” method and to them adoption finalizes the transfer of a child from one parent set to another, making that child “theirs”.

Guardianship may feel as though it puts the hopeful adoptive couple in a worrisome space of fulfilling a “temporary” role.  Not what many of them are seeking when they chose to adopt.

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