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High court makes it easier for guardians to adopt children

March 19, 2009 |  2:08 pm

The California Supreme Court made it easier Thursday for a child to be adopted by his or her guardian over a parent’s objection, concluding that the best interest of the child should be served.

Ruling in two parental rights cases, the state high court unanimously upheld the constitutionality of a 2003 law that allows for ending a person’s parental rights when the parent has failed to take responsibility for the child for two years after the child was placed with a legal guardian who wishes to adopt the child.

The ruling clears the way for the adoption of potentially scores of California children being reared by grandparents or other legal guardians.

The cases were brought by an unwed father and a mother with a history of drug addiction who objected to their children's relatives adopting them. The court rejected the challenges, ruling that guardians may adopt children without showing that the biological parents were "currently" unfit.

-- Maura Dolan