FFA-NC Position Statements
Guardianship Statement: Foster Family Alliance of North Carolina strives to ensure that foster and kinship care families are educated regarding processes that affect them and children in their care. Guardianship vs. adoption is one subject we have identified where parents struggle to understand the meaning and ramifications involved. Below are some facts regarding guardianship vs adoption to help you make informed decisions as well as our position statement regarding this matter.
Gives the foster or kinship parent the responsibility to act as a temporary parent of child/ren.
The foster or kinship parent assumes the responsibility parents would have financially and emotionally, ensuring basic necessities are provided and child/ren are receiving proper education.
Does not necessarily relinquish the rights of the birth parents over the child/ren.
There are many forms of guardianship, some of which still allow birth parents to be involved in decisions.
Usually requires birth parents continued financial support of the child/ren.
Birth parents may be granted visitation rights.
May be revoked at any time if the birth parents show evidence of being able to adequately care for the child/ren and/or the birth parents can prove before the court that the guardian is unfit or unable to care for the child/ren .
Should the birth parent/s attempt to gain custody of the child/ren, the guardian is responsible for obtaining legal counsel and the financial commitment that goes with that.
Permanently relinquishes the rights and responsibilities of biological parents including financial or any say in the care of the child/ren.
Foster or kinship parent assumes all rights and responsibilities of caring for the child/ren.
Birth parents are not given visitation rights, legally. This is now the decision of the adoptive parent/s.
Adoption is permanent and cannot be overturned by the birth parents.
Foster Family Alliance of North Carolina does not view guardianship as being a permanent solution for kids in foster care. Guardianship does not give the child permanency as the birth parents still have rights and can overturn the decision. All cases should be completed for a final decision that is in the best interest of the child/ren. There are a few instances where guardianship would be acceptable. One instance would be if parents’ rights have been terminated and the child/ren are over 14 years old and have made the decision that they do not want to be adopted. In this case, guardianship will help provide stability to the youth, which is our goal as foster parents. Another instance would be child/ren in kinship care. In these cases, there are specific family issues that should be considered when making the decision as well as the facts provided above.
If you or anyone you know is currently facing decisions in regard to guardianship vs. adoption and need support please contact us.
Become a Foster Parent
There are thousands of children in NC in need of a safe and loving family. Click here to learn more about becoming a foster parent in North Carolina.
Foster care is a temporary living arrangement for children who have experienced abuse or neglect, or whose biological families are no longer able to care for them. There are many reasons why families may no longer be able to care for their children, including loss of a job, mental illness, poverty, homelessness, and substance abuse.
Foster families provide these children with a safe and loving home for a temporary period of time.
To become a foster parent in North Carolina, you must:
Be at least 21 years old
Have a stable home and income
Maintain a drug free environment
Be willing to be finger printed and have a criminal records check
Complete all required training and be licensed by the state of North Carolina