Relative Adoption

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There are several factors to consider in relative adoptions:

  • Adoption laws are generally state laws and can differ substantially from one state to another.
  • In light of the differences in state adoption laws, the following is general information for your consideration. There is no substitute for advice from a competent licensed adoption attorney in your area who is familiar with the legal intricacies. (To find an adoption attorney, visit the Directory of Professionals.)
  • "Relative adoptions" are not the same as "stepparent adoptions." {For information, see Stepparent Adoption.)

In most states, relative adoptions are treated somewhat less formally than non-relative ("stranger") adoptions. They may require only an abbreviated homestudy, or none at all. For this preferential treatment to apply, the adoption must fit the definition of a relative adoption under state law. Most state laws define "relative" by degree of relatedness. For example, Arizona adoption law defines a "relative" as "uncle, aunt, adult sibling, grandparent or great-grandparent of the child of the whole or half-blood or by marriage or adoption." Not fitting in this general definition are cousins of any degree or children of nieces or nephews. You will need to consult your attorney or the specific law in your state.

General Considerations

  1. Just as with any adoption, there must be a proper termination of the parental rights of both the child's biological parents. New birth certificates are issued, and adoption records are sealed in accordance with state laws.
  2. Adopting a close relative's child may be the best solution for the child, but it can cause a radical change in the dynamics of your relationship with that relative. These types of relationships have the potential to become strained or severely damaged due to questions of "quasi co-parenting" and exactly who is the child's parent. The reality is that this dynamic will be different for everyone involved, including all family members, and extending to other children the biological parents may have now or in the future. You will be confronted with questions of relatedness (is your child their cousin? sibling? aunt? uncle?), among others. Can this be done? Yes. Will it be a snap? No. The openness encouraged in adoptions today will help communication with all parties, and those experienced with relative adoptions strongly recommend counseling before and after the adoption whenever possible.
  3. Depending on the child's age and the circumstances of the adoption, talking to your child about the adoption may involve additional complexities due to previous and current relationships, death and grief, disappointments, and human failings. Do seek out support groups and educational books and tapes.

Additional Resources

Relative Adoption Forum
Grandparent Adoption Forum
Book: Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child

For more information specific to Grandparent Adoption and more options available to those who are caring for related children, including adoption, guardianship, legal custody, and open adoptions, see Legal Options for Relative Caregivers.

Related Articles

Keeping the Family Tree Intact
Encyclopedia: Family Preservation
Adopting My Nephew: African-American and an Adopting Parent
Library of Articles on this Topic

Visitor Comments (266)
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Sheila - 3 years ago
1 1 5
My neice is 17 months old now, and I have raised her since birth. Her mother gave birth to her while she was incarcerated, and since her release 8 months ago hasn't even tried to contact her, and sent messages that she wants nothing to do with her. Her father is now incarcerated AGAIN, and looking at a substantial amount of time in prison. I was granted custody 9 months ago, and the judge granted nobody visitation rights to the child. I want to adopt her. I live in Virginia, and I am not even sure where/how to begin the process. Thank you! Good luck to all!!!! #1
shakerra - 2 years ago
0 0 4
I have a 6 year old cousin who dcfs from Florida tryna remove n she been here with me since she was 3years old I dont have cousdyof her but I want to hOw do I do it??? Plz help #2
RONSAM - 54 minutes ago
Hey are you crying that your wife has left you and the kids for another man, you don't have to cry anymore because i was in the same position till i heard about Dr KEN how he has help so many people in their relationship today i can boldly recommend Dr,KEN to anyone who need help. He did not fail me i also believe he can not fail you too. you are indeed a miracle worker.I have tried so many spell casters and psychic after my lover left me. Dr KEN was the only spell caster who could help me..For sure this is really a prosperity temple where you can get back your ex lover. Dr KEN cast a love spell and my wife changed for good, he made her a better woman and distanced all her secret lovers. I am happy to have a united family, it couldn't be possible without the effort of Dr KEN. My wife is back with full of love and sincerity. Make contact with Dr KEN for relationship help Email him at: xxxx or call him on xxxxx. and share a wonderful testimony just like me. #3
Sophy - 13 hours ago
My name is Sophy Hedges from Ottawa in Canada, I didn't believe that boyfriend will change from his behavior, before i came in contact with Great Korofo i have being having hard time with my boyfriend. He even beats me sometimes and tells me is over between us. I couldn't bear his behavior that i have to contact Great Korofo for help. Priest Korofo helped and my boyfriend now sees me as his girlfriend, he no longer beats me, He is now faithful to me and he now gives me whatever i wants. I am so happy for what Priest Korofo did for me. Any interested viewers having same or any relationship problem can contact him on: xxxx Website: http://greatkorofo.webs.com Facebook page: https://web.facebook.com/A-place-where-you-can-get-your-problems-solved-no-matter-the-situation-xxxxx47824/?notify_field=blurb #4
Sophy - 13 hours ago
My name is Sophy Hedges from Ottawa in Canada, I didn't believe that boyfriend will change from his behavior, before i came in contact with Great Korofo i have being having hard time with my boyfriend. He even beats me sometimes and tells me is over between us. I couldn't bear his behavior that i have to contact Great Korofo for help. Priest Korofo helped and my boyfriend now sees me as his girlfriend, he no longer beats me, He is now faithful to me and he now gives me whatever i wants. I am so happy for what Priest Korofo did for me. Any interested viewers having same or any relationship problem can contact him on: xxxx Website: http://greatkorofo.webs.com Facebook page: https://web.facebook.com/A-place-where-you-can-get-your-problems-solved-no-matter-the-situation-xxxxx47824/?notify_field=blurb #5
Jeremy Micheal - 2 days ago
Hello friends, I'm Jeremy Micheal from USA. I want to share my testimony and how grateful I am since my lover came back to me because of the great help from a powerful spell caster DR. OLOKUN whose email address is [ xxxx ] rendered to me. My girlfriend broke up with me on the first week of October last year because she thought I was cheating on her, she told me that her friends has been telling her that I have been seeing someone else when she is not around. I tried to make her understand that her friends are lying to her but she did not give me the chance to explain to her this was how she left me. After a month of our breakup I tried to live a normal life without her but it was very hard for me to cope then I decided to contact DR. olokun after seeing several testimonies about his work every single blog I log into via his email xxxx which I came across on January 2nd 2016 during my search looking for help on how to get my lover back. DR. olo #6
Stacy - 4 days ago
I have fallen victim to some romance scam trying to bring back my ex. I have sent thousands already and was about sending more even at the expense of loosing my properties. I was saved by Dr Malaika. He saved my relationship and my valuable money. his professional background conviced me because at this time i was determined to know if the person or company is real and legitimate. He does not charge for his service and might be able to help you too. his email address is odogwumalaika @ g m a i l . com #7
Stacy - 4 days ago
I have fallen victim to some romance scam trying to bring back my ex. I have sent thousands already and was about sending more even at the expense of loosing my properties. I was saved by Dr Malaika. He saved my relationship and my valuable money. his professional background conviced me because at this time i was determined to know if the person or company is real and legitimate. He does not charge for his service and might be able to help you too. his email address is odogwumalaika @ g m a i l . com #8
jose sim - 6 days ago
I was checking for solution in the internet then miraculously came Across Dr Miracle, the powerful herbalist that Cure Numerous individuals HSV-1 AND HSV-2 INFECTION,then i contacted his Email: (xxxx) I Explained everything to him and prepared a cure that cure my HSV-1 AND HSV-2 Disease totally after receiving his Herbal medicine, So My friends viewers why wait and be suffer when there is someone like Dr Miracle,that can cure any disease HIV/ CANCER/ HEPATITIS B VIRUS, You Can "CONTACT Via : Email : (xxxx) You Can Contact Him Today And Get Your Problem Solved Or"Call xxxxx555.." Or You Can Also Contact Him Through His Website http://miraclespellhome.webs.com/ I Fix The Following Problems To All Across The Globe On 1. Getting your lover or husband back 2. Spiritual bulletproof 3. Training 4. Money spell 5. Long life spell 6. Prosperity spell 7. Protection spell 8. Get a job spell 9. Becoming a manager spell 10. Get a huge loan without paying any fee spell 11. Getting your scam money #9
Jewel Carol - 6 days ago
Hey!my boyfriend has abandon me for the the past months now, and refuse to come back because he was hold on by a woman whom he just met, for that, i has been suffering and it has been heel of a struggle, but I decide to do all means to make sure that my boyfriend and i come back together as it use to, then I went online there I saw so many good talk about this spell caster whose email is xxxx so I had to contact him and explain my problem to him and in just 48 hours as he has promised, my boyfriend came home and his behavior was back to the man i got engage to. I cant thank the spell caster enough for what he did for me, i am so grateful and i will never stop to publish his name on the internet for the good work he has done for me,once again his email him direct........ xxxx Web site: http://happyspelltemple.webs.com/ mobile number on xxxxx774 No problem is too big for him to solve!!!!!! #10
Garrison Jeff - 7 days ago
URGENT SPELL TO HELP REUNITE WITH YOUR EX LOVER NOW CALL DR OZIL NOW: xxxxx826 Hi everyone, my name is Garrison Jeff and am from London, I met this spell caster called Dr. Ozil of xxxx online and so many other, but i decided to go with this particular spell caster and this is about 2 weeks ago. I needed the spell caster to reunite me and my lover because she started behaving strange and a day came she text me and told me she cannot continue with the relationship anymore, that she just want to be alone. But a close friend of hers shows the guy to me that she was now dating. So i contacted this spell caster because i was totally heart broken and i smoked and get drunk till i could not even notice if am standing or lying.This spell caster told me not to worry, he gave me hope that am to have her again just like old times, and i provided all the requirements, and in just 5 days, my ex lover called me crying over the phone asking for me to forgive her for her #11
myers - 1 week ago
I feel so blessed again in my marriage after Dr Paul brought back my husband that separated with me for good 3 mounths. Am myers by name from USA. Even though i have mouths all over my body, it won't be enough to thank Dr Paul for his help upon my life. My husband separated with me for the 3 months and have been in pains and agony without him. So, i searched for help everywhere but nothing worked out not until i meant Dr Paul who i contacted online. I explained my situation to him and he promised that my husband will get back to me within 24 to 48 hours as far that my heart still beats for him. I believed in him and he prepared a spell for me and my husband called me exactly when Dr Paul said. He pleaded and said he needs me back and now we are living happily again for the past 9 months. Everyone out there reading my article that needs help should contact him... Email: xxxx or contact him directly on his web site http://salvationspellforallnation.webs.com/ #12
Dwunica Julia - 1 week ago
my name is Dwunica Julia. my life is full of joy because Dr OTOIDE asked me to be happy What happened to me is not what i can keep only to myself but to also tell the world so that those that were once like me will get there love ones back and been happy once again. I and my lover had some issues which leads to our break up since after then my life has never been the same i tried all method to get Him back but they were just waste of effort and waste of time. But one day during my search on the Internet i came across someone testimony about Dr OTOIDE helped him to get his lover back so i contacted His email:xxxx and to my greatest surprise Dr OTOIDE was able to bring back my lover within 23hours. With the great thing that happened in my life i decided to tell the whole world about this great man called Dr OTOIDE. For those in need of anything he told me that in his temple there is know impossibility now i believe him so much friends if you need help kindly c #13
chayan - 2 weeks ago
I am very happy today with my family. My name is chayan sharma living in USA, My husband left me for a good 3 years now, and i love him so much, i have been looking for a way to get him back since then. i have tried many options but he did not come back, until i met a friend that darted me to Dr.Jude a spell caster, who helped me to bring back my husband after 2 weeks. Me and my husband are living happily together today, That man is great, you can contact him via email xxxx… Now i will advice any serious persons that found themselves in this kind of problem to contact him now a fast solution without steress.. He always hello, now i call him my father.contact him now he is always online email (xxxx) or call him on his mobile line xxxxx173 #14
Paul Anderson - 2 weeks ago
My Name is Paul Anderson. From UK Liverpool.I never believed in Spells or Magic until I met this special spell caster called ADODA, The woman i wanted to marry left me 3 months to our weeding ceremony and my life was turned upside down. she was with me for 5 years and i really love her so much..she left me for another man with no reasons..when i called her she never picked up my calls and she don't want to see me around her…so,when i told dr Adoda what happened he helped me with some readings,and after the readings he told me that the other man has done some spells on my woman and that is the reason why she left me..he also told me he will help me to cast a spell to bring her back. At first i was skeptical but i just gave it a try…In 2 days,she called me herself and came to me apologizing..I cant believe she can ever come back to me again but now i am happy she's back and we are married now and we live as a happy family..Am posting this to the forum if anyone needs Dr Adoda help.co #15
Maria sanchez - 2 weeks ago
After 9 years in marriage with my hubby with 3 kids, my husband started going out with other ladies and showed me cold love, on several occasions he threatens to divorce me if I dare question him about his affair with other ladies, I was totally devastated and confused until a old friend of mine told me about a spell caster on the internet Dr. Adoda who help people with the relationship and marriage problem by the powers of love spells, at first I doubted if such thing ever exists but decided to give it a try, when I contact him, he helped me cast a spell and within 24hours my husband came back to me and started apologizing, now he has stopped going out with ladies and he his with me for good and for real. Contact this great spell caster for your relationship or marriage problem at xxxx. Goodluck #16
Willma Lee - 2 weeks ago
After many years of living with my husband i have always be the happiest woman but today i am here to tell you how grateful i am to witness his mighty spell that brought my husband back to me after he left home without any reason and since then i went through hell to bring him back to me but all my effort was abortive. i am happy the day i came across the comment of how Dr. OCUSODO cast a powerful spell and brought back their marriage. and when i did he spoke to me on how i will get back with my husband in Just and i obeyed him and that was how he helped me to get back with my husband and surprisingly my husband that refused my calls, called me and apologize over the phone and also return home now we are living happily after all the quarrel and argument we went though. if you need this same spell to bring back your lover back to you in 24hours. contact his email: xxxx or xxxx or his Mobile: xxxxx724 or his Website https://dro #17
jenny - 2 weeks ago
After being in relationship with him for seven years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster lord mazi that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the lord mazi and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days my ex will come back begging. I thanked him in earnest hoping he will come back to me because I miss him so much. To my very suprise on the 3rd day he came back begging and asking me to accept him back and he will never leave me again. All this would never had been possible but for lord mazi I will always and forever recommend you to the world lord mazi This is his contact below:xxxx #18
Guest - 3 weeks ago
My grandson is 13 years old my husband and I have had sole physical custody have him for three years we have been in his life all of his life he asked us to legally adopt him because after two-and-a-half 3 years of his mom being gone like in a different state she came back for one month now she chose to get married and move in with her boyfriend she has not been by she does not communicate with us and he asked us to adopt him on Easter I need to know the steps to go through to legally adopt our grandson thank you #19
Melissa - 7 months ago
I have a 9 month old granddaughter that my husband and I are bringing up we have had her since she was 2 days old and now her mother has moved out of state and neither parent is capable of taking care of this little girl.They have never did anything for her from clothes to buying a pamper. How would I go about getting their rights terminated so we can adopt her and make sure she allways has a stable home. I live in West Virginia if someone could please tell me where to go or whom to contact it would be very help ful. Thank you all and may God bless you! #20

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