So you're conceived and it's not a good thing. People are freaking out, what are they gonna do? I can picture an entire scenario, worrying about being pregnant and then finding out one is. There are other reasons parents and babies are separated but my guess is for the most part, it's an unplanned, unexpected, and unwanted pregnancy.

So anyway, back to you, you who have been conceived without intent. The people who conceived you do not raise you and you go live with someone else. These people may or may not have other children, in any case, you are raised by them as a ward, they are your guardians. Not mom and dad, just, oh I don't know, Mr and Mrs maybe. Perhaps you are on a first name basis. It's obviously better this way because if some day you meet your mom and dad, it will make them feel better to know you hadn't ever called anyone else mom or dad, had no familial feelings toward anyone else.

It wouldn't be that big of a deal at parent days, or Christmas. It would help with those nasty family tree days at school. You wouldn't be expected to fill in your guardian's roots, you could fill in those of your mom and dad who you don't know or know very well. It may be a small tree with only two branches, but so what? Charlie Brown had an ugly, spindly little tree and he was still able to understand the true meaning of Christmas.

If your guardians had other children that were allowed to refer to your guardians as mom and dad, well, could make it awkward for you but it would be worth it. Your real mom and dad would be sleeping easier at night just knowing you weren't diminishing their role in your life. You wouldn't be going around pretending you actually knew your parents as that would be terribly unhealthy, fog inducing, fake. Unnatural.

I know by now you're only 5 or 8 or 10 years old but there really is no need at all to have a life long legal bond to these guardians who act like parents. You already have a heritage. It would not be good for you to think of the people you actually know as mom and dad.

What's that? You feel like your guardians are mom and dad? Hmm I was afraid of this happening. I wonder what should be done now. We could always move you somewhere else, perhaps it was a mistake finding you a permanent home in the first place. Now what? You don't want to move somewhere else? But we can't have you actually bonding with people who aren't blood related, you already got to bond with someone. Only one bond per person allowed in this life.

Now give me those Christmas stockings you made that say Mom and Dad in glitter. Yes, they are very pretty. We'll put them away for you until you meet your real mom and dad. When? Hard to say.

Maybe when you're 47?


  1. How about never??!!

    It's a possibility for some kids.

    I know what thread you are referring to and the benefits of such an arrangement still elude me. I also know that if we were to think creatively about older-child adoption or caring for teens who have lost family in one global crisis or another and need to be housed, educated, supported--and yes, loved for a period of time--guardianhips might be something to consider. (At age 13+, who ya call mom and pops is your business.)

    But for children effectively cut off from family, on the first day of school, in the hospital, at graduation, during the death of a loved one. . . calling the invisibles *parents* and calling the people you wake up with every day Mr. and Mrs. Guardian satisfies little else except somebody's "Because I say so." In reviewing my daughter's life and applying this dictum, it's a head-shaker.

  2. I think those who promote permanent guardianship, rather than adoption, are not trying to rob children of the experience of having a mom and dad whom they call "mom" and "dad."

    It's more an afront to the cutting of all legal ties, including the right to know whom one's Original Family is, as is the way adoption currently runs. Right now, adoption is the opposite of what you've described. The Original Parents are no longer parents any more. The adoptee is grafted into the Adoptive Family "as if born to," often with no recognized ties or rights to their original identities or original family.

    That just doesn't work for me either. I think it's best to meet somewhere in the middle. Because, indeed, it's best to allow someone to think and feel on their own. How can they do so if things are the way they are now and they have no access to their roots, or, if we went the other way and gave them an unequal presence in their Adoptive Families?

    I dislike it as well when people tell others "so and so isn't your real mom," either because (1) you're not biologically related so they're not technically "mom" and "dad" just caregivers, or (2) because those who give care are the "real" parents and biology means nothing so the biological parents aren't allowed to be "real." None of those things, like you said, allow people to think and feel on their own. I do tell people, I have three "real" parents. Being biologically related to the man that fathered me will never urge me to call him "father." Determining those things is up to me :-)

  3. "I think those who promote permanent guardianship, rather than adoption, are not trying to rob children of the experience of having a mom and dad whom they call 'mom' and 'dad.'"

    Um, I think that's exactly what it's about for certain hard liners unable to acknowledge adoptive parents as parents. But like I say, it could have its place and perhaps has not been considered sufficiently.

  4. Permanent guardianship is just cruel. It's basically what I had as a child and now 20-something years later, I am still left trying to figure out who I am, where I belong, why no one ever wanted me, and why I wasn't good enough to for a family. It's so unbelievably damaging and it will stay with me for life because no matter how old I get, I still just want a family. I still just want a mom.

    I wouldn't wish that kind of life for any child, ever. ALL children deserve a family, biological or not. All children deserve roots, love, stability and just to feel like they belong somewhere. Who cares about the feelings of the "real" mom and dad. It takes a whole lot more than biology to be a real parent. In my eyes, adopted parents ARE the real parents.

    I understand the anger of adopted children, I really do, but at the same time I'm so angry that they don't appreciate what they had/have. It could have been so much worse. I would have given anything to have been given up and adopted at birth--to almost any family.

    Children deserve better.

  5. Hehehe....who's it all about? Why, the natural parents of course, so they retain their title, which is worth the paper it is printed on, and the sole right to be Mom and Dad. That's what really matters, isn't it? Too bad what the kid might want or need. Once again it is all about the adults, either obliterating heritage as the proponents of sealed closed adoption do, or obliterating emotional ties to those who raise the child, as the hard-core guardianship promoters would like to do.

    Amanda, they DO say it is about who is called Mom and Dad, and one recently stated on another blog that being a ward rather than adoptee would eliminate the need to call anyone but biological parents Mom and Dad. You could keep the adoptee's original name, have a fully open adoption and relationship with birth parents and other family members, keep contact with the child's ethnic heritage, and that still would not satisfy the anti-adoption contingent. Their first priority is to eliminate adoption altogether. Once that is done, everything will be perfect. I do not think they believe kids would really need care by anyone other than relatives in their perfect world, and that their convoluted guardianship option would not really be used, so it does not have to work or make sense.

    They cite historical precedence for children raised as wards by guardians, related or not, but in reality a lot of those children were not loved, not treated well, and were indeed second class in the homes where they lived.

    And just because their names were not changed, if there was a legal agreement they were just as much owned by their guardians as adoptees are by their adoptive parents. They were not free agents until they were adults, if there were money left in trust for them. If they were poor and had no inheritance they often were little more than indentured servants.

    No, adoption does not guarantee a loving family, and some adoptive families are abusive and unfit. But so were some of the guardians in the past. All was not rosy because there was no legal adoption. In fact one of the reasons legal adoption did start was to correct the abuses of wards and informally farmed-out children in earlier times.

    The whole guardianship thing is a smokescreen for eliminating all adoption, and for never fully terminating parental rights for any reason. It is about the natural parents, not the children as human beings, no more than sealed records are really about the children.

  6. I do not doubt anything you've said Maryanne or O Solo Mama, I just haven't read very much of it. For me fixing adoption doesn't mean we have to get rid of it. The most recent things I've read about guardianship were from adoptees. I know there are First Moms who promote it too, I just have not read a whole lot about it.

    When it comes to labels, the diversity of so many adoptee's stories has lead me to conclude it should just be up to the individual adoptee and their families as to who means what to them. What I think makes a "real parent" doesn't fit a lot of the lives of the adoptees I know. And vice versa.

    Campbell B. I am very sorry for all you went through. You are absolutely right, children deserve better. I personally don't like the broken adoption system but it is not because I do not appreciate what I have. Some people's problems may be small compared to mine. My problems may be small when compared to someone else's. I think any one who has an issue or sees a problem should talk about it. I would not want someone else to think that talking about what I think is wrong in adoption means I am intending to be insensitive to those who could have benefited from being adopted :-)

  7. ps. I don't think I know of the thread you were referring to, so that may be part of my misunderstanding here.

  8. I completely agree that is should be up to the adoptee what they call any of their parents, and what kind of relationship they want or are able to have with them. Everyone's experience is unique. Our current adoption system is very broken and a lot of people have suffered and are suffering. I do not believe that abolishing adoption or replacing all adoption with guardianship is the answer. Child welfare needs to be much more sensitive to the needs of individual children, and fit the solution to the person and situation. Grand ideological statements do not take into account the variety of human experience and needs.

  9. Amanda -

  10. Ok, I see what you are referring to. Thanks for posting that. I hadn't had a chance to read their newest post yet.

  11. Thanks for this post, Campbell.

    It seems to me that both the anti-reform and anti-adoption extremists in a way have the same issues:

    1.) Viewing children more as playing pieces to tabulate who is the winner than as real people with their own feelings and needs independent of those of (either set of) parents.

    2.) Assuming that the parenthood (usually motherhood) of one party can only be validated by utterly negating the parenthood of another party. Often with heavy protest at the injustice when they are treated the same way they treat the other.

    I'm not against guardianship, and I think it's one appropriate (and underutilized) permanency option for some children. I think it should be seriously considered in more cases than it currently is. It makes a lot of sense when kids are able to have a meaningful ongoing relationship with their parents but can't live with them, or have a strong ongoing attachment, or for any other reason don't want to have their family ties legally severed.

    However, I think it's NOT a good solution for children who aren't able to have ongoing contact or who for any other reason want to be adopted into the family raising them. Those children exist, particularly in the foster system, and they need an option that serves them too.

    Basically, guardianship should be available to preserve ties where appropriate and healthy, but should not be applied so indiscriminately that it leaves some children without ANY permanent ties or right to legal family.

    For the sake of context, one of the people currently taking part in the First Mother Forum discussion that was linked here has previously stated outright on the Bastardette Blog (commenting on the entry about the tragic death of Chase Harrison) that if she said that ANY adoption was okay, it would be the same as saying that the coerced adoption of her own child was right. When one thinks that the lives and futures of thousands of other people are really about oneself, suggesting a one-size-fits-all solution doesn't seem that off the wall.


  12. Great comments peoples, thanks.

    Thinking about guardianship, when it came to an extremely open adoption seems like it could be a good idea, in fact, makes it easier for me to imagine open adoption period. In that case I could see the kids making up their own mind what to "call" their care and non care giving parents, what they feel inside is private and their own bloody business.

    Thinking about it from my particular circumstance, closed adoption at birth (or thereabouts),it would seem cruel and weird, self involved. If my adoptive parents had turned out to be monsters, I'd not have been calling them mom and dad anyway and I have yet to have a "motherly" emotion from my bio mom although she really seems nice and I communicate with her every 3/4 days for 2 months now.

    It's these extremes and myths that get me crazy. One-size-fits-all solutions come across as fearful really. Fearful of any kind of compromise lest it give an impression of weakness in the anti-adoption or family preservation stance.

    To avow no child should be adopted is selfish, stubborn, and devoid of compassion or care for children and to say they shouldn't be calling anyone mom or dad but the biological parents is the ultimate in self importance.

  13. Anon wrote:"When one thinks that the lives and futures of thousands of other people are really about oneself, suggesting a one-size-fits-all solution doesn't seem that off the wall."

    Agreeing with Anon. Nobody should generalize their own situation to encompass "All adoptions" nor assume that a remedy that would have worked for them 40 years ago is appropriate for all. My surrender should not have happened, and my son did not get very good parents. I was a middle-class college student who could have brought my child home had my parents pitched in. That is not the case for all adoptions, especially today.

    I am not against guardianship either, or short-term foster care, or open adoption that stays open,or placement with relatives, or exploring family preservation as the first option for crisis pregnancy. I am against sealed records, and secrets and lies in adoption. There should be more sensitivity and options around keeping first names, keeping connections with safe relatives, etc. But I would not call myself a family preservationist as some do, because I do not believe all families can or should be preserved. Sad but true.

    There is a difference between infant adoption and adoption of older children in that the child old enough to be aware should be an active participant in the plan for their life, never have a first name they know changed unless they want that, and have some say about keeping connection with siblings etc.

    Most adoptions like mine should not happen, it should never get to that point, which would eliminate a whole group of concerned, loving capable (with a little help) mothers from ever becoming birthmothers. Coerced surrenders should not happen. In a truly necessary adoption the mother may just not want the child, and not want involvement in his life, in which case she should still be identified and provide information. Or the mother and family may be unfit, and unsafe for the child, or just missing as in many international adoptions, which is not a good thing, but happens.

    Adoption should always be child-centered, and the child should never be seen as an object for adults to fight over, but as a separate human being with rights and needs of his own. It is much more complex than anybody's one size fits all, either from adoption promoters or anti-adoption activists.

  14. Some of the more insistent anti-adopt first parents wish for every adoptee to wake up one morning, look over at the AP and scream, “LYING IMPOSTER!” They see it as an epiphany of sorts, proving that adoption at its core is fraud. It never occurs to them that the deep need to meet and know one's kin can co-exist with deep (and loving) feelings towards the people who raised you. People who have noted the similarity with the hard-core “We should be enough for you” position of some adoptive parents who freak out at the mere suggestion of searching are spot on.

    Another issue on the other thread I took exception to but did not raise was the right of f-parents to see the amended birth certificate and to know who raised their children. I think this distracts from the primary political goal, the restoration of birth certificates to adoptees. Access to the birth certificate is the fundamental right of any citizen. A first parent's “right” to see the amended birth certificate is not the same kind of right and positioning the two things as some kind of equal access is a bad move IMO. The public is already confused.

  15. Interesting and thought-provoking post Campbell. I think that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution as far as adoption is concerned. I do think that ALL children deserve to have a family and my heart breaks for kids like Campbell B. I think both ends of the adoption "spectrum" - both the stauch anti-adoption camp and the clueless adoptive parents who think it is God's will for them to raise someone else's biological child are not usually putting the child first.

    Adoption is what is best in some circumstances, guardianship may be best for others (I'm thinking older kids here) and of course help for first families so they can raise their children is best in many situations as well.

    But first and foremost I think all kids should have a place they call home, parents who are PARENTS (with all the rights and responsibilities that entails), and a safe place to land.

  16. I agree with Osolo that mother's access to the amended BC is not the same issue as adoptee access to their own original BC. It is not "equal access" as some say, but apples and oranges. The OBC belongs to the adoptee, not to either set of parents. The adoptee as a minor child, usually an infant, had no say in being adopted at the time. Surrendering parents may have had little choice, may have been coerced, but that is not true of 100% of cases. Some were involuntary terminations for abuse and neglect. Since all rights to the child were given up, the case for birthparent access to the amended BC is much more complex and murky than adoptee access to their OBC. It is a much more difficult case to make, and does confuse the issue.

  17. "Some of the more insistent anti-adopt first parents wish for every adoptee to wake up one morning, look over at the AP and scream, “LYING IMPOSTER!”"

    This made me laugh. Hard.

    That's all I wanted to comment on. :P

  18. Maryanne, I have a question for you.

    You've written that you don't claim to call yourself "family preservation" because some families should not be supported (ie. abusive families), and I would agree.

    The question I have to ask is: Why does the label "family preservation" *have* to include abusive families? Perhaps I am not wording this correctly - but I think it is safe to assume many people in their right minds would not want an abusive mother to remain with her child.

    Why is it not considered "common sense" for the label "family preservation" to cover families which would *not* harm the child? families who would love and care for their children if they had the means to do so?

    In other words, why is it assumed "family preservation" means "all abusive/neglectful families should always stay together no matter what"?

  19. I saw your post yesterday morning, and I was like… huh? What’s up with Campbell? Then today when someone reposted the post you were commenting on I totally got where you were coming from.

    The post it self I thought was good, honestly. But some of the comments that left me shaking my head.

    There is a big difference in having no choice and FEELING like you have no choice. HUGE! The woman who gave birth to my recently discovered uncle in 1943 went to a maternity home and walked out with her baby…in 1943! She HAD a choice!

    I have a dog that pisses on my floor every day…I walked all the way into the ASPCA and filled out the paper work and then couldn’t go threw with leaving him there – 2 years ago…it is a freeking DOG! I couldn’t even give my eggs away (to a relative – thank god!) But someone can be unfairly talked into giving a BABY away?

    Some birth mothers are coursed, some FELT they had no choice, some had their children removed wrongly, some were abusive and neglectful.

    While I do believe some adoptive parents are selfish and narcissistic, what do you call Birth Moms who give up their kids and then don’t want those kids to have ANY parents because it is not them?

    “Thou shall have no parents before me” WTF is that?

  20. Oh, Mei Ling, it does my soul good to know you chuckled over that.

  21. "Why does the label "family preservation" *have* to include abusive families? Perhaps I am not wording this correctly - but I think it is safe to assume many people in their right minds would not want an abusive mother to remain with her child."

    This question wasn't directed at me but I'd like to comment. It's true abusive families shouldn't be preserved, but they are. Public outcries that are rigid and without flexibility, barely adding in side notes saying of course we don't mean abusive families, can and do cause the pendulum to swing too far.

    The children who have been left to be abused or killed in family situations in the name of family preservation at all costs cannot be dismissed as anomalies. Nor forgotten.

  22. Mei Ling, My comment about not identifying as a "family preservationist" comes from two sources, the fact that the label has come to apply to those whose parental rights were terminated by the state, they feel wrongly, but who knows? Those cases are much more complex than voluntary surrender, and I do not want to be involved in something like that, or advocating for across the board keeping families together no matter what.

    The second is that those in adoption reform who identify as family preservationists have made statements about never fully terminating parental rights, even in the worst cases, giving addicts and mentally ill parents endless time to rehabilitate and reclaim their children (if this never happens, the kids grow up in foster care). These same people blame adoptive parents for any abuse or problem in the family (0ften rightly so) but make endless excuses for natural parents in any contested adoption or termination case. The lack of balance and common sense is on their side, not mine.

    I think family preservation is one option, not the only one and not appropriate in all cases.

  23. "Those cases are much more complex than voluntary surrender, and I do not want to be involved in something like that, or advocating for across the board keeping families together no matter what."

    But why does "family preservation" come across as a blanket statement that all abusive families should be kept together?

    I know whom you are speaking of (online), and I don't agree with them in all contexts that they are applying the label "family preservation" to, but I would think that family preservation means families who want and love their children.

    It is not just the anti-adoption contingent that has this mindset.

    Hell, I've even seen some adoptive parents blog about family preservation, and they don't mean keeping a child with an abusive mother (at least, I don't think so!).

  24. "The second is that those in adoption reform who identify as family preservationists have made statements about never fully terminating parental rights, even in the worst cases, giving addicts and mentally ill parents endless time to rehabilitate and reclaim their children"

    Ever been to Angry Adoptive Mom's blog? She covers this issue quite well.

  25. Trying one more time: I believe that family preservation is the best thing in some cases, not in others. Sometimes adoption is the better choice. Sometimes it is short-term foster care. Sometimes adoption or guardianship by relatives is the better choice, sometimes adoption by non-relatives is better. Circumstances of abuse addiction, and serious mental illness DO need to be taken into account when deciding which alternative is safest and best for the child.

    I do not call myself a "family preservationist" because I do not think this is always the ideal solution for all crisis pregnancies or families in distress. Different solutions for different circumstances.

    I am not against family preservation, but do not see it as the best or only way in all cases.
    Hence, I am not a "family preservationist" but see it as one of a variety of alternatives, not the only or primary one.

  26. I have said the stuff your making fun of Campbell. So help me out I did like the way one couple who adopted children of friends who died in a care accident handled the what should they call us vs them issue; the kids called them "Amma" and "Appa" like adoptive mama and papa and the kid's referred to their late parents not as their birth or bio anything, they were just parents, Mom and Dad. The last name of the adopting couple was added by hyphenation - they did it somehow without re-issuing the children's birth certificates.

    Maybe that's stupid it seemed to work for them I thought it was respectful of the Mom and Dad that died. It acknowledged them as being the ones with parental authority without claiming the children somehow as "their own" (which would imply that they are nobody else's own right?) They were motivated to take care of kids who lost their parents, not raise kids who'll care for them like parents.

    Does that seem like I'm saying children that are adopted deserve no parents? To me it seems less confusing but my perspective is skewed

  27. Nothing wrong at all with what your friends have done Marilynn.

    My nieces were under the age of 6 when their dad, my brother, died.

    I work very hard to ensure they know of their dad and of their dad's family. If some day there is man in their mom's life who they think of as a dad and feel he is someone they want to call dad and think of as dad, I'd fully support that. It doesn't take anything away from my brother's importance in their life, it would just supply my nieces with something just as important as my brother's memory.

    A living, breathing, present dad.

  28. OK I see. My brother made the choice to call our Dad, his dad. When he turned 18 he changed his name to our father's name. His father was our Mom's first husband but our Dad raised him. It was his choice. Our Dad did not undertake the job of raising him with the goal of being called "Dad", it was something he wanted to do because it needed to be done and the "Dad" tile was something my brother felt he deserved. Our Dad was so proud of the fact my brother went to a lawyer on his 18th birthday and changed his last name. Dad cried. I think maybe its up to each person if an unrelated person is worthy of that title. Maybe its a bit presumptuous for someone to grant themselves that title while the ink is still wet on the adoption decree- maybe the only person qualified to grant an unrelated person the title of father is a child that feels he's been treated like a son.

  29. So I have some questions about family preservation as I am about to embark on locating the parents of a friend of mine from high school. I did not know she was adopted but then I was not a wannabe PI when we were going to Keggers together in the 80's. I have not seen her in 20 years, she lost her toddlers to CPS last year and they have now been adopted. Clearly she had a rough go of it. I saw the case, she and the father have problems with each other that made it be not a good environment for her children and she allowed the father to come into the house when there was a stay away order for what he had done to her, not the kids. That my friends is battered women's syndrom - granted a mother owes it to her kids never to place herself in harms way. There are no charges of abuse or neglect for either parent against the kids. Parents have been to jail for drugs before the kids were born. The kids are rosey cheeked blond haired blue eyed babies that speak Dutch no less but still Mom's on welfare, and living a pretty simple life with them in gov. housing. Maybe she is not emotionally capable of ever caring for her children on her own. Her adoptive mother lives in Holland and paid a lawyer to help fight the case but she lost anyway. She does not have any visitation like she did while they were in foster care, she fought hard to keep them. I think family can be preserved and that she can remain known to her children as their mother even though someone else assumes her parental rights. I think some people will never be able to raise their own children but their existence should not be erased. She does love her babies I think its criminal for a State to prevent a mother from doing as much as she can for them even if someone else has and should have total authority over the child's welfare and upbringing. It does bother me that someone who adopts those boys would do it in hopes of building a family of their own rather than adopting them to aid a family in crisis. I think she should be allowed to call them every night at bed time stuff like that - how can that hurt? Whatever she can do, shouldn't she do? Shouldn't they know they mattered to her even if she could not hack the day in and day out heavy lifting of parenthood? To me the fact that she is not able to raise them does not undermine her right to be referred to as their mother. Foster care costs the state money so I'm learning if the State deems the parents unfit, the kids have to be put up for adoption. If her adoptive mother were here she could adopt them, they would call her grandma not Mom. They would be able to see their Mother the state did not require supervised visits while they were in Foster care, she is just not capable of raising them full time. It does seem unfair that she could be around her kids all the time if her own adopted mother adopted her children but since strangers are adopting they can exclude her completely and refer to themselves as Mom and Dad as if she never existed. They can rename them and put their own names on their birth certificates. I'm just learning about this kind of adoption. She was in special classes when we were in school, there is a diminished capacity issue that is not indicative of a lack of love or willingness. She's not OK at all. If she makes it through the year without hurting herself I'll be surprised.

  30. I have come to this thread late, but as someone who is anti-adoption and pro-legal guardianship, I think that you have misstated a lot of things about this alternative, and have made some erroneous assumptions. Was this post intentionally trying to exaggerate or be sarcastic, or were you serious in the scenario you portrayed.

    I know your perspective is that of an adoptee in a closed adoption, recently reunited, but also what good does it do to use the closed adoption system scenario predicated upon the existing Western modern child adoption laws (1851 onwards) to criticize a legal alternative that currently does NOT exist in *North American* law?

    The comments here contain a LOT of harsh words about natural parents; I see a lot of hatred and anger towards us; and suggestions that we are selfish to propose a system of permanent legal guardianship, callous towards the needs of a child.

    I will have to address these issues in another post, but I just want to sum this up as saying that you have a lot of things wrong.

    - Permanent legal guardianship is just that, permament. As permanent as adoption
    - It naturally involves the full transfer of parental rights.
    - There are NO laws anywhere telling anyone what a child should or should not call his or her caregivers.
    - The difference between permanent legal guardianship and adoption is the issue of *filiation.* With permanent legal guardianship, filiation is NOT transferred and hence no fake birth records are altered with the originals sealed up. Nothing is falsified to state that people who did not give birth to the child did
    - We are also assuming here that unless there is a court order protecting the child from the natural parents, that contact is ongoing as much as the child needs/wants.

  31. Adoptioncritic

    The post was provoked by a natural mother who is of the mindset, and is vocal about it, that no parent is a parent except for the natural ones and should not be called mom or dad. Period.

    I disagree with that.Everything else evolved from there, as it tends to on blogs.

    Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

    Exaggeration and sarcasm were used in making my point, but no actual parents were injured in the making of this post.

  32. "but no actual parents were injured in the making of this post.". Too funny Campbell!

  33. "Permanent legal guardianship is just that, permament. As permanent as adoption."

    I know you mean well, but this is factually untrue.

    Guardianship is a custody agreement, not filiation, as you say. No matter how 'permanent,' once the child becomes an adult custody agreements no longer apply. Guardianship does not convey any type of legal family relationship once the child hits the age of majority, so no, it's actually not even close to being permanent like adoption.

    Some children don't need a permanent situation or want to preserve their original legal ties, and for them guardianship would work well. But some children do NEED and WANT that, and I don't want to see their interests dismissed just because they don't match the paradigm.

    Also if the biological parents' rights are not terminated, in a guardianship they have far more legal right to challenge custody over and over (even after an extended period of time) than they would in an adoption, which means the child might be left in a great deal of long-term limbo in some cases. Some families can make it work with trust and cooperation on both sides, but it seems unrealistic to expect it from every family regardless of the circumstances and individuals involved.

    I get the feeling that many people who tout guardianship as they ONLY option probably haven't actually researched it all that much. Not talking about anyone in particular, even the person I quoted, just that has been my general perception.

    It seems kind of like the focus gets so stuck on family preservation (which is itself a good thing) that regarding any situation where a family can't or shouldn't be preserved, there's almost this afterthought of, "Oh, guardianship, that word sounds better so whatever..." because those children just aren't really a priority.

    Guardianship is an option and should exist, but there isn't a one-size-fits all solution to something so complex. There just ISN'T.

    -Z (again)

  34. "Also if the biological parents' rights are not terminated, in a guardianship they have far more legal right to challenge custody over and over (even after an extended period of time) than they would in an adoption, which means the child might be left in a great deal of long-term limbo in some cases. Some families can make it work with trust and cooperation on both sides, but it seems unrealistic to expect it from every family regardless of the circumstances and individuals involved."

    I so agree with you. In guardianship the bioparets rights AREN'T terminate. This leave the child and the guardians in limbo, which isn't fair to them at all. With all due respect, guardianship for some, would allow them " get on with my life ( while still having the title of mommy and daddy) and come back and get the kid later". This is what "I" believe many pro-guardians proponents feel. They don't want to raise their child, they just want to have the perks of being a parent without the work.

    This is why adoption is needed; it allows permanency for the child


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