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Adoption vs. Legal Guardianship

Every child deserved to be loved and have a happy life. Unfortunately, that is not always possible. But adoption and legal guardianship can be used to make sure that a child grows up in a stable, supportive environment.


Fact: Each year, an estimated 135,000 children are adopted in the U.S.

It is not uncommon for biological parents, prospective adoptive parents, and legal guardians to get the two terms – adoption and legal guardianship – confused because the differences between the two terms can be nuanced.

Legal guardianship and adoption can turn into a complicated matter, especially if custody arrangements are involved.


If you intend to assume the role of a legal guardian or are planning to adopt a child, it is advised to consult with a Los Angeles County adoption and legal guardianship attorney. Candace Jones, the Attorney Next Door, will help you navigate the legal issues surrounding your case and provide superb legal representation.



The biggest similarity between adoption and legal guardianship is that both processes provide a stable parent to a child. However, the legal consequences, requirements, and length of these processes are different.

As shown in Candace Jones’ vlog titled “The Difference Between Guardianship & Adoptions,” the differences include:

  • Guardianship is temporary by nature, while adoption is permanent.

  • A guardianship is valid for only up to the child’s age of 18 (when the child reaches the age of majority, the guardianship is automatically terminated), while adoption is very difficult, if not impossible to reverse.

  • In the case of legal guardianship, biological parents can always ask to terminate the guardianship. By contrast, when a child is adopted, he or she becomes part of a new family forever.


In other words, after an adoption, the child’s biological parents cannot reclaim the rights to the child, while biological parents can reclaim custody of the child by terminating the guardianship.




If you are facing the decision, “Legal guardianship or adoption?” you might want to speak with a seasoned attorney to find out which one is right for you and your particular situation.

If you are a struggling parent who thinks legal guardianship or adoption is the best option for your child, you should talk to a Los Angeles County legal guardianship and adoption attorney to choose the most suitable option.


Typically, it is up to the child’s legal parent to choose adoption or guardianship. If you are considering both options, ask yourself the following questions:

  • “Am I looking for a temporary or permanent solution?”

  • “Do I want to be my child’s parent in the near future?”

  • “What kind of relationship do I want to have with my child going forward?”

  • “Am I prepared to pay child support and provide financial support while my child is under legal guardianship?”

  • “Am I okay with the fact that my child will live with someone other than their parent?”


Ultimately, both adoption and legal guardianship can offer your child a stable and healthy environment. But, unfortunately, there is no universal answer to the question, “Adoption or legal guardianship?”

It depends on your situation, which is why you need to speak with Candace Jones, a Los Angeles County adoption and legal guardianship attorney who can help you identify the best option for you and your child.

Call at 661-622-3000 to discuss your situation during a free consultation.

The Difference Between Adoption and Legal Guardianship

Questions to Ask Before Adoption or Legal Guardianship


Contact  Candace Jones to talk about establishing an Adoption or Legal Guardianship. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation by calling at 661-622-3000.

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