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Guardianship Vs. Adoption – North Dakota Post Adopt Network
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Guardianship Vs. Adoption

By July 29, 2021 Parenting

Jackie, Post Adopt Coordinator tells us some differences you may not know about guardianship and adoption.

Guardianship Vs. Adoption

North Dakota Post Adopt Network serves both adoptive and guardianship families. What is the difference between adoption and guardianship? Throughout this blog post, I will discuss a few differences and similarities between adoption and guardianship.

Within the state of North Dakota, there is two different types of state-funded guardianship: State-Funded Guardianship and IV-E Guardianship. Both of these guardianships are for children who are currently in the North Dakota foster care system. Aside from the state- funded guardianships, there is also “private guardianship” that families can seek for a child, not in foster care.

The biggest difference between adoption and guardianship is there is typically no Termination of Parental Rights, or TPR, granted for a guardianship. Guardianships are considered a temporary arrangement, and the ultimate goal is reunification to a biological parent(s). Overall, a guardianship placement removes decision-making powers from birth parents while still allowing rights and responsibilities to their children. Another difference between guardianship and adoption is that guardianship cases are reviewed in court every 1-3 years, dependent on the judge in your county. This court review is held to review the status of the case to ensure children return to their biological parent(s) in a reasonable amount of time. The court review comes from a change of rules and regulations established within the state of North Dakota in early 2021 regarding guardianships. There is no court review for adoption as an adopted family is granted parental rights at the adoption finalization court hearing.

Some similarities of guardianship and adoption are that the majority of children in guardianship placements experience, to some degree, similar experiences to those who have been adopted, such as different traumas. The second similarity between guardianship and adoption is education. While parents who wish to adopt or foster are required to have a great deal of training and education, guardianship families also must complete training.

For more information on guardianship vs adoption, feel free to look at the Guardianship VS Adoption webinar on our post adopt website, http://www.ndpostadopt.org/, under the Parent Resources Tab and Webinars. At this link, https://guardianship.ndcourts.gov/trainings/minor-guardianship-training/#login, you can find the training course required for guardianship.

This blog post was written by Post Adopt Coordinator, Jaclyn Stroehl, LBSW


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