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An adoption is a legal process where the adoptive parents are given permanent parental rights over a child. At the same time, the child’s natural parents’ parental rights are terminated. A parent may voluntarily give up their rights by filing a relinquishment with the court, or the court may terminate a parent’s rights on its own initiative. Involuntary termination of parental rights normally requires child abuse, abandonment or some other illegal act. An adoption is different from the appointment of a non-parental legal guardian.A legal guardian is a person appointed by the court to temporarily care for a child. It is a temporary order, because the order is vacated on the child’s eighteenth birthday. Your parents are always your parents. The guardian is also under the supervision of the court. A judge may overturn a guardian’s decision, and may also change a minor’s guardian. In the eyes of the law, an adoptive parent is the child’s parent once an adoption is finalized. The courts have no power over the parents and child.

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