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 (321)
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
Jessica - 15 hours ago
My husband left me to be with another woman. and wanted him back. i was jealous and it made us argue all the time until he vanished away, I was desperate to get him back, I wasted so much time and money on getting my lover back after I have tried almost all possibilities to have him back and nothing worked. I became lonely for 2 years. To make it short, I found a spell caster Manifest Spell by accident. I don’t know how I found him and i cant remember. But, when I first saw the good testimonies about his wonderful work and after reading the Testimonials, I decided I had to try and give it one last shot. After the spells, a miracle happened, my husband came home. it was awesome, anyone who needs help, should email xxxx He is the best. #3
Belcher - 1 day ago
I am Belcher from the United Kingdom with so much joy in heart i want to show my appreciation to Priest Odibo by telling the whole world about the powers of Priest Odibo. I lost my lover few weeks ago and to me it seems my whole world was crushing down, I needed help desperately so i decided to check the internet for solution. I was scammed ones by one Dr. Cure. I was directed to Priest Odibo by one Mrs. Becky. At first i was nervous but after short period of time i contacted him and to my greatest surprise within 48 hours my lover called me and started begging me to forgive him that he is ready to make up for lost time. we are finally together and i am happy to tell everyone to contact him through xxxx #4
disch - 2 days ago
Hello all my viewers My name is KAREN DEX from USA!I am very happy for sharing this great testimonies,The best thing that has ever happened in my life is how I won the euro million mega jackpot. I am a woman who believe that one day I will win the lottery. finally my dreams come through when I email Dr clement. and tell him I need the lottery numbers. I have spend so much money on ticket just to make sure I won. But I never know that winning was not so easy like that until the day I meant the spell caster online which so many people has talked about that he is very powerful of casting any kind of spell gambling spell,so I decide to give it a try.I contacted this great Dr 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 seven million Dollar. Dr. clement truly you are the best you make me won seven millions dollar through lottery.I am so very happy to meet you dr, I will be forever be grateful t #5
carol - 2 days ago
my name is carol and I live in USA, My life is back again... After 5years 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. ovia, which I meet online, On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet and I came across a lot of testimonies about this particular spell caster.Some people testified that he brought their Ex boyfriend back, some testified that he restores Womb,Cure Cancer and Herpes Virus and HIV Cure,diabitis hepatitis b, and other sickness, some testified that he can cast a spell to stop divorce and so on. I also come across one particular testimony and it was about a woman called jinni, 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. ovia email address which is, xxxx After reading all these,I decided to give it a try and I contacted him throug #6
lazic ihab - 5 days ago
Hello my name is lazic ihab I married for a while and things were OK, I was in love with her, she was crazy about me, but later on everything changed and by complicated exterior circumstances which did not have to do with us, we decided to pause for a while, but still remain friends. But in the end, she started getting cold: she treated me as if she did not know me, she acted too immature to the point where she did not even say hi to me when we bumped into each other (we had the same circle of friends). Of course, it hurt so badly, I wanted to kill her. Then out of nowhere she disappeared. I wrote her for her birthday and she replied little. Some of my “friends” saw she had left and started going cold with me too, as if it was my fault that she had left. The few that were still my close friends and still hers, told me she had moved on, that it was best not to make contact with her. Then out of the blue some months later she reappeared, but still acting like a douche. I was sufferin #7
mason carlton - 5 days ago
After being in relationship for 9 years,my husband broke up with me 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 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 emailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before seven days, that my ex will return to me before seven days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the six day, it was around 4pm. My ex husband called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybo #8
mailk - 6 days ago
I am subbitming this here today to tell everyone one that your dead marriage can be restored with the help of this great man DR. BELLO, I will start by saying to all that have experience heart break and also can't do without their lover should please stop here and read up my story, So as you will know how to go solving or getting your ex back...Am writing this article to appreciate the good work of Dr BELLO that helped me recently to bring back my fiance. My fiance broke up with me last three month because he thought i was cheating on her, so for the past three month now i have trying to plead with her but she still say the same thing that she does not want us to come back again that she can not trust me so i came in contact with Dr BELLO, who told me that my lover is going to come back to me if i work with him so i did what he ask me to do,after that he will call me that within 17 hours that my lover is going to come back to me,can you believe that my lover is back to me ,she now love #9
kendrick reaves - 7 days ago
My love left me for another woman in December last year. We have been married for 10years and we have 3 beautiful girls together I didn't see it coming at all. I still love him but I thought there is nothing i can do until i meet a man on the internet call Doctor Nosa . I struggled for first 2 months. I wanted to kill myself. I thought my life was over, but you know what. But you know what, Doctor Nosa bring back my joy by casting a spell that brought my husband in 48 hours, now i am so happy, you can contact this wonderful my on his email : xxxx or call him on xxxxx170 #10
lazic ihab - 7 days ago
Hello my name is lazic ihab I married for a while and things were OK, I was in love with her, she was crazy about me, but later on everything changed and by complicated exterior circumstances which did not have to do with us, we decided to pause for a while, but still remain friends. But in the end, she started getting cold: she treated me as if she did not know me, she acted too immature to the point where she did not even say hi to me when we bumped into each other (we had the same circle of friends). Of course, it hurt so badly, I wanted to kill her. Then out of nowhere she disappeared. I wrote her for her birthday and she replied little. Some of my “friends” saw she had left and started going cold with me too, as if it was my fault that she had left. The few that were still my close friends and still hers, told me she had moved on, that it was best not to make contact with her. Then out of the blue some months later she reappeared, but still acting like a douche. I was sufferin #11
Sharon Gary - 1 week ago
I'm Sharon Gary from UK Manchester, Blessing to you all that ready this my testimony on how Dr Akereco help me. My boyfriend and I were seriously in love for 6 years and we were planning to get married but one day he came to my house and told me he was no longer interested in our relationship simply because he was dating another rich lady who promised to buy him a car and to sponsor their wedding. And I suffered heartbreak for 10 months and I was not tired of loving him, so I took a bold step by contacting a spell caster who helped me bring my ex boyfriend back. he is powerful and great his contact is( xxxx ), or contact him at: xxxxx262. his website is http://akerecolovespell.wixsite.com/akerecolovespell if you have any problem contact Dr Akereco, i give you 100% guarantee that he will help you!!. #12
colby - 1 week 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 #13
Benita - 1 week ago
Dr Malaika doesn’t ask for testimonies and he doesn’t charge. His email is xxxx He is genuine and people get to meet him by luck. But right now am your luck if you meet him. Every other testimonies of spell casters you read here are scams. Dr Malaika lives in Nigeria and I happened to meet him by chance after a friend told me about how he brought back her ex and restored her lost womb. She also told me about how Dr Malaika cures all forms of illness ranging from HIV to Cancer, Fibroid, and Infertility and also Money spells. I followed those other internet testimonies and was hugely scammed to the extent that I wanted to kill myself. Dr Malaika turned my situation around, He made my ex come crawling on his knees to have him back. His email address is odogwumalaika @ xxxxxx .com , mobile: xxxxx120 but please don’t make him know that I published him on net. He is just wonderful and I wish whoever that finds him good luck. #14
golgomadar - 1 week ago
HELLO my name is gologo madar WITH A GRATEFUL HEART DR OWOLABI is a real spell casterhe is so powerful unique, and amazing. DR OWOLABI restored happiness to my life again by bringing my husband back to me with his powers.DR OWOLABI is a gifted and a very powerful good man and if not for him what would my life turn to? DR OWOLABI may your good gods continue to bless you for your good deeds. DR OWOLABI words can not express how much good you have done for me and i believe that even a thousand words won't be enough to describe your good great works. If you are facing any spiritual problem 1) If you want your ex back. (2) if you always have bad dreams. (3) You want to be promoted in your office. (4) You want women/men to run after you. (5) If you want a child. (6) You want to be rich. (7) You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever. (8) If you need financial assistance. (9) How you been scammed and you want to recover you lost money. (10 #15
golgomadar - 1 week ago
HELLO my name is gologo madar WITH A GRATEFUL HEART DR OWOLABI is a real spell casterhe is so powerful unique, and amazing. DR OWOLABI restored happiness to my life again by bringing my husband back to me with his powers.DR OWOLABI is a gifted and a very powerful good man and if not for him what would my life turn to? DR OWOLABI may your good gods continue to bless you for your good deeds. DR OWOLABI words can not express how much good you have done for me and i believe that even a thousand words won't be enough to describe your good great works. If you are facing any spiritual problem 1) If you want your ex back. (2) if you always have bad dreams. (3) You want to be promoted in your office. (4) You want women/men to run after you. (5) If you want a child. (6) You want to be rich. (7) You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever. (8) If you need financial assistance. (9) How you been scammed and you want to recover you lost money. (10 #16
golgomadar - 1 week ago
HELLO my name is gologo madar WITH A GRATEFUL HEART DR OWOLABI is a real spell casterhe is so powerful unique, and amazing. DR OWOLABI restored happiness to my life again by bringing my husband back to me with his powers.DR OWOLABI is a gifted and a very powerful good man and if not for him what would my life turn to? DR OWOLABI may your good gods continue to bless you for your good deeds. DR OWOLABI words can not express how much good you have done for me and i believe that even a thousand words won't be enough to describe your good great works. If you are facing any spiritual problem 1) If you want your ex back. (2) if you always have bad dreams. (3) You want to be promoted in your office. (4) You want women/men to run after you. (5) If you want a child. (6) You want to be rich. (7) You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever. (8) If you need financial assistance. (9) How you been scammed and you want to recover you lost money. (10 #17
golgomadar - 1 week ago
HELLO my name is gologo madar WITH A GRATEFUL HEART DR OWOLABI is a real spell casterhe is so powerful unique, and amazing. DR OWOLABI restored happiness to my life again by bringing my husband back to me with his powers.DR OWOLABI is a gifted and a very powerful good man and if not for him what would my life turn to? DR OWOLABI may your good gods continue to bless you for your good deeds. DR OWOLABI words can not express how much good you have done for me and i believe that even a thousand words won't be enough to describe your good great works. If you are facing any spiritual problem 1) If you want your ex back. (2) if you always have bad dreams. (3) You want to be promoted in your office. (4) You want women/men to run after you. (5) If you want a child. (6) You want to be rich. (7) You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever. (8) If you need financial assistance. (9) How you been scammed and you want to recover you lost money. (10 #18
Elaine R Whitten - 1 week ago
Greetings to everyone in this forum, I'm Elaine R. Whitten from 239 Zappia Drive, Burlington KY in USA, i am here to testify about a great herbal spell caster called Dr. Jerry Oju... Early June this year, I lost someone very special to me (MY HUSBAND) we were expecting our first kid but he treated me really bad and filled for a divorce. I tried to get him back but he said he's done with me. I couldn't picture myself being a single mom this young and I've sought the counsel of a marriage counselor alone for about 8 sessions, wrote countless love letters, sent flowers, cards etc nothing turned out well and that was around Jan/2016. I totally needed to put an end to the pain i felt. I was desperate and determined to be reunited with my husband again, on a faithful day day I went online to surf the internet for more clues about relationship and divorce, i came across a review of a lady with name Sarah Diaz resident at Liberty Avenue, Anaheim, California, expressing how she got cured of he #19
ruth - 2 weeks ago
xxxx,this is a wonderful spell caster. Very trustworthy, my name is ruth jude, My husband cheated on me for Almost for three years. he ignore me for several months and left me with nothing, but i am happy today that bello Spell brought my husband back, I am so happy, Now my husband is all mine again. I can now say I’m happy again. Great spell from Manifest Spell, bello spell is genuine. I truly believe in him and his spells. he is a professional. I really enjoyed the result which i got, his love spell is marvelous, he is truly gifted, his love spell has brought me happiness, I am extremely pleased, it worked out to my test, he has the most powerful love spell, I recommend his love spell to anyone who is ready to get his or her lover back call or email him on xxxxx779,or xxxx,goodluck. #20
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