I just talked with AV's social worker. With the no contact order on her dad the Attorney General's (AG's) office does think they could prevail on termination of parental rights. So if I wanted to pursue it, adoption could/maybe be a possibility.
Pro for adoption
Adoption is... adoption!
Less explanation to others about our family structure
A true and legal family
Permanancy for AV
Pro for guardianship
AV doesn't want to be adopted though she is less against the idea than before.
AV is ready and excited about guardianship
Guardianship is now; adoption would be another year off or more
Please don't think me crass but there is a financial ramification for me too. I never planned to adopt so soon so I haven't had time to meet some of my fianancial goals. If we go into the guardianship and later do adoption, there is no financial support. I would have to pay all the lawyer fees, court fees, homestudy fees, etc. Adopting straight out of foster care means the state pays all those costs plus they will provide a monthly amount which currently allows us to do things like Tae Kwon Do lessons.
So if we do adoption, I want to make the decision now, not a couple years down the road. But I don't think AV's ready. And guardianship is very much a family...