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 (403)
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
JOAN BRUCE - 1 day ago
No one could have ever made me believe that the letter I'm about to write would actually one day be written. I was the world’s biggest skeptic. I never believed in magic spells or anything like that, but I was told by a reliable source (a very close co-worker) that Dr Oniha is a very dedicated, gifted, and talented person, and after much “cajoling,” she (my co-worker) got me to visit email xxxx. It was one of the best things I have ever done. 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. So, with nothing but my pride to lose, I checked it out. I was flabbergasted. Dr Oniha is for REAL. He did whatever magic he does, and lo and behold – no more than TWO DAYS later, 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, on the r #3
SHANALY - 1 day ago
My ex husband is now back to me again. As I`m writing this testimony right now I`m the most happiest woman on earth and me and my husband is living a happy life and our love is now stronger than how it were even before our break up. All thanks goes to Dr.BEN for the excessive work that he has done for me by helping me to get back with my ex Husband. I would like to drop Dr. BEN mail address and hope you see this testimony and contact him if you have a lover that you really want back so badly, His mail: xxxx all call him xxxxx. Via web sit: http://benherbaltemple.webs.com #4
George - 4 days ago
THIS IS NOT FAKE! MY NAME IS GEORGE, I WORK AS A CONSTRUCTION ENGINEER. LIFE WAS MISERABLE BECAUSE MY WIFE LEFT ME. I WAS BROKE AT A POINT AND THEN I WAS WORKING IN AFRICA. I CAME ACROSS DR MALAIKA WHO HELPED ME WITH FINANCIAL AND MARITAL PROBLEMS. I LEFT THE COMPANY I WAS WORKING WITH AND NOW AM A PROUD MAJOR SHAREHOLDER OF RCC WESTAFRICA. YOU CAN CONTACT DR MALAIKA AND BECOME RICH ALONG WITH HAVING ANY WOMAN OR MAN YOU WANT OUT THERE. THE BEST WAY I'M PAYING HIM BACK IS TELLING PEOPLE THAT DR MALAIKA IS YOUR HOPE. HIS EMAIL IS odogwumalaika @ g m a i l . com AND THE PHONE IS xxxxx120. #5
willam - 4 days ago
I never believe on love spells until i met a friend of my who told me everything about DR.ehis who brought her ex-boyfriend back, even when she was telling me i did not believe her because i thought that she also wanted the same fake spell casters to take away my money. Although i gave her chance to explain everything she has to tell me about DR.ehis , i said to her that there are many scammers who want to take our money and i will never fall victim on them, even though my fiancee who suppose to marry me in a few months from now left me i will wait patiently for another guy though i loved him so much. she told me that this DR is not a fake one that he is real and he has helped many people to get their loved ones back, then i ask her how does this spell work and what is the requirements that i have to do before he can cast the love spells on me? she told me that i should emailed him on (xxxx) #6
plum sergio - 4 days ago
I never believed in spell casting, but After 6 years of dating, I still imagine how Dr AGBEBAKU brought my ex lover back to me in just 24 hour. No one could have ever made me believe that there is a real spell caster that really work. am sergio by name,I want to quickly tell the world that there is a real on line spell caster that is powerful and genuine, His name is Dr AGBEBAKU, He helped me recently to reunite my relationship when my ex lover who left me, When i contacted Dr AGBEBAKU he cast a love spell for me and my ex lover who said he doesn't have anything to do with me again, he called me and started begging me. he is back now with so much love and caring. today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the powers of bring lovers back. because i am now happy with my lover,and the most surprise,is that our love is very strong,every day is happiness and joy. and there is nothing like been with the man you love.i am so happy my love is back to me with the help of Dr #7
Elena Jaden - 5 days ago
My Name is Elena Jaden from United States Of America,I want to quickly write on a Powerful Love spell Caster that helped me when i had a misunderstanding with my Husband which leads to Divorced, I contacted this Powerful Love spell caster for help and He actually helped me without running away with my money. I am So Happy and Excited because as i am writing this Testimony, My Husband is madly in love with me again. If there is anybody Out there who is in Difficulties and need help should kindly Contact DR.SABU on His Private Email and he is Ready to Help you no matter the Situation, Here is His Valid Email: xxxx or whatsapp number: xxxxx993 You can also reach him on his website: https://drsabuspelltemple.wixsite.com/dr-sabu Thanks you Sir. #8
Elizabeth Romero - 5 days ago
My name is Elizabeth Romero from UK. I am here to give testimony on how I got my husband back, my husband left me for no reason 6 Month. He moved in with another woman, I felt like killing myself, my life became very bitter and sorrowful. Then 1 day, a friend of mine told me about a great spell caster that is very good and she said that he told her all about her life history and the problem she is facing, i didn't believe it because I've worked with so many of them and it didn't work. She begged me further so I decided to try this great spell caster called Great Dr OCUSODO. I still didn't believe, but inside me i wanted to give a try and as God will have it, i used the spell solution he gave me and the next day I received a call from my darling husband Romero last month. He apologized and came back to me. I'm very happy now with my family it worked for me and i believe it will work for you too just give him a try and follow up this is a clear truth from a testifier. Thank you Dr ODUSOD #9
George - 5 days ago
THIS IS NOT FAKE! MY NAME IS GEORGE, I WORK AS A CONSTRUCTION ENGINEER. LIFE WAS MISERABLE BECAUSE MY WIFE LEFT ME. I WAS BROKE AT A POINT AND THEN I WAS WORKING IN AFRICA. I CAME ACROSS DR MALAIKA WHO HELPED ME WITH FINANCIAL AND MARITAL PROBLEMS. I LEFT THE COMPANY I WAS WORKING WITH AND NOW AM A PROUD MAJOR SHAREHOLDER OF RCC WESTAFRICA. YOU CAN CONTACT DR MALAIKA AND BECOME RICH ALONG WITH HAVING ANY WOMAN OR MAN YOU WANT OUT THERE. THE BEST WAY I'M PAYING HIM BACK IS TELLING PEOPLE THAT DR MALAIKA IS YOUR HOPE. HIS EMAIL IS odogwumalaika @ g m a i l . com AND THE PHONE IS 2 3 4 7 0 6 5 4 4 8 1 2 0. #10
George - 5 days ago
THIS IS NOT FAKE! MY NAME IS GEORGE, I WORK AS A CONSTRUCTION ENGINEER. LIFE WAS MISERABLE BECAUSE MY WIFE LEFT ME. I WAS BROKE AT A POINT AND THEN I WAS WORKING IN AFRICA. I CAME ACROSS DR MALAIKA WHO HELPED ME WITH FINANCIAL AND MARITAL PROBLEMS. I LEFT THE COMPANY I WAS WORKING WITH AND NOW AM A PROUD MAJOR SHAREHOLDER OF RCC WESTAFRICA. YOU CAN CONTACT DR MALAIKA AND BECOME RICH ALONG WITH HAVING ANY WOMAN OR MAN YOU WANT OUT THERE. THE BEST WAY I'M PAYING HIM BACK IS TELLING PEOPLE THAT DR MALAIKA IS YOUR HOPE. HIS EMAIL IS odogwumalaika @ xxxxxx . com AND THE PHONE IS xxxxx120 . #11
Elizabeth Romero - 5 days ago
My name is Elizabeth Romero from UK. I am here to give testimony on how I got my husband back, my husband left me for no reason 6 Month. He moved in with another woman, I felt like killing myself, my life became very bitter and sorrowful. Then 1 day, a friend of mine told me about a great spell caster that is very good and she said that he told her all about her life history and the problem she is facing, i didn't believe it because I've worked with so many of them and it didn't work. She begged me further so I decided to try this great spell caster called Great Dr OCUSODO. I still didn't believe, but inside me i wanted to give a try and as God will have it, i used the spell solution he gave me and the next day I received a call from my darling husband Romero last month. He apologized and came back to me. I'm very happy now with my family it worked for me and i believe it will work for you too just give him a try and follow up this is a clear truth from a testifier. Thank you Dr ODUSOD #12
Adams Vera - 6 days ago
Hello viewers my name is Adams Vera from USA. I got married ten years ago to the cutest and caring husband; we were blessed with two kids. We had the best home until my husband started behaving awkwardly last year. it was then i discovered that he was seeing another woman. our marriage moved from bad to worse until he eventually left the home with the kids. He took away my home and happiness. i had lived with sorrow, rejection and pain ever since then. My friend Kate tried to make me happy and stop me from brooding but i could not get through the incidence. it was then my friend introduced Dr Brown to me, she told me he could solve all marital and health problems. we contacted him online and i narrated my story to him. The rest is story because i am now back with my family, living happily than ever all thanks to Dr Brown who gave me back my home, happiness and hope. You can also contact him for ur marital and health problem contact Dr Brown through his email address: dr.brownlovespellh #13
JOAN BRUCE - 6 days ago
No one could have ever made me believe that the letter I'm about to write would actually one day be written. I was the world’s biggest skeptic. I never believed in magic spells or anything like that, but I was told by a reliable source (a very close co-worker) that Dr Oniha is a very dedicated, gifted, and talented person, and after much “cajoling,” she (my co-worker) got me to visit email xxxx. It was one of the best things I have ever done. 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. So, with nothing but my pride to lose, I checked it out. I was flabbergasted. Dr Marvel is for REAL. He did whatever magic he does, and lo and behold – no more than TWO DAYS later, 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, on the #14
laura - 6 days ago
How can I explain this to the world that there is a man called Dr uzoya who helped me bring back my ex lover and restored my womb..when all hope was lost..Me and my lover have been married for the past 5 years with no child we were living happily..on till one day that we have an understanding because i had not be able to have a child for him, so he decided to live me because of another women, i was so sad and frustrated and i could not even eat on till one day i was browsing through the internet where i saw a lady called Jessica testifying about spell caster call Dr uzoya who helped her brought back her husband back home, so i decided to take a try in contacting the spell caster Dr uzoya so i explain all my problem to Dr uzoya and he told me that i should not worry that he is going to help me solve my problem,that my lover will come back home to my greatest surprise in just 24 hours my husband start calling me and begging for forgiveness i was so surprise now we are back again as hu #15
JOAN BRUCE - 6 days ago
No one could have ever made me believe that the letter I'm about to write would actually one day be written. I was the world’s biggest skeptic. I never believed in magic spells or anything like that, but I was told by a reliable source (a very close co-worker) that Dr Marvel is a very dedicated, gifted, and talented person, and after much “cajoling,” she (my co-worker) got me to visit email xxxx. It was one of the best things I have ever done. 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. So, with nothing but my pride to lose, I checked it out. I was flabbergasted. Dr Marvel is for REAL. He did whatever magic he does, and lo and behold – no more than TWO DAYS later, 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, on the #16
Wayne Izzy - 6 days ago
This is incredible!! I still imagine how Dr Osauyi brought my husband back to me in just 2days. No one could have ever made me believe that there is a real spell caster that really work. My name is Wayne Izzy from Canada, When i contacted Dr Osauyi for a love spell for me and my husband to come back together who said he doesn't have anything to do with me, but today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the powers of bring lovers back. because i am now happy with my husband. To anyone who is reading this article and needs any help, Dr osauyi can also offer any types of help like Reuniting of marriage and relationship, Curing of all types of Diseases, Court Cases, Pregnancy Spell, Spiritual protection and lot's more. You can contact him Via this email xxxx or you can call his cell phone on xxxxx395 #17
s0nia - 7 days ago
I Am Sonia, i never believe that HIV AID cure is real on till i got in contact with Dr.Otor my HIV stated 5 years ago, i was even waiting for death because all my money went out for drugs, which keep me till today, one day i saw on the interment that HIV cure is out through one herbal healer called Dr.Otor,i copy his mail address,so in the day i then email Dr.Otor, to express my conditions to him he only told me not to be worried that his going to turn my situation around and put smile on my face again and he prepared out the herb drug for me which i took, after taking it he told me to go for the hospital for test which i did, could you believe that i was confirm HIV negative after the test and i went to another hospital and it was also negative as the same.today Dr.Otor has really make me smile if you have this kind of problem and you want to be free from it please contact this doctor with this email address xxxx,he is reliable and dependable in any of the sickn #18
iroko - 7 days ago
i am a spell caster am spiritualist by nature, i know your problems before you lay your comples, i can cure all manner of plagues and misfortunes such as; 1)ALS HABEL CURE 2)want to win lottery jackpot 3)i need my lover back(ex back) 4)wed lock 5)marriage break up 6)conflicts in marriage 7)succes in drugs pusing 8)want woman or man to run after you 9)want to win election 10)power to perform sign and wonders 11)want to win court case 12)promotion in the company where you work 13)looking for a rightful partner 14)want to possess your possession 15)want your business to be increasing 16)need a nice job or having problem in the place of work 17)are you barren (unable to give birth) 18)reoccuring problems like miscarriage and lot more 19)need a protection against afflictions 20)do you want to read your palm and know what the feature own for you what are you waiting for, wast no more time and contact me with your problems i am genus i can help you cure your problems by puting a fanal solutio #19
kelvin scott - 1 week ago
“I feel the same way as any other man with heartbreak and What would I have done if not for DR. wakina, my name is Mrs. Kelvin Scott, I am 45. years old and I have a son. Unfortunately almost a year ago his mom broke up with me because of a mistake I made and I just really want her back. she is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I want my family to be complete again, I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I read online that dr wakina helped a girl in this situation and I contacted him for help. I grew up with my parents divorced and I don't want that for my son and I miss my wife so much and just want my family to be bank again I want the love of my life back and I can honestly say that because she is the only woman I have ever truly loved with all my heart. So I seek help from xxxx and he responded to me and he cast a love spell for me which I use in getting back my wife and I am happy and grateful to him for helping me and I want you all to al #20

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