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Please note: This page will be updated frequently as more information becomes available.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are any resources available for family caregivers who do not have legal status with the children they care for?

What are the main differences between agreeing to an adoption versus a legal guardianship?

What are some of the challenges to raising children there is no legal status for?

Are there any financial resources for kinship caregivers who have guardianship of a child(ren)?

What is the Difference Between Adoption and Guardianship?

Both adoption and guardianship are forms of permanency for a child to exit from foster care.

  • When you adopt, you legally become the parent of the child(ren). This is permanent. The birth certificate of the child will actually be amended to list you as the parent. 
  • Guardianship gives you certain legal rights in caring for the child(ren) up through the age of 18.  Guardianships are not necessarily permanent.  Parents may petition the court to rescind the guardianship when they can demonstrate that they can now safely care for the child.

There may potentially be forms of assistance through both adoption and guardianship.

What rights do I have as a grandparent post reunification with the parent(s)?

In Rhode Island, grandparents have the right to petition the court for visitation of their grandchildren.  However, the best way to make sure that you will stay involved in the lives of your grandchildren is to build positive and supportive relationships with the parents, whenever possible.  Children thrive best when the caregivers they love work together for the best interest of the children.

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