Today’s modern family often times mirrors the popular television show. Parents come in all varieties and the overall concern is the best interests of our children. A common greeting among the Masai tribe in Africa is “All the children are well” as a cultural translation to home might be “Life is good.”
You want to ensure that all your children are well, whatever form that is. You may be a new step-parent, you may be in a same-sex marriage, you may be a grandparent concerned about a your grandchildren, perhaps you are currently a foster family or even just a family friend who has been helping your children’s own friends stay with you for a bit.
All of the above people likely have an interest in adoption or at least what sorts of rights they might have to children they care about. It is important to seek a qualified Indiana adoption and guardianship attorney to help you answer these questions.
In some cases seeking adoption is a logical step by one of the adults. Adoption is obtained commonly when a parent has passed away, parental rights were terminated, or consents to the adoption. There are certain instances when consent is not required under the law in Indiana, such as when a parent has not had communication with the child for a certain period of time or has failed to pay child support for a certain period of time. Adoption is permanent. It forever breaks the bonds of one parent and permanently ties the bonds onto a new parent.
In other cases, guardianship may make more sense. Guardianship generally extend through the child turning 18 years of age and are set up primarily to manage the child’s legal and financial needs until they reach the age of adulthood, although in some situations a guardianship length can be less.
Many of us will find ourselves in one of these positions someday, whether it is as a concerned grandparent, new step-parent, or family friend. It is important to consult with an experienced Indiana family law attorney to know your rights and know how to navigate the unique maze of family law courts in our state. Ultimately it is everyone’s goal to make sure all the children are well and an experienced family law attorney will assist you with that determination.
The content of this article is for information purposes only, and neither contains nor should be considered legal advice.
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The role of the Guardian ad-Litem – July 3, 2019