If you are asked to take over the care of a child in your life, then you may be someone who is looking into guardianship. It might be necessary for a minor to live with you instead of a parent, and in that case, you may be able to become a legal guardian.
Legal guardians take over the responsibilities of parents. You'll be asked to provide the basics for the child in your care, including food, shelter and medical care.
Does becoming a guardian mean you're adopting a child?
Guardianships are not adoptions. Unlike an adoption, which usually requires at least one parent to give up their parental rights to a child, guardianships don't affect parental rights. Instead of ending a parent's rights and responsibilities, the guardianship co-exists with the parents' legal rights.
When should you become a guardian?
If you will be taking care of a child for many months or years, it's usually a good idea to establish guardianship. Without it, you will have a harder time enrolling the child into school, seeking medical care for them or providing for them in other ways. Additionally, once you're a guardian, you will have some say in the child's future as they grow older.
While there are some reasons that people may choose not to take over a role as a guardian, a guardianship is helpful when you want to make sure you have the legal rights of a parent over a minor. Your attorney can talk to you more about guardianship and if it is right for your situation.