CHART: How is guardianship different than adoption or foster care?

The chart below explains the differences between Guardianship, Adoption, and Foster Care.




    A guardianship is awarded when:
    Parents still have parental rights. They can ask for reasonable contact with the child.
    The judge in court can end a guardianship if the parents become able to take care of the child.
    Guardians can be supervised by the court.
    An adoption is awarded when:
    The parents' rights are permanently ended.
    The legal relationship with the adoptive parents is permanent and is exactly the same as a birth family.
    An adopted child inherits from his or her adoptive parents, just as a birth child would.
    Adoptive families are not supervised by the court.
    Foster case happens when:
    The parents’ rights are temporarily transferred to the state but parents may be able to see the child if CPS grants permission.
    A judge can end a foster care placement if CPS determines that the parent(s) can take care of the child or a relative/caregiver gets guardianship or adopts the child.
    Foster parents are completely supervised and licensed by the state.