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Children deserve to be safe and cared for. It is extremely difficult for family members to see young family members, such as grandchildren, nieces, nephew and others in unsafe, inappropriate or unhealthy environments.

The Children’s Law Center LLLC help clients obtain guardianship of their relative children. In these circumstance parents are “unable or “unwilling” to provide safe homes for their children because of drug or alcohol issues, because they are very young and in need of care themselves, or because of health issues that make it impossible for them to parent on a full time basis.

Guardianships can happen with the consent of the legal parents (consent Guardianship) or without the consent of the child’s parents (non-consent Guardianship). A ‘consent’ Guardianship is a relatively simple process that includes a moderate amount of paperwork and a one-time hearing at Family Court. A non-consent Guardianship usually requires significantly more time spent at Family Court, and may include a trial.

Call us for a brief, free consultation to regarding various options for ensuring the safety and well-being of the child you are caring for or would like to care for.


The Children’s Law Center helps clients to navigate the complex paperwork requirements associated with adopting a child.

What is the difference between an Adoption and a Guardianship?

When you adopt a child, the parental rights of the biological parents are terminated. If you are a step parent adopting your stepchild, the parental rights of your spouse are not terminated, but the parental rights of the other parent are terminated.

  • An adoption is permanent. Once an adoption is finalized, the adopting parent(s) become the permanent legal parent(s) of the child, as though they were biological parents.. You will get a new birth certificate naming you (or you and your spouse) as the parent(s) of the child. 
  • You cannot terminate an adoption. For instance, if you are adopting your grandchild because your son or daughter is, “not ready” to care for their child, you cannot later terminate the adoption when you feel that your son or daughter is ready to parent. If you are hopeful that the child’s parent will someday be ready and capable of parenting their child, a guardianship may be a better option.

When you take guardianship of a child, the parental rights of the child’s parents are “suspended” by the Court. The Guardian or Co-Guardians “step into the shoes” of the parents.

  • A Guardianship is terminated when the child turns 18, gets married, or by “further order of the Court.”
  • The Guardian of the child may ask permission from the Court to resign as Guardian or the child’s parents may ask the Court to terminate the Guardianship.

Obtaining Guardianship of a child or children who you believe needs a safe and nurturing environment is an admirable and important goal. The Children’s Law Center is committed to helping family members through the process of Guardianship so that children who are in unsafe or unstable households can live in nurturing homes.

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