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 (305)
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
Mimi Gold - 14 hours ago
I want to appreciate Dr Alabi for using his herbal medicine to cure my family Herpes virus,since 3years ago my family have been having this Herpes disease and it have been giving my family challenges,we were so perplexed cause my family have taken several drugs to be cure but every of our effort was in-vain,a fateful morning i was browsing through the internet then i saw several testimonies about Dr Alabi curing people of their herpes disease immediately i contacted Dr Alabi on his email: { xxxx }, told him about my family troubles and he told me that my family must be cure,so he prepare a herbal medicine for my family which we use for 2 weeks and everything was like a dream for my family,my family Herpes disease was totally gone,why don't you contact him today and be free from your disease on email, xxxx please sir keep your good work cause there are people out there who is in need of your healing medicine.once more contact him website #3
happiness joe - 1 day ago
Am really happy that i and my husband are cured of (HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS) with the herbal medicine of Dr Agbebaku , i have been suffering from this disease for the past 3 years without solution until i came across his email of this doctor who have cure so many people with his herbal medicine, i also choose to give him a chance to help me and my husband, he told me what to do and i kindly did it, and he gave us his herbal medicine and direct me on how to use it, i also follows his instruction for use and he ask us to go for a check up after 3 weeks and which i did, to my greatest surprise our result came out as negative, we are really happy that there is someone like this DR Agbebaku who is ready to help anytime any day. to all the readers and viewers that is doubting this testimony stop doubting it and contact this Dr and see if he will not actually help you. i am not a stupid woman that i will come out to the public and start saying what someone have not done for me .contact him now i #4
Amy Denise - 2 days ago
Hello every one am Amy Denise from carlifonia USA I am here to give my testimony about Dr AYEWAH who helped me in my life, i want to inform the public how i was cured from (HIV ) by Dr AYEWAH,i visited different hospital but they gave me list of drugs like Famvir, Zovirax, and Valtrex which is very expensive to treat the symptoms and never cured me. I was browsing through the Internet searching for remedy on HIV and i saw comment of people talking about how Dr AYEWAH cured them. when i contacted him he gave me hope and send a Herbal medicine to me that i took and it seriously worked for me, am a free person now without problem, my HIV result came out negative. I pray for you Dr.AYEWAH am cured you can also get your self cured my friends if you really need my doctors help, you can reach him now:xxxx or call his Mobil number or whatsapp: xxxxx171 Thank you Dr Ayewah i pray God Bless you for curing me from (HIV)AM SO GRATEFUL,I WILL ADVICE YOU FRIENDS HE #5
Dr Ayewah - 2 days ago
Before people said there is no cure on HIV/AIDS but today many people have now believe that there is a cure.of HIV/AIDS can be cured through Africans root and harms,and days our great doctors have finally found the cure of HIV/AIDS, many have get cured with the help of a great spell caster known as Dr Ayewah he is the one of the great spell doctor in Africa and he has the cure on this disease HIV/AIDS. last month he share is Haber medicine in some medical hospital and now he is well recognize as one of the best spell caster in Africa, you don’t have to be sad any more or share your tears any more on this disease when the cure have already be found in 2011 the if you want to get in touch with him in private contact me on whatsapp xxxxx171 or e-mail xxxx #6
bliz - 3 days ago
Am just an over exerted today for what this great man call Dr, KEN of xxxx has just done in my marital life, after all the emotional pain that i have being passing through all this years have be turn to joy .and i will like you on this forum to help me in thanking him because for the past two years my husband has been cheating on me with a lady and this has course the family a lot of problems and our baby everybody where the one perpetual taking the pain because at this time my husband don't normally come home to ask after the child or even care about what the child needed so with all this problems i was not happy in my marriage and i started going for different kind of marriage canceling and looking for solution every where not until this faithful day when i was browsing on the Internet i saw a testimony shared by miss Tessy Jerry UK about this Dr,KEN and i also contacted him for help and that was how he gave me some instructions and i followed what ever he told m #7
silvia - 4 days ago
I had always managed to stay friendly after our divorce with the father of my 2 kids, in FEBRUARY THIS YEAR. I always wanted to get back together with him, and he was never sure, because the Love was not there anymore. So I thought it was about time I MAKE him sure! visited a forum about a spell caster website this month Mach 22, because my dream was to start a life life with my husband, and live happily with him.. This spell caster requested for some details which i send to him , And this powerful spell caster began to work his magic, after some time i get an email from him telling me before my husband can come back to me i need to buy some items i told the spell caster there is no problem about that of cause which i send him the money for the items,my husband called me for us to be together again, and he was remorseful for all his wrong deeds.the spell work just according how Dr KEN told me : My “husband” is back and we are making preparations on how to go to court and withdraw o #8
silvia - 5 days ago
I had always managed to stay friendly after our divorce with the father of my 2 kids, in FEBRUARY THIS YEAR. I always wanted to get back together with him, and he was never sure, because the Love was not there anymore. So I thought it was about time I MAKE him sure! visited a forum about a spell caster website this month Mach 22, because my dream was to start a life life with my husband, and live happily with him.. This spell caster requested for some details which i send to him , And this powerful spell caster began to work his magic, after some time i get an email from him telling me before my husband can come back to me i need to buy some items i told the spell caster there is no problem about that of cause which i send him the money for the items,my husband called me for us to be together again, and he was remorseful for all his wrong deeds.the spell work just according how Dr KEN told me : My “husband” is back and we are making preparations on how to go to court and withdraw o #9
DINNY MCMAHON - 5 months ago
I was in trouble when my doctor told me that i have been diagnosed with herpes and i know my family will face a serious problem when i am gone i lost hope and wept most of the time, but one day i was surfing the internet i saw Dr. ALIKA herbal home contact number online i called him and he guided me. i asked him for solutions and he started the remedy for my health thank God,now everything is fine i am cured by Dr. ALIKA herbal medicine am very thankful to Dr. ALIKA and very happy with my hobby and family email him on (xxxx) call/whatsapp number xxxxx571 (xxxx ) He can as well cure the following disease; Herpes, Asthma, Cancer, HSV1, #10
Selena - 5 months ago
WOW!! This is the most wonderful thing i have ever experience and i need to share this great testimony..I visited a forum here on the internet on the 8TH MATCH 2015, And i saw a marvelous testimony of this powerful and great spell caster called DR MARVEL on the forum..I never believed it, because i never heard nor learnt anything about magic before.. No body would have been able to convince me about magical spells, not until DR MARVEL did a marvelous work for me and restored my marriage of 6 years back to me and brought my spouse back to me in the same 24 hours just as i read on the internet..i was truly flabbergasted and shocked when my husband kneel down begging for forgiveness and for me to accept him back.. I am really short of words and joy, and i don't know how much to convey my appreciation to you DR MARVEL you are a God sent to me and my entire family.. And now i am a joyful woman once again.. here is his email xxxx. His telephone number xxxxx #11
Tamara Barrow - 5 months ago
What a beautiful and wonderful testimony some time things you don’t believe can just happen. My name is Tamara Barrow from USA Chicago am 25years old i got married at the age of 23 i have only one child and i was living happily .After one year of my marriage my husband behavior became so strange and i don’t really understand what was going on, he packed out of the house to another woman i love him so much that i never dream’s of loosening him, i try my possible best to make sure that my husband get back to me but all to no avail i cry and i cry seeking for help i discussed it with my best friend and she promise to help me he told me of a man called Dr voodoo he is a very great man and a real man that can be trusted and there is nothing concerning love issues he cannot do that is why they call him Dr voodoo I contacted his email address xxxx And i told him everything that happen all he told me is that i should not worry that all my problems will be solved immedi #12
Athira Parra - 6 months ago
My name is Athira Parra and I base in USA...“My life is back!!! After 1 years of broken marriage, my husband left me with one 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 MOMODU 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 Walid Tekwe, 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 MOMODU's 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 1 day, my hus #13
Ciara Robin - 6 months ago
I am Ciara Robin..all gratitude to this great spell caster that help me to bring back my husband that left me for another lady.we have been married for about 3 years,but when we were celebrating our marriage anniversary, there was a lady that came to our anniversary party night and was sitting at one corner of the house, my husband was sitting close to me at the first instance, but as soon as that lady worked in the party my husband left his sit to meet the lady, and that was how it happen, he never came back home that evening, i cried all through the night,and when him came back i ask him where he spend the night he yelled at me and told me it over he left home and i tried to call him but he never responded to my calls and my messages, until i went online to search for help that was how i saw the miraculous way that Dr BAWADA has re-unite several broken homes and immediately i wrote to him for help and he replied me that he will cast love spell that will return my husband to me to sta #14
NAOMI - 6 months ago
My heart was crushed in early April this year 2015 and my marriage and Love life was completely muddled and broken down. I was so heart broken and i needed to put an end to the imbroglio that has affected my marriage for the past nine months because i and my kids needed my husband to be back home this Christmas. I knew fully well that I must learn to love myself before anything else and i knew he was meant for me with no doubt, because when we first met till after 14 years of our marriage, he was there for me. After our divorce, without a shadow of a doubt I do feel completely off balance and i was living each day with no direction and very little actual presence of myself, I felt like I was on auto pilot and I was wasting day after day all in pains.. And as of April 30th, he started bringing in all the lies, the other women, etc. I knew I married for bigger reasons so I hope its just the fog of our issues that brought in the uncertainty. I always liked to keep an open mind, because ul #15
Tamara Barrow - 6 months ago
What a beautiful and wonderful testimony some time things you don’t believe can just happen. My name is Tamara Barrow from USA Chicago am 25years old i got married at the age of 23 i have only one child and i was living happily .After one year of my marriage my husband behavior became so strange and i don’t really understand what was going on, he packed out of the house to another woman i love him so much that i never dream’s of loosening him, i try my possible best to make sure that my husband get back to me but all to no avail i cry and i cry seeking for help i discussed it with my best friend and she promise to help me he told me of a man called Dr voodoo he is a very great man and a real man that can be trusted and there is nothing concerning love issues he cannot do that is why they call him Dr voodoo I contacted his email address xxxx And i told him everything that happen all he told me is that i should not worry that all my problems will be solved immedi #16
cloe - 6 months ago
The risk I took became the best decision I have ever made in my marriage. I took the risk by contacting lord Abu spell caster to help bring back my husband who left for almost a year, after all my failed attempt. I stopped trusting people especially on the internet after someone almost brainwashed my sister to sell our home when she was searching for true lover. We were so lucky to stop her. I made up my mind never to pay attention to anyone trying to help. But something inside of me forced me to search for solution online and I was lucky to receive help from lord Abu. He proved me wrong that there are still good spell caster out there by genuinely casting the love spell which brought my husband back within 5 days. lord abu was my last hope and he proved his true power even with my sister, she welcomed her first child after 4years of marriage. Everything said about lord abu and his work are true, he taught me so many ways to deal with any forms of pressure in life. So glad am redeem #17
GREG - 6 months ago
I never believed that i could finally get back the happiness and the love that was gone after my husband left me totally. I couldn't just believe that spells and magic could turn my thoughts and my dreams into reality in getting back with my husband after he served me with divorce papers.. my ex husband after the divorce never showed up to me and the kids anymore, he finally made up his mind on me and said it was over. 2 years after our divorce, i was still out trying to get him back and i did all that i knew best could make him happy, and my mum and everybody around just advised i should forget about him and move on with my life, because they felt he was gone forever and was never gonna return. But i never gave up on trying to get him back, because i so much loved him beyond what anybody could ever imagine. I met a spell caster, and what drew my attention most was the reviews people was writting about this spell caster when i contacted him. And that so much gave me the assurance beca #18
Anjail - 6 months ago
i have been married for 4years and i have a break up with my husband 3months ago and i was worried and so confuse because i love him so much. i was really going too depressed and a friend directed me to this spell caster Dr. Airiohuodion and i made all my problems known to him and he told me not to worry that he was going to make my husband to come back to me and in just 48hours i receive a call from my husband and he was appealing that i should come back to the house. i have never in my life believe in spell and but now it have just helped me and i am now so happy. All Thanks to him and if you also want to have your Husband back to yourself here !! his email Address (airiohuodiontemple @g m a i l . com), i am so happy to testify of your work and kindness #19
JERRY MARY - 6 months ago
This is a very joyful day of my life because of the help Dr.Osita has rendered to me , I am out here to spreed this good news to the entire world on how I got my ex love back just yesterday i contacted dr osita for help ,I was going crazy when my love left me for another girl , But when i met the Email address of Dr Osita (xxxx ) the great messenger to the oracle that he serve,I narrate my problem to Dr Osita about how my ex love left me and also how i needed to get a job in a very big company. He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i will be getting my heart desire without any side effect .He told me what i need to do After it was been done,In the next 24 hours,My love called me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me before now and also in the next one week after my love called me to be pleading for forgiveness,I was called for an interview in my desired company were i needed to work .I am so happy. Contact this great man too for #20

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