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  #1  
Old 05-21-2007, 08:03 AM
bug'smom bug'smom is offline
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Legal Custody vs. Adoption

Does anyone know the risks of obtaining Legal Custody of a child versus adoption? What about obtaining legal custody while pursuing adoption?

Can a parent give legal custody to a non-relative and then terminate his or her rights to lead to an adoption?

A little background...we are in the process of possibly gaining custody of either one little girl or the little girl and her sister from people we know. I am just trying to know what my legal rights would be. This isn't an adoption from foster care as children's services is not involved. I am thinking obtaining legal custody might be the place to begin.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-21-2007, 08:35 AM
Eponine Eponine is offline
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This probably isn't much help - DH has a cousin who lives with her girlfriend and the two of them have legal guardianship of the girlfriend's niece.

I don't know all the legal details, but I know them getting guardianship was important to them because the little girl has Cerebral Palsy and they needed guardianship to be able to enroll her in a school with the appropriate services for CP, receive child's social security disability support (otherwise it kept going to the girl's mom), receive other support from the state in regards to getting the little girl a wheelchair, etc.

Probably doesn't really help you in knowing what your rights would be, huh? In this case, the girl's mom doesn't want any contact with the child so they weren't worried about her contesting any decisions they made, etc. Mostly just needed the financial support and to put the girl on the cousin's insurance.
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Old 05-21-2007, 09:05 AM
mom2behappy mom2behappy is offline
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a lil help

Legal custody means the parents retain their rights to the children, meaning you don't get to make all the decisions for the children, custody is also reversable, adoption is final you have all rights as the childrens parents and you therefore get to make all the decisions regarding the children
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Old 05-21-2007, 09:07 AM
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SamIAm2 SamIAm2 is offline
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We have legal guardianship of Natalie. While it gives us full custody of her, it has not eliminated any of the steps for the adoption. We have had to complete the adoption process just like anyone else would have to. The only difference is that we retain custody/legal guardianship throughout the adoption process rather than DCFS having custody, which, I believe, is who would normally have custody between TPR and finalization in FL.
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Old 05-21-2007, 10:07 AM
bug'smom bug'smom is offline
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SamIAm...that sounds like what we would be interested in doing. I would like us to have custody while we pursue adoption. Thanks!
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Old 05-21-2007, 10:13 AM
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fiona-c fiona-c is offline
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Hi bug'smom

It can also be called a direct placement adoption. Our daughter was born in MI and we were in MI at the time of her adoption. The birthmother gave us custody of our daughter until the adoption was finalized. Talk to an adoption lawyer and see what would work best in your state and in your situation.
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Old 05-21-2007, 07:05 PM
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chrisandaaron chrisandaaron is offline
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Be careful

Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2behappy
Legal custody means the parents retain their rights to the children, meaning you don't get to make all the decisions for the children, custody is also reversable, adoption is final you have all rights as the childrens parents and you therefore get to make all the decisions regarding the children

This is my understanding as well. My parents were given "permanant" legal guardianship of my youngest brother and sister many many years ago. However, it was still an issue when they wanted to move (due to a job transfer) and a few other times. Each time my parents had to hire their own attorney and pay the big bucks, while bdad could argue and make any "stipulations/demands" that he wanted. There was also a screw up in the paperwork that prevented them from "adopting" my sibs without their father voluntarily terminating his rights (which he was unwilling to do), even though the judge said he had no chance of having the children returned to him. It really was quite a mess for the entire 16 years that they have had custody (until bdad died). If at all possible I would try to have the bparents volunarily terminate their rights and move straight for adoption (skipping the legal guardian thing- if possible).
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