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 (356)
Adding your comments contributes to the adoption community. Please keep all comments on topic and civil. Visitors are invited to comment and vote for or flag comments based on appropriateness and helpfulness. All comments must adhere to our commenting rules and are subject to moderation.
Sheila - 2 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
faith - 3 hours ago
Hello viewer's , i want to share with you of a great spell caster who help me cast a spell on my ex boy friend who used me and dumped me for my girl friend, so when i met this great spell caster called Dr Aza, i explain what i was passing through. So he gave me instruction to follow, which i did, after three day's when the spell was cast, my ex boy friend called and started apologizing to me and said he want me back.You can also contact him if you have any problem via email xxxx you can call him or what,s App his number: xxxxx060, to help you with your problems. #3
faith - 3 hours ago
Hello viewer's , i want to share with you of a great spell caster who help me cast a spell on my ex boy friend who used me and dumped me for my girl friend, so when i met this great spell caster called Dr Aza, i explain what i was passing through. So he gave me instruction to follow, which i did, after three day's when the spell was cast, my ex boy friend called and started apologizing to me and said he want me back.You can also contact him if you have any problem via email xxxx you can call him or what,s App his number: xxxxx060, to help you with your problems. #4
faith - 14 hours ago
Hello viewer's , i want to share with you of a great spell caster who help me cast a spell on my ex boy friend who used me and dumped me for my girl friend, so when i met this great spell caster called Dr Aza, i explain what i was passing through. So he gave me instruction to follow, which i did, after three day's when the spell was cast, my ex boy friend called and started apologizing to me and said he want me back.You can also contact him if you have any problem via email xxxx you can call him or what,s App his number: xxxxx060, to help you with your problems. #5
Kim Shain - 1 day ago
My name is Kim Shain, am here to testify of a great spell caster called Dr Otoide. This man is truly a great spell caster indeed. I contacted this great man for a help and just within two days my problem was completely solved. My ex lover came back to me just within 3days begging me to accept him back. Now we are fully back again as one family, all thanks to Dr Otoide for restoring peace to my life. His contact email address: email:xxxx , He is also specialized in the following. 1. Infertility in woman, He can help you cast a spell to get pregnant. 2. He can help you cast a money spell for you and get rich 3. He can help you cast a Promotion spell. 4. He can help you cast Lottery spell. 5. Spell of luck. 6. Spell of Finance. 7. If you have been scam before, he can help you cast a spell to get your money back And many more.. contact him on his email and explain what you want him to do for you i assure you he shall help, His email is: email:drotoidesolutiontem #6
Kim Shain - 3 days ago
My name is Kim Shain, am here to testify of a great spell caster called Dr Otoide. This man is truly a great spell caster indeed. I contacted this great man for a help and just within two days my problem was completely solved. My ex lover came back to me just within 3days begging me to accept him back. Now we are fully back again as one family, all thanks to Dr Otoide for restoring peace to my life. His contact email address: email:xxxx , He is also specialized in the following. 1. Infertility in woman, He can help you cast a spell to get pregnant. 2. He can help you cast a money spell for you and get rich 3. He can help you cast a Promotion spell. 4. He can help you cast Lottery spell. 5. Spell of luck. 6. Spell of Finance. 7. If you have been scam before, he can help you cast a spell to get your money back And many more.. contact him on his email and explain what you want him to do for you i assure you he shall help, His email is: email:drotoidesolutiontem #7
Janet - 3 days ago
The words to express the gratitude to you for the successful spell casting are too great to write down. I wouldn't even know how to express the gratitude for now having the second chance at love and life again. These are the types of things that money can't buy and people can't describe. Your work is amazing from the very first step to the results. Being there for me when ever I needed you and giving me advice along the way. Its just a miracle that I found manifest spell cast@xxxxxx. com thanks for your help more people should know of your work and how wonderful it works and has worked for me! Again, thank you for everything and I have referred a couple of friends to you. Sincerely, Janet #8
Anastacia Lorutto - 5 days ago
Male_large Thanks to Dr. Obilujesu My name is Sharon William. I am from Dubai i am here to spread the entire work of a real spell caster called Dr. Obilujesu who just helped me to retrieve back my union with my husband and make our relationship very stronger and brought joy and happiness into our marriage. I have been scammed by a lot of fake spell casters but i was later introduced to Dr. Obilujesu by a friend named tucker stancey to this great man who help her to restore her relationship back with his husband.He also help me and wipe away my tears. So viewers of this wonderful testimony who wants to contact him xxxx or xxxx or via website/ http://drobilujesuspellca.wixsite.com/drobilujesu call him on his temple number xxxxx000. 1. GETTING YOUR EX LOVER BACK. 2. DIVORCE SPELL. 3. WINNING LOTTERIES . 4. BREAKING OF GENERATION COURSE. 5. GETTING OF JOB. 6. CHILD BEARING. 7. MONEY SPELL. 8. CURING OF HIV AND MANY MOR #9
MICHELLE - 5 days ago
My love life was in shambles; I had been through two divorces and was on the brink of a third. I just couldn't face another divorce, and I wanted to try harder to make our relationship work, but my husband didn’t seem to care and he brake up with me again.I was confuse and do not no what to do again, rather than to get in contact with DR BEN. He did a love spell that make my husband come back to me. we are now very much happy with our self. DR BEN make him to realize how much we love and need each other. This man is for REAL and for good.he can also help you to fix your broken relationship. I had my husband back! It was like a miracle! He suddenly wanted to go to marriage counseling, and we’re doing very, very well,in our love life. contact email xxxx website http://benherbaltemple.webs.com tel: xxxxx #10
jennifer - 5 days ago
First of all, Am just short of words i don't know what to say, am so grateful to prophet Abulele for what he has done for me. At first i thought he was a scam like two others that i worked with, but i just decided to contact him then he told me that my lover will be back home within 72 hours. When the 72 hours completed my husband called me and said he was sorry for the frequent argument and fight, i was so happy that my husband who left me for over 2 years called me. Now we are together he can't do without me, he always wants me to be by his side and he just bought me a new car. If you want to contact him for help, his email is prophetabulelehealingtemple@g mail. com #11
chayan - 6 days 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 #12
sanches - 6 days ago
I am very grateful to this great spell caster who brought my ex husband back to me. This testimony is a true story and my name is renato Sanchez. When i came in contact with this man was also through a testimony written about him and i have also encountered many testimonies about how he has been helping others with their life. To get back with an ex is one of the most inner most feeling many people would love to experience especially as those memories with our ex always cloud our mind when someone else does some of those things our ex used to do. I was a single parent for almost 6 years and though my ex husband was far away from my kids i still wish someday he will return back to me. This spell doctor i encountered known as Doctor UZOYA helped me with my wishes and i am happy to say that i am back with my ex husband and i am very happy sharing the testimony with everyone so that they too can meet this great doctor and solve their problems. I don't know what others might feel about gett #13
caroline - 1 week ago
Hello everyone i`am caroline from Uganda, i am very happy today and satisfied, This is certainly a shocking and a genuine Testimony..I visited a forum here on the internet on the 10TH OF JANUARY 2017, And i saw a marvelous testimony of this powerful and great spell caster called Prophet Abulele on the forum..I never believed it, because i never heard nor learnt anything about magic before.. Not a soul would have been able to influence me about magical spells, not until Prophet Abulele did it for me and restored my marriage of 5 years back to me and brought my husband back to me in the same 3 days just as i read on the internet..i was truly astonished and shocked when my husband knelt down begging for forgiveness and for me to accept him back.. I am really short of expressions, and i don't know how much to convey my appreciation to you Prophet Abulele you are a God sent to me and my entire family.. And now i am a joyful woman once again.. here is his Email: prophetabulelehealingtemple@g #14
Virginia Sophia - 1 week ago
Now that i got my man back it's would be unfair if I don't share my experience to the whole world on how i got him back.That is why I am here this day to let the world know that there are real powers in spell casting as DR OCUSODO has proven to me by bringing joy and happiness to my relationship and my family in just 2days after i got him contacted . I never believed in any of these things until i loosed my boyfriend, I required help until i found xxxx or xxxx A great spell caster,who cast a love spell for me, and he assured me that I will get my boyfriend back in two days after the spell has been cast. two days later, my phone rang, and so shockingly, it was my boyfriend who has not called me for past 4 months now, and made an apology for the heart break, and told me that he is ready to be my back bone till the rest of his life with me.Dr OCUSODO released him up to know how much i loved and wanted him. And opened his eyes to picture #15
mia marry - 1 week ago
DR TEBE HELP ME BRING MY LOVE BACK My name is MIA MARY, I am here to testify to the good work of the Dr tebe spell Caster. 4 years ago, my husband left home, he never returned, no phone calls, no letters, no emails, no sign of him anywhere. my daughter got sick with multiple sclerosis, things were so tough for me. I had lost hope, 2 years ago, i met a psychic, he said he would help me, i paid over $6800 and still nothing happened, I lost hope completely, my daughter situation got worse each day.last month, I saw a posting concerning the good works of the whole professional Dr tebe, I gave him a try i paid about $2000, for all three spells (Bring Lover back, Healing spell and Career spells). In a matter of weeks, my husband called me and told me he was sorry that he wants to come back to me and that he would explain everything when he comes back,three days later, I got a new job with a loan and finance company, right now, my daughter condition is getting better each day and I trust she #16
mia marry - 1 week ago
DR TEBE HELP ME BRING MY LOVE BACK My name is MIA MARY, I am here to testify to the good work of the Dr tebe spell Caster. 4 years ago, my husband left home, he never returned, no phone calls, no letters, no emails, no sign of him anywhere. my daughter got sick with multiple sclerosis, things were so tough for me. I had lost hope, 2 years ago, i met a psychic, he said he would help me, i paid over $6800 and still nothing happened, I lost hope completely, my daughter situation got worse each day.last month, I saw a posting concerning the good works of the whole professional Dr tebe, I gave him a try i paid about $2000, for all three spells (Bring Lover back, Healing spell and Career spells). In a matter of weeks, my husband called me and told me he was sorry that he wants to come back to me and that he would explain everything when he comes back,three days later, I got a new job with a loan and finance company, right now, my daughter condition is getting better each day and I trust she #17
sophie mia - 1 month ago
I've been really depress and been in so much pains after my wife left me. Our son is just 8 without her mother. Life can be very displeasing especially when i try every way possible to get her back and all i got is been scammed by this fake Spiritual Spell Casters.... I'm new on this spell stuff but after talking and chatting with Dr Anabi then i realize he is the man i can completely trust. I know there are many of you out there who are in the same problem too and also looking for a real spell caster that can give wealth and bring back your love again.. Dr. Anabi is real and in just 2 days of his spell my whole story got turn around and things started to be as before. I followed his advice and Spell instructions, and fortunately, I'm a success story! Kathy is back now and im so glad our son got to see her mother again. Now we're better than ever. Dr. Anabi spell really worked and he has been very helpful, and I can't believe it worked so well! I'm honestly, still in shock! :) If you #18
sindy scot - 1 month ago
I want the world to know a great man that is well known as Dr Miracle,he has the perfect solution to relationship issues and marriage problems. The main reason why i went to Dr Miracle was for solution on how i can get my husband back because in recent times i have read some testimonies on the internet which some people has written about Dr Miracle and i was so pleased and i decided to seek for assistance from him on his which he did a perfect job by casting a spell on my husband which made him to come back to me and beg for forgiveness.I will not stop publishing his name on the net because of the good work he is doing. I will drop his contact for the usefulness of those that needs his help.His Email Dr miracles,,,,"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/,,,, #19
Colby - 3 months ago
I want to use this great medium to thank LORD MASUKA for helping me to get my boyfriend back after he dumped me for 3 months .My boyfriend breakup with me because he see another girl at his church and told me he is no longer want me and live me in pain and heart break.I seek for help on the internet and i saw so many good talk about this great spell caster LORD MASUKA of xxxx and i contacted him also and explain my problems to him and he cast a love spell for me which i use to get back my boyfriend within the period of 3 days and i am so grateful to him for the good work he has done for me,that is why i also want to let everyone who is in need of help out there to also seek help from him so he can help.His email is xxxx or call xxxxx287 or view and contact him on his website: http://lordmasukalovespelltemple.webs.com you can contact for any kind of help and he will help you. And you can also reach him on facebook Harry Mas #20

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