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 (285)
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
Roger - 14 hours ago
HOW I GET MY WIFE BACK WITH THE HELP OF DR. JAKIKI....CALL HIM NOW FOR FAST LOVE SPELL xxxxx My name is Roger Jeremy. I am testifying of the great Dr. Jakiki that God used in saving my marriage, I have been scammed by 5 different spell casters in Africa in an attempt to get my ex wife back but non could help me until I met a testimony of a lady from USA called Mrs Anita Sheeler who Dr Jakiki here in United States helped to get her husband back, I email him just because he is here in united states,and i explained to him how i want my wife back and also how i have been scammed. He ask me not to worry and assured me that i will get back my wife, i took the boldness of not giving up and to my surprised he helped me cast a spell that brought back my ex wife within the period of two days after he have cast the spell, am so happy that I can't stop thanking him rather than promise my self to share the good news,because i know that some many people are heart broken. In case if you #3
Roger - 14 hours ago
I can't stop thanking him rather than promise my self to share the good news,because i know that some many people are heart broken. In case if you need help to get your love one's who left you for another. Why going to another country to seek for help in your broken relationship,while Dr Jakiki is right here in the states. I advise all those seeking for help to turn to Dr Jakiki because he is much blessed of casting love spell. If you need help getting your ex back contact him via email. Email:((xxxx)) call or text him xxxxx you will surely get your result. And if you want to know more info about Dr Jakiki you can also view his website: http://spellcasthome.webs.com/ #4
Mia - 15 hours ago
I am very gratful to Doctor Omoluyi for bringing back my Husband that left me for a year and six months due to pressure from his family and business associate saying that i am not the same country and different believe.. Within 24 hrs after meeting with Doctor Omoluyi he helped me get my husband back and i am now finally a complete woman with my man back by my side. If you need his help, you can email him at: [ xxxx ], Call xxxxx or Reach him through his Website: [ http://www.doctorokpamenspells.com ]. Mia Klaus, USA. #5
Sherry gibbs - 1 day ago
PERFECT LOVE SPELL TO BRING BACK EX LOVER WITH THE HELP OF A GENUINE SPELL CASTER VIEW WEBSITE: https://authenticspellcast8.wixsite.com/authenticspellcast AND CONTACT NOW WITH NO DELAY I am very grateful to Dr. Believe The Mighty spell caster from Africa for helping me in my problem, I was almost losing hope in life when my lover of 4 years ended our relationship without any reason and I consulted an old friend of mine and explain my situation to her and she said she was in same situation 2 weeks back but a wonderful man who was sent to help people helped her out of the problem and I thought it was all a joke and I ask her if it was real and she said if it wasn't real so how did her lover come back to her, then I decided to give Dr. Believe a try because I had nothing to loose in trying and I contacted him on his email address which is xxxx and he replied to my email very well.. and to cut the long story short Dr. Believe brought back my Lover in 48 hours.. I' #6
Victoria Jacques - 1 day ago
This Is How To Actually Win And Get Your Ex Back With The Help Of Dr Happy Powerful And Urgent Love Spell With 100% Guarantee Hiiiii!! my boyfriend and I have been getting into little arguments which then later escalated. A lot of which are my fault but I never thought I would lose him because we are in love. He told me yesterday that he loves me but is done. That the fights keep hurting him too much. I can’t believe I hurt him like that and would love nothing more than another chance to prove to him and myself that I will cut out my insecurities that I’ve brought into this relationship. I did all i could to end this fight between us, didn’t work so i had to seek the help of a spell caster who i met online and promised to help me bring him back into my life in 2 days time. i wasn’t really sure about this, but i was really desperate that i had to do all that the spell caster asked me. it was on the second day at 5pm on Friday, i had a knock on the door and to my greatest surpris #7
Luiza lopez - 2 days ago
GREETINGS..... My name is Luiza Lopez, I had a serious quarrel with my husband due to my parent, my parent never like him to be my husband, but i love him so much that i will rather die to let him go off me, that was how i met this great man called Dr. Believe online, he told me that everything will be fine that he can do a spell that will make my parent love my husband and allow me to marry him without any quarrel, thoroughly it came to pass my mum and dad love him than before we are now happily married with a baby boy,please help me in thanking him for his help, here is the email: xxxx or xxxx ALSO CONTACT HIM FOR HELP IF YOU HAVE ANY KIND OF PROBLEM. You can view on his website: https://authenticspellcast8.wixsite.com/authenticspellcast or call him on his mobile number : xxxxx868297 #8
Sandra - 2 days ago
I've lost a lot of money to fake hackers, I almost gave up on hiring a hacker.It's just so painful when you're duped over and over again but no more after I contacted blackbutcher.hacker AT outlook DOT com. I wanted to confirm if my husband was cheating so I decided to get his social accounts hacked. I fell victim for some of these scammers but I finally met blackbutcher.hacker AT outlook DOT com. I read a lot of reviews about him which people were saying a lot of good things about different types of hacks he does like phone, website, bank account, school grades and so on. I gave him a try. He delivered at a very fast time and affordable rate. Contact blackbutcher.hacker AT outlook DOT com and you'll be a happy customer just like me. #9
Alicia - 2 days ago
I just had to write this review because I've been cheated a lot by fake hackers and I don't want anyone to fall victim like I did. After reading so many positive reviews about xxxx, I was finally able to get husband's phone hacked. I knew he was cheating on me but I just needed prove to help my divorce case. xxxx sucessfully hacked my husband's phone and I was able to view his whatsapp messages, emails, text messages and every message, media file and calls that got to his phone. xxxx is the only hacker I trust to be really genuine so contact him for any hack solution. #10
ashley - 2 days ago
Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks, Am ashley Tom from AZ, USA. I want to use this golden medium to appreciate Prophet Abulele a great spell caster for helping me retrieving back my relationship with my ex boyfriend when he ended and turned back on me for quite a long time now.I embarked on a search online for a solution to my problem because i love him so much that i will not allow anyone to take him out of my life,luckily for me i met Prophet Abulele on-line with his email: prophetabulelehealingtemple at xxxxxx com who performed a spell for me and within 48 hours after the spell had been cast I receive a text from my ex saying that he is sorry for the pains and tears that he had caused me and that he will not do such thing to me again in his life. I was surprised but later accepted him back again. Anyone that is in the same line of problem or different one that want to contact a spell caster should happily email him: prophetabulelehealingtemple at xxxxxx . com #11
sonia - 2 days ago
Hello everyone my name is Sonia from U.S.A, i never ever believed in spell until i meet a man called Dr.Abolo, who helped me cast a spell that brought back my ex-lover to me within 48 hours. Dr.Abolo spells works beyond my imaginations and today i am happily married me and my ex-lover are now husband and wife. What more can i say rather than to say thank you Dr.Abolo for been there for me,contact Dr.Abolo today and your life will never ever remain the same.YOU CAN CONTACT Dr.Abolo VIA EMAIL: xxxx OR CALL HIM ON xxxxx659 NAME: SONIA COUNTRY: U.S.A #12
harold greene - 2 days ago
GET YOUR EX LOVER BACK WITH THE HELP OF A POWERFUL SPELL CASTER CALLED (DR. KUDERA) email him on xxxx What a miracle to have my ex back,my name is Harold Greene and i need to share this great testimony... I just want to say thanks(DR. KUDERA) for taking time to help me cast the spell that brings back my ex lover {now my wife},who suddenly lost interest in me after six month of engagement,but today we are married and we are more happier than never before, I am really short of words and joyful, and i don't know how much to convey my appreciation to you Dr.Kudera you are a God sent to restore broken relationship.he deeply enjoy helping people achieve their desires, find true love,getting their ex lovers back,stop abusive relationships,find success,attract happiness,find soul mates and more,contact him today. and let him show you the wonders and amazement of his Love Spell System. He deliver results at his best in real spell casting, email him for help on kuderasolu #13
Victoria Jacques - 3 days ago
This Is How To Actually Win And Get Your Ex Back With The Help Of Dr Happy Powerful And Urgent Love Spell With 100% Guarantee Hiiiii!! my boyfriend and I have been getting into little arguments which then later escalated. A lot of which are my fault but I never thought I would lose him because we are in love. He told me yesterday that he loves me but is done. That the fights keep hurting him too much. I can’t believe I hurt him like that and would love nothing more than another chance to prove to him and myself that I will cut out my insecurities that I’ve brought into this relationship. I did all i could to end this fight between us us, didn’t work so i had to seek the help of a spell caster who i met online and promised to help me bring him back into my life in 2 days time. i wasn’t really sure about this, but i was really desperate that i had to do all that the spell caster asked me. it was on the second day at 5pm on Friday, i had a knock on the door and to my greatest surp #14
jessical - 3 days ago
After being in relationship with my husband for nine 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 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 spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex 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 hap #15
Jessie Bender - 6 days ago
My name is Jessie Bender and i am from the USA. I recently use the help of Dr Iyaryi in winning $50,000,000 (FIFTY MILLIONS DOLLARS) in Euro millions lottery, my biggest before was 500 bucks and it have spend a lot buying ticket, All thanks to a friend who i saw his testimony online who say that Dr Iyaryi has also help him win the lottery so i took his advice and i give it a try, I believe that voodoo works and it real i will never stop thanking Dr Iyaryi cause after many years of playing lottery he finally make my dreams come to through. i thing you also have to give it a try with the email xxxx. xxxxx709 #16
Tamara Barrow - 6 days ago
what a wonderful world we are living, i still doubt this spell caster how he did it!!! i am Tamara Barrow am from USA I am so happy to let the whole word know how this powerful spell caster saved my marriage.Everything was going down the drain as my husband can not stop cheating on me with other women. It became used to always heating on me. I tried to make him stop, but I couldn't help the situation, the more I tried, the harder it becomes. At times we will fight and go apart for some months and we will come back again just because of our kids. One day a friend told me about this spell caster who helped her too, his name is Dr.voodoo, she said he uses white magic spells to solve spiritual problems. I decided to give it a try, I contacted him and he told me it will take just 2 to 3 days and I will see great changes in my husband. He actually cast a spell, believe me after 2 to 3 days of the spell, my husband was confessing different names of woman he has slept with. He begged for forg #17
SCOTT - 7 days ago
Hello viewers, am Scott Allison from USA, i want to use this means to share to the public of how i got my ex-boyfriend back, my boyfriend left me last year, i tried all my effort to get back to him but all seems in vein, he refused answering my call and drove me out from his house anytime i went to see him. i was down emotionally because i loved him very much, i became sick because of him leaving me, i was shock on my sick bed when he told me that he is breaking up with me, i almost felt die-in. after i recovering from my illness, i searched and came across a spell caster who said he will help me cast a love spell to bring back my ex-boyfriend. he cast a love spell for me , surprisingly with 48 hours of casting the love spell, my ex-boyfriend called me and started pleading for my forgiveness and for me to come back to him. ever since then, i have been enjoying my love life and relationship, now he love me to the moon and back even more than how much he loved me before. i want to thank #18
becky - 1 week ago
What else can i say rather than to thank great sorcerer who God used to reunite my marriage. Each day of my life, i ask God to bless great sorcerer for he has made my life complete by bringing back my husband to me and for this reason, i made a vow to my self that i will testify on the internet to let the world know that great sorcerer is a God on Earth. My husband and i had a fight for three days which led to our divorce. On this faithful day, i came across a testimony of how great sorcerer helped a lady in getting back her lover. So, i contacted him and explained to him and he told me that my days of sorrows are over that my husband will come back to me within two days. Could you believe it, my husband came home begging that he needs me back. Are you facing any kind of difficulty in your relationship? Do you need any kind of help? Contact him now via here is his email address : { xxxx } #19
alicepaul - 2 weeks 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 #20

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