When it comes to children, there are many different ways that a conservatorship can play out. For example, in a juvenile dependency case, where there are allegations of abandonment, abuse or neglect, the juvenile court has the power to award custody of the child to someone other than a parent, such as a grandparent, close relative, foster home or otherwise, and to provide visitation rights to an abusing parent with a goal toward family reunification.

In an adoption, there may be the necessity of proceedings to terminate the rights of a natural parent with a chronic child abuse, abandonment or neglect history, and there a number of different types of adoptions, including: stepparent, independent, agency, foreign, adult and perhaps others; and there are issues as to the rights of the natural father who is not married to the mother but the mother wishes to give the child up for adoption or the county wishes to have foster parents be able to adopt against the wishes of a birth parent, or many other types of situations.

There are issues as to which of several alternatives is in the best interests of the child: would a guardianship be more appropriate, which can be terminated and the child placed elsewhere, but the rights of the birth parents, and eventual reunification, are preserved, be better; or would it be better to severe the parent/child relationship with one or both parents, which protects the child from a chronic abusing parent by permanently cutting of that parent's parental rights, but also cuts off the right of the child to inherit from a wealthy abusing parent's estate. Or does the child have mental health or developmental issues such that a conservatorship and voluntary or even involuntary confinement in an appropriate institution or facility is appropriate.

There are many other issues involving children and custody: Should an adult adopted child have the right to discover who and where his or her birth parents are? Should a parent who gives up a child for adoption retain visitation rights? What are the rights of foster parents? Same sex partner's custody and visitation rights? Grandparent visitation rights?

The issues and factual situations are endless, but the legal system is equipped to handle most of them; however, you need a highly experienced, trained, and unusually sensitive lawyer to represent you as the adopting parent, the child, the parents whose rights may be terminated, a foster parent or other "interested person", or even the abusing parent. I believe I am that lawyer.