- Custody does not terminate the parental rights of the parents. In adoption cases the parents rights have been legally terminated.
- Custody is never permanent. If the circumstances change, the custody arrangement can be changed. Adoption is a final.
- Custody allows the opposing parent to have contact with child through joint custody or visitation. In adoption cases, the parents have no legal right to access to the child.
- Custody requires non custodial parent to pay child support. Adoption ends parents obligation to pay child support.
- Custody does not impact inheritance rights. Adoption does end a parent right to inherit from the child.
- Custody files are part of the public courthouse record. Adoption files are generally sealed.
- Custody cases are generally contested. Final adoption hearing are not normally contested.
- Custody does not require any changes to minor child’s birth certificate. Adoption cases involve the issuance of new birth certificates.
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