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 (276)
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 - 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
Berlin - 6 days ago
Shelly left me for a far more younger man and since then my world has been falling apart. I have been through the hands of different spell casters but they all could not help me until i had a chat with Glenn that introduced me to Lord Afar. I never wanted to contact this man because i thought that he is like the others who will do the same thing and drive me insane. I gave him a trial.. to my greatest surprise, he did the spell for me and Shelly came knocking on my door 24 hours after i contacted Lord Afar @ xxxx/website:http://ancientpowerfulspell.webs.com. I will forever be grateful to his good works because he restored my lost happiness and i am happy today because of his good work. wright Berlin. #3
Cathy - 6 days ago
My names is Cathy i want to testify about the great spell caster called Priest Ade my husband and i have been married or 5 years now we don't have a child and the doctor told us i can't give birth because my womb have been damaged due to wrong drugs prescription this got me so worried and my husband was not happy so he decided to get married to another girl and divorce me i was so sad i told my friend about it she told me about a powerful spell caster she gave me his email address well i never believe in it that much though i just decided to give him a try and he told me it will take 24hrs to get my husband back to me and i will get pregnant i doubted him the 3rd day my husband came back to me and was crying he said he didn't want the divorce anymore 3 weeks after the doctor confirmed that i was pregnant he can also help you Email him at xxxx or xxxx website at https://ancientspiritspell7.wixsite.com/ancientspiritspell #4
Victoria Jacques - 2 weeks 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!!!!!! #5
Amy - 2 weeks ago
MY Joy is back to me after a very long time which i an my ex separated since i was alone my life change,every thing about me change a friend of mine gave me an email address and told me that this was the email address she contacted when she was in the same problem so i contacted the email i got a reply he ask me to send him my number so i did he was a man call PRIEST ADE he is a spell caster he casted a spell for me and told me that within two day that my ex we be back for good within that two days my ex was back, i and my ex just got married. few week back, you can contact him at xxxx xxxx website at https://ancientspiritspell7.wixsite.com/ancientspiritspell once again thank you PRIEST ADE #6
alicepaul - 1 month ago
My name is Alice Pual, and I base in U.S.A…My life is back!!! After 7 years of Broken marriage, my husband 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 LORD NOBEL, which i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet,I came across allot of testimonies about this particular spell caster. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back,some testified that he restores womb,cure 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 Lydia,she testified about how he brought back her Ex lover in less than 2 days, and at the end of her testimony she dropped LORD NOBEL E-mail address. After reading all these,I decided to give it a try. I contacted him VIA Email and explained my problem to him. In just 48hours, my husband came b #7
Marty Cohen - 1 month ago
Unimaginable and unbelievable. I'm Marty Cohen. I'm from the United States. And i have a good news to share to the entire world. Do you need your ex husband or lover urgently? I wanna tell you that you need not to worry because i have a good news for those out there that are faced or similar to such situation because there is always a hope and a solution to all problem. There is a great spell caster called Dr IyaryI who can really solve all your problems. Getting my lover back is what i can't imagine but when I was losing my husband Cohen. I needed help and somewhere to turn badly but my Cousin told me about this spell caster who also helped her on the internet. I thought it won't work but i just tried to give this man a chance and i ordered a LOVE SPELL. Two days later, my phone rang. Cohen was his old self again and wanted to come back to me! Not only come back, This is truly miraculous and the spell caster opened him up to know how much I love and needs him. This Spell Casting isn #8
Jeremy Micheal - 2 months 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 #9
Stacy - 2 months 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 #10
Jewel Carol - 2 months 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!!!!!! #11
chayan - 2 months 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
Paul Anderson - 2 months 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 #13
Maria sanchez - 2 months 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 #14
Willma Lee - 2 months 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 #15
jenny - 2 months 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 #16
Guest - 2 months 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 #17
Melissa - 9 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! #18
Susan - 1 year ago
0 0 0
We adopted our daughters baby. He knows she is his birth mother, and I am his Mommy, too. He has not asked if his daddy (grandpa) is his dad. His father calls once a year to meet him, we have not allowed that due to addiction issues. He see's our daughter, for short visits, when she is doing ok. Our son is 8 years old now and so far hasn't made any connections to ask questions. He figures grandpa is the "Daddy" of everyone. We are concerned about telling him too late. We feel some quilt about not letting the dad see him or letting the dad's mother never meet him. They say wait till he asks, but will he feel deceived? #19
Maria Cooker - 2 weeks ago
Email Dr. OCUSODO for a strong love spell to get back your ex back xxxx My name is Maria Cooker and I live in USA, My life is back again... After 2 years of Broken marriage, my husband left me with kids .I felt like my life was about to end and I almost committed suicide, I was emotionally down for a very long time.Thanks to a spell caster called dr. ocusodo, his email address: xxxx #20

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