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 (234)
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 - 1 year ago
1 1 4
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 - 1 year ago
0 0 3
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
Guest - 4 days ago
I have been suffering from (HERPES) disease for the last four years and had constant pain, especially in my knees. During the first year,I had faith in God that i would be healed someday.This disease started circulate all over my body and i have been taking treatment from my doctor, few weeks ago i came on search on the internet if i could get any information concerning the prevention of this disease, on my search i saw a testimony of someone who has been healed from (Hepatitis B and Cancer) by this Man Dr ERO and she also gave the email address of this man and advise we should contact him for any sickness that he would be of help, so i wrote to Dr ERO telling him about my (HERPES Virus) he told me not to worry that i was going to be cured!! hmm i never believed it,, well after all the procedures and remedy given to me by this man few weeks later i started experiencing changes all over me as the Dr assured me that i have cured,after some eromosalelovespell @ outlook.com #3
Guest - 1 week ago
This is a great testimony i must share. I never believed in spells or magic not until i met Dr. Solution(oviedokogo. @ xxxxxx.com ). My life is back!!! After 2 years of Broken marriage, my wife left me with two kids. I felt like my life was about to end, i almost committed suicide, i was emotionally down for a very long time. Thanks to a spell caster called Dr. Solution who i met online. On one faithful day, I was browsing through the internet, I came across a lot of testimonies about this particular spell caster. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back,some testified that he restored their womb, cured cancer, and other sickness, some testified that he can cast a spell to stop divorce and so on. I also come across one particular testimony, it was about a woman called Sonia,she testified about how he brought back her Ex lover in less than 2 days, and at the end of her testimony she dropped Dr. Solution's personal email ( oviedokogo @ xxxxxx.com ) . After readin #4
ALLISON - 2 weeks ago
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I am very grateful sharing this great testimonies with you, The best thing that has ever happened in my life is how i win the lottery. I am a woman who believe that one day i will win the lottery, finally my dreams came through when i email Dr Ekpen Temple and tell him i need the lottery numbers. i have come a long way spending money on ticket just to make sure i win. But i never knew that winning was so easy until the day i meant the spell caster online which so many people has talked about that he is very great in casting lottery spell, so i decide to give it a try.I contacted this man and he did a spell and he gave me the winning lottery numbers. But believe me when the draws were out i was among winners. i win 1.900.000 million Dollar. Dr. Ekpen Temple truly you are the best, with these man you can will millions of money through lottery. i am so very happy to meet these man, i will forever be grateful to you. Email him for your own winning lottery numbers (ekpentemple @ xxxxxx . co #5
sarah meredith - 3 weeks ago
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MY TESTIMONY.... My name is Sarah Meredith,aged 31 years,am staying in North Dakota USA. I want everyone to know about my good experience through DR UZAKA THE SPELL MASTER. Who have saved my marriage! I got married to my husband in 1995. We both had no kids and we spent 11 years in marriage without a child.I was crying some time for being childless woman in my life and my husband's family were advising him to get a child outside our marriage or marry a new wife, but he gave me more chances.In 2007 i got to know DR UZAKA THE SPELL MASTER through a coworker. I explained to him about the problem we had in our marriage, luckily for me he accepted to cast a spell for me and my husband, so he did a spiritual work and cast out bad spell in my marriage life. The good news is that now i have my own kids 3 boys 1 girl we are living a happy family with our four kids, i promise him that this testimony will not dry in my mouth below are his contact a trier will convince you. Cell No. xxxxx857 #6
JOEL SANDRA - 4 weeks ago
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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 or call his via cell phone number: xxxxx060, to help you with your problems. #7
CATHY - 2 months ago
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My name is Sanchez·!!! i am very grateful sharing this great testimonies with you all, The best thing that has ever happened in my life, is when i worn the power-ball lottery. I do always believe that someday i will win the power-ball lottery.finally my dreams came through when i contacted Azimeye and tell him i needed the lottery winning special numbers cause i have come a long way spending money on ticket just to make sure i win. But i never knew that winning was so easy with the help of Azimeye, powerful spell, until the day i meant the testimony of one Mrs. Mariam online, which a lot of people has talked about that. “he is very powerful spell specialist and has great powers in casting lottery spell, so i decided to give it a try so I emailed Azimeye and he did a spell and gave me the winning lottery special numbers 62, and co-incidentally I have be playing this same number for the past 23years without any winning, But ame when I play the special number 62 this time and the draws #8
BRYON STEWART - 2 months ago
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Thank you sir for your genuine spells. I'm Bryon Stewart by name. From USA Taxes I came across many testimonies on net testifying of Dr Ogudu a voodoo spell caster that will help you cast a LOTTERY spell and give you the rightful numbers to win the lottery, i didn't believe it, at first but as life got badder i decided to take a try, now my try has made me a millionaire, i have been playing all types of lottery since 7 years now but i have not win up to $500,after contacting him he cast the spell and give me the hot winning numbers and i won( TWO MILLIONS DOLLARS) now i am a living testimony of the good works of Dr Ogudu A gifted man with a great powers, it is my secret but i decided to make the world known to it as it might be a help to any one who is interested, Email him (xxxx) or call xxxxx254.....yours faithful client Bryon stewart #9
Helen - 2 months ago
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Hi viewers I’m Helen pulford wilson i am giving this testimony about GREAT PAPA via Email:xxxx on how i won $400,000 in my play lottery, I took an advice from some one who talked about this powerful great spell caster called GREAT PAPA via Email:xxxx the person placed a testimonies on internet saying how GREAT PAPA helped him win the lottery by sending him the winning number i was curious and i thought it was all joke not until i contacted this spell caster to know for myself how this work because i have spend a lot money buying tickets and i never win. I contacted him and he told me the necessary thing that need to be done and i did it and he told me to wait for 3days and truly he gave me the winning numbers to play the lottery which i did, Can you believe my name was the first among winners. He told me (my son all i need you to do for me is make sure that you share his good work to others so that they can also win the lottery because i do not have much #10
AMITY - 2 months ago
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Hi viewers I’m amity i am giving this testimony about Dr. Friday on how i won $100,000 in my play lottery, I took an advice from some one who talked about this powerful great spell caster called Dr Friday the person placed a testimonies on internet saying how Dr Friday helped him win the lottery by sending him the winning number i was curious and i thought it was all joke not until i contacted this spell caster to know for myself how this work because i have spend a lot money buying tickets and i never win. I contacted him and he told me the necessary thing that need to be done and i did it and he told me to wait for 3days and truly he gave me the winning numbers to play the lottery which i did, Can you believe my name was the first among winners. He told me (my son all i need you to do for me is make sure that you share his good work to others so that they can also win the lottery because i do not have much time to spend on the internet) so that is why i am sharing this wonderful te #11
sarah adams - 2 months ago
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i am sarah adams from Australia. This is my testimony on how i won £20,100,472 on Mega millions lottery, The best thing that has ever happened in my life is how i win the lottery. I am a woman who believe that one day i will win the lottery.finally my dreams came through when i email Dr friday. and tell him i need the lottery numbers. i have come a long way spending money on ticket just to make sure i win. But i never know that winning was so easy until the day i meant the spell caster online which so many people has talked about that he is very great in casting lottery spell with winning numbers, I contacted this man and he did the spell and he gave me the winning lottery numbers. But believe me when the draws were out i was among winners. i won (Twenty million,one hundred thousand,four hundred and seventy two pounds) This man is a very strong voodoo doc who gives out the numbers that can never fail. Dr.Friday truly you are the best, with these man you can win millions of money throu #12
Helen - 2 months ago
0 0 0
My Name is Tracy Smith am from United state of American..i want to inform the HERPES VIRUS PATIENT..that this is real and genuine spell caster online..i am so glad that i have this great opportunity to come out here and share my testimony on how GREAT PAPA was able to cure me totally from HERPES VIRUS disease,how i was cured of my HERPES Simplex Virus by a Doctor called GREAT PAPA..i went to many hospitals for cure but there was no solution,I was HERPES positive over 3 year now before I came across a comment about how GREAT PAPA cure HIV and herpes disease but when I saw it i have it in mind that he can’t cure MY HERPES VIRUS DISEASE..I just decided to give it a try I contact him that night luckily to me he replied me back.. but I don’t believe him I thought it was a scam but I still hold on to see the work of GREAT PAPA if what people testify about him herbal cure is truth he ask for some details about me i gave him all he needed and I waited to see his reply to my problem after a #13
luise lopes - 2 months ago
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HELLO FRIENDS OUT HERE..my name is Luise Lopes I use to be a very disappointed woman when its come to playing of lottery, and this one thing i cant do without hoping of hitting it big some day, cause i have spend so much on this game, so i expect nothing less. I have been playing lottery since i was 22 years and now i am 45 meaning i have been playing lottery for 23 years. The biggest amount i have ever won in my life was 400 bucks. But one day my story turns to history after my neighbor Elizabeth introduce me to this man who have the supernatural power to give winning lotto numbers on the Internet that he is the best solution when it comes to winning lottery, that he is a very strong voodoo caster who gives out the numbers that can never fail so i decided to give a try After all my years of laboring and struggling to win the lottery, so finally i contacted him and behold i won ( $15,000,000) by the help of this magic Dr called Dr OSEBOR, this was his email i contacted( oseborwinbackt #14
luis lopes - 2 months ago
0 0 0
HELLO FRIENDS OUT HERE..my name is Luise Lopes I use to be a very disappointed woman when its come to playing of lottery, and this one thing i cant do without hoping of hitting it big some day, cause i have spend so much on this game, so i expect nothing less. I have been playing lottery since i was 22 years and now i am 45 meaning i have been playing lottery for 23 years. The biggest amount i have ever won in my life was 400 bucks. But one day my story turns to history after my neighbor Elizabeth introduce me to this man who have the supernatural power to give winning lotto numbers on the Internet that he is the best solution when it comes to winning lottery, that he is a very strong voodoo caster who gives out the numbers that can never fail so i decided to give a try After all my years of laboring and struggling to win the lottery, so finally i contacted him and behold i won ( $15,000,000) by the help of this magic Dr called Dr OSEBOR, this was his email i contacted( oseborwinbackt #15
luis lopes - 2 months ago
0 0 0
HELLO FRIENDS OUT HERE..my name is Luise Lopes I use to be a very disappointed woman when its come to playing of lottery, and this one thing i cant do without hoping of hitting it big some day, cause i have spend so much on this game, so i expect nothing less. I have been playing lottery since i was 22 years and now i am 45 meaning i have been playing lottery for 23 years. The biggest amount i have ever won in my life was 400 bucks. But one day my story turns to history after my neighbor Elizabeth introduce me to this man who have the supernatural power to give winning lotto numbers on the Internet that he is the best solution when it comes to winning lottery, that he is a very strong voodoo caster who gives out the numbers that can never fail so i decided to give a try After all my years of laboring and struggling to win the lottery, so finally i contacted him and behold i won ( $15,000,000) by the help of this magic Dr called Dr OSEBOR, this was his email i contacted( oseborwinbackt #16
roseanna - 2 months ago
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Hello all my wiver, This is my testimony on how i won $310.5 Million Powerball Jackpot lottery. I want to use this opportunity to thank dr oduduwa for casting winning spell for me to win the lottery of $310.5 million lottery ticket. I have been playing lotteries for the past 4 years now and i have never won any. Ever since then i have not been able to win any lotto and i was so upset and i needed help to win this mega million lottery. so i decided to go online and search for help, there i saw so many good testimony about this man called dr clement of how he has cast lucky spell lotto for people to win the lottery. I contacted him also and tell him i want to win the powerbal lottery, he cast a spell for me which i use to play and won $310.5 million dollars in powerball lottery. I am so grateful to this man, just in-case you also need him to help you win, you can contact him through his email: xxxx and he will surely help you just the way he has helped me. i will forever be grateful to h #17
leo jerry` - 2 months ago
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Straight away after Dr.Lucky cast the Lottery spell for me, I felt enveloped by the control of the spell. This spell change my life into riches. I am now out of debts and experiencing the most amazing good luck with lottery after i won a huge amount of money. I have more luck now than I ever had in my life. i won ( $73,000,000). Dr Lucky, Your Lottery spell made wonders, I can't believe it. Thank you so much sir for dedicating your time to cast the Lottery spell for me.I am eternally grateful for the lottery spell Dr Lucky. did for me. You can email him for you own lottery number. EMAIL HIM NOW xxxx xxxx .call xxxxx330 #18
ava rose - 2 months ago
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CONTACT THE VOODOO SPELL CASTER FOR LOTTERY SPELL,CASINO GAMBLING SPELLS: xxxxx0com or xxxx. WIN LOTTERY JACKPO,EUROMILLION JAKPOT, WIN YOUR CASINO GAMLIN GAMES WITH THE HELP OF HELP OF A SPELL CASTER DR EGUAGA:email:dreguagaendofpainspelltemplexxxxxx.com Hello all my viewers My name is ava rose, from usa florida i am 68 years old I am very happy for sharing this great testimonies,The best thing that has ever happened in my life is how I win the lottery [mega millions jackpot 3 days ago with my husband. I am a woman who believe that one day I will win the lottery. finally my dreams came through when I email Dr EGUAGA. and tell him I need the lottery numbers. I have spend so much money on ticket just to make sure I win. But I never know that winning was s #19
DANIELA - 3 months ago
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Wow my Douglas is back to my life, this year is the most happiest year i have ever had in my whole life, am very happy because i celebrated the xmas with my lover Douglas who left me 2 years ago i have always loved him and always which to be with him again, but never knew that Dr Ewan is going to bring him back to my arms within 48 hours and not just bringing him but at the festive period. Am very happy my dream has come true.Am very happy and i know 2016 is going to be a great year for us. So i want to thank Dr Ewan for the great work which he did for me and if you need his help you contact him through: xxxx, or call him on his mobile number he is always there to help you like he did for me, xxxxx531. Name: Daniela From: UK. #20
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