Legal Question in Family Law in Nevada


My wife and I have been legal guardians of our grandson for 5 years. Guardianship was granted by a California court where his mother lives, if that makes any difference. In 5 years his mother has not called or sent a letter or card and has not given any court-ordered support. She is married to a man who is accused of having abused her son. Our grandson's father has given court-ordered support very irregularly but has never attempted to contact him.

My wife and I would like to adopt our grandson. Even though we are his legal guardians, do we have to get permission from his parents? What do we have to do?

Asked on 2/05/01, 9:43 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Paul Sherman Paul A. Sherman

Re: adoption

I trust you live in Nevada.

First question is what about the father? That is all important in answering this question.

If there is no father avalable, you would have to terminate parental rights of the mother, which based upon your facts would likely be successful.

For further info go to and click on "Ask a Nevada Law Question"

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Answered on 3/19/01, 6:09 am

Grandchild adoption

There are 2 steps necessary to adopt your grandchild.

Step 1 is the most difficult, a way to end or terminate the rights of the natural parent. Although this is can be accomplished by a lawsuit against the parents on the grounds that they have abandoned the child or by other serious faults (which it looks like you have), the parents may agree to sign papers to voluntarily "relinquish" their role as parents. The benefit to them is that they no longer are responsible for child support and do not have to seem as if they are criminals.

Step 2, the actual adoption is relatively quick & simple for an attorney regularly practicing in the field of family law. Nevertheless, because adoption law is highly regulated (due to concerns about "baby selling" and other welfare issues), any unintentional mistake could be catestrophic, resulting in possible criminal charges. I would recommend hiring an experienced family attorney who will be able to handle this as a routine matter.

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Answered on 3/19/01, 11:27 am

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