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 (391)
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
katherine - 8 hours ago
This is my testimony about the good work of Dr voodoo who help me.... I'm Katherine from London. And am sorry for putting this on net but i will have to by this world top spell caster that brought back my husband which left me out for past 3 years, i eventually met this man on a blog site posting by one of is client for help, i explained everything to him and he told me about a spell caster that he had heard about and he gave me an email address to write to the spell caster to tell him my problems. In just 2 days, my husband was back to me. I just want to say thank you to this truthful and sincere spell caster, sir all you told have come to pass and thank you sir. Please i want to tell everyone who is looking for any solution to problem, i advice you to kindly consult this spell caster, he is real,he is powerful and whatever the spell caster tell is what will happen, because all what the spell caster told me came to pas contact him on: his email address is xxxx #3
ruth - 13 hours ago
My name is Ruth i want to give thanks and i will always give thanks to Dr Zaza who brought back my lover that has left me for 6 years within 48 hours, i have said about this last week but i promised to always tell people about this every week end so that those that did not read about it last will read about it this week, i have been looking for how to get my man back to my life because i love this man with the whole of my heart, i could not replace him with any body,one day i was doing some research on the internet when i saw a lady giving thanks to Dr Zaza and telling the world how he helped her i was so shocked i could not believe it because i never taught that there are powers that can bring back lost love, then that was how i decided to contact him too because i do really need my lover back,when i contacted him i told him everything and he told me not to be worried that my lover will surely be back to my arms within 48 hours at first i could not believe because i was thinking how #4
Guest - 2 days ago
My Ex-boyfriend end up our relationship 6 months ago after I accused him of seeing another woman and insulting him.I want him back in my life but he refused to have any contact with me.He changed his line,block me from sending him email and facebook.I was so confuse and don't know what to do. So I reach to the internet for help and I saw a testimonies of how this powerful spell caster help them to get their ex back. So I contact the spell caster whose name is Dr Oniha and explain my problem to him and he cast a spell for me and assure me of 2days that my ex will return to me, and to my greatest surprise the Second day my ex came knocking at my door and ask me to forgive him.I am so happy that my love is back again. Once again thank you Dr Oniha,you are truly talented and gifted. Email: xxxx. He is the only answer to your problems.He can be of great help and I will not stop publishing his name for the good work he did for me and people are still talking about him on the Internet. xxxx O #5
beuty - 2 days ago
My mouth is full of testimonies, my husband left home for two years to south Africa for a tourist, where he meant this prostitute and he was bewitch by the girl my husband refuse to come back home again, i cry day and night looking for who to help me, i read a news paper about a powerful spell caster called Dr Dr,UZOYA and i contacted the spell caster to help me get my lover back to me and he ask me not to worry about it that the gods we fight for me.. he told me by mid-night when all the spirit is at rest he will cast a spell to reunite my lover back to me. and he did in less than 2 days my husband came back to me and started crying that i should for forgive him, i,m so happy for what this spell caster did for me and my husband. his email are; [xxxx] or u can give him a call on xxxxx you can also go through his website on https://driraborspellcaste.wixsite.com/spell-caster #6
beuty - 2 days ago
My mouth is full of testimonies, my husband left home for two years to south Africa for a tourist, where he meant this prostitute and he was bewitch by the girl my husband refuse to come back home again, i cry day and night looking for who to help me, i read a news paper about a powerful spell caster called Dr Dr,UZOYA and i contacted the spell caster to help me get my lover back to me and he ask me not to worry about it that the gods we fight for me.. he told me by mid-night when all the spirit is at rest he will cast a spell to reunite my lover back to me. and he did in less than 2 days my husband came back to me and started crying that i should for forgive him, i,m so happy for what this spell caster did for me and my husband. his email are; [xxxx] or u can give him a call on xxxxx you can also go through his website on https://driraborspellcaste.wixsite.com/spell-caster #7
teresa - 2 days ago
My boyfriend end up our relationship 6 months ago after I accused him of seeing another woman and insulting him.I want him back in my life but he refused to have any contact with me.He changed his line,block me from sending him email and facebook.I was so confuse and don't know what to do. So I reach to the internet for help and I saw a testimonies of how this powerful spell caster help them to get their ex back. So I contact the spell caster whose name is lord Abu and explain my problem to him and he cast a spell for me and assure me of 2days that my ex will return to me, and to my greatest surprise the Second day my ex came knocking at my door and ask me to forgive him.I am so happy that my love is back again. Once again thank you lord Abu,you are truly talented and gifted. Email: xxxx. He is the only answer to your problems.He can be of great help and I will not stop publishing his name for the good work he did for me and people are still talking about him on the Int #8
Marian lisa - 2 days ago
THERE IS JOY IN SHARING TESTIMONIES. DR OLUWA IS A BLESSING TO ME AND MY FAMILY, MY NAME IS (MARIAN LISA) AM FROM UNITED KINGDOM, AM GIVEN THIS TESTIMONY BECAUSE I WANT AS MUCH AS THOSE THAT BELIEVE ME TO GET CURED FROM THERE HERPES VIRUS AND ALS VIRUS. DR SAM NEVER TOLD ME TO TESTIFY FOR HIM BUT AM DOING THIS BECAUSE I WANT MANY PEOPLE TO BE SAVE WITH HIS POWERFUL HERBAL CURE. IT ALL HAPPEN LAST YEAR WHEN I STARTED SEEING SOME PUS IN MY BODY PRIVATE PART MOUTH, IT WAS RELY IRRITATING TO THE EXTENT EVERY BODY REFUSE TO COME CLOSE TO ME THIS TIME AROUND IT WAS NOW HSV 2 BECAUSE I NEVER NOTICE IT ON TIME, MY HUSBAND TOOK THE KIDS AWAY FROM ME SO THAT THEY WILL NOT HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM, I STAY INDOOR FOR ONE YEAR, ONE FAITHFUL MORNING MY HUSBAND CAME HOME, HE TOLD ME THAT A FRIEND OF HIS INTRODUCE HIM TO ONE DR OLUWA AND ONLY HIM CAN CURE THE HERPES VIRUS. I NEVER BELIEVE IT BECAUSE I AM HUMAN AND THE MEDICAL DOCTOR ALREADY TOLD ME THAT THERE IS NO MEDICAL CURE, SO MY HUSBAND TOLD ME NOT #9
berry - 3 days ago
I am very surprise for the miraculous experience and wonders of Dr,UZOYA that have been spreading on the Internet and worldwide, How he marvelously helped people all over the world to restored back their lost lovers I contacted him after going through so many testimonies from different people how he help to bring back ex lovers i was deeply in love with my boyfriend and he was with me but suddenly one day he broke up with me. I tried everything but nothing seemed to workout, I thought it was going to be over forever.I never believed in spells but I was so desperate I thought I got nothing else to loose. I started searching for different spell casters and I finally found 'Great UZOYA Temple' who helped me through the process and I eventually got my boyfriend back and we are so happy together. I am so grateful to him. If you ever need a spell caster who can get you ex back then his contact are [xxxx] and his telephone number is xxxxx. his website https: #10
Janiece - 4 days ago
I have guardianship of my two grandkids 11 and 5 we will in AZ my daughter lives in Calif. She was given a choice kids come live with me or go to foster care get adopted out. She has been though cps 3 times first son was adopted out 2nd taken away as a baby she got him back 8yrs later know one knows why then cos step in again called me to give me the kids, should I adopted them so we don't have to worry about mom trying to get them back again, she still has not changed her life, but why should the kids have to wait to see if she ever will. Adopted? Guardianship? #11
stephine - 5 days ago
How I Got My Ex Husband Back........... I am Stephine by name also from Canada. Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I have been rejected by my husband after three(3) years of marriage just because another woman had a spell on him and he left me and the kid to suffer. one day when i was reading through the web, i saw a post on how this spell caster on this address xxxx , have help a woman to get back her husband and i gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a woman had a spell on my husband and he told me that he will help me and after 2 days that i will have my husband back. i believed him and today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. because i am now happy with my husband. Thanks for Dr.Henry. His email: xxxx #12
Wilson Rowland - 1 week ago
THIS IS THE STORY AND GLORY OF MY LIFE HOW I WAS CURED FROM 10 YEARS DISEASE CALLED HERPES VIRUS 2, MY NAME IS WILSON ROWLAND FROM UNITED KINGDOM. ONCE AGAIN A BIG THANKS TO DR OLUWA WHO GOD SENT TO CURE OUR DISEASE. I ALOT OF MONEY TRYING TO CURE THIS VIRUS IN THE HOSPITAL AND MEETING THE WRONG PEOPLE FOR CURE. WELL MONEY WAS NEVER THE PROBLEM, BUT MY MIND WAS NEVER AT REST WHEN I DISCOVER THAT AM LIVING WITH THIS VIRUS, WITH MY ENTIRE FAMILY, MY LOVELY WIFE AND MY THREE KIDS, BUT AM GLAD TODAY THAT WE ARE FREE FROM THIS DISEASE. LET ME TELL YOU A LITTLE STORY, HOW I MEET DR OLUWA AND HOW HE DO HIS WORK. A FRIEND OF MY WHO WAS SUFFERING FROM CANCER AND HERPES VIRUS DIRECTED ME TO HIM AND I WAS REALLY READY TO GIVE HIM A TRY, TO GOD HOW MADE IT EVERYTHING WORK OUT PERFECTLY. OLUWA WILL NEVER ASK FOR MONEY BEFORE SENDING YOU HIS HERBAL CURE BUT ONCE YOU ARE CURED YOU PAY HIM BACK HIS MONEY, HE IS A GENEROUS MAN AND CAN ALSO SUPPORT YOU FINANCIALLY WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY FOR #13
Annabelle Greg - 1 week ago
I am very surprise for the miraculous experience and wonders of Dr.Ofemo that have been spread on the internet and worldwide, How he marvelously helped people all over world to restored back their lost lovers I contacted him after going through so many testimonies from different people how he help to bring back ex lover back, i told him about my husband that abandoned me about 8 months ago, and left home with all i had, i was baffled when he only told me to smile and have a rest of mind assuring me that he will handle all in just 48hrs, After the second day my husband called me, i was just so shocked, i pick the call and couldn't believe my ears, he was really begging me to forgive him and making promises on phone,He come back home and also got me a very nice gifts just for him to proof his love for me,i was so happy that i had to call Dr Ofemo and thanked him, he only told me to share the good news all over the world,Well if your need an effective and real spell caster for any problem #14
Ani - 1 week ago
Hello viewer's ,I promise to share this testimony all over the world once my Ex Lover return back to me, and today with all due respect i want to thank...LORD MASUKA for helping in getting my Ex Lover back to me, i have been in great pains until the day i contacted LORD MASUKA he cast a Reunite love spell for me and told me to wait for just 24 hours that my Lover will call me and i did according to the instructions given to me by him and surprisingly, in 24 hours, my Ex Lover really called me and started apologizing for all he had caused me. I am the happiest woman on earth today because LORD MASUKA has done a wonderful deeds in my life and i will continue to share this testimony,if you have any issue of any kind he is there for you. You can contact LORD MASUKA His Email xxxx Phone number xxxxx287 Website http://lordmasukalovespelltemple.webs.com/ Skype Lord masuka Facebook harry Masuka #15
Ani - 1 week ago
Hello viewer's ,I promise to share this testimony all over the world once my Ex Lover return back to me, and today with all due respect i want to thank...LORD MASUKA for helping in getting my Ex Lover back to me, i have been in great pains until the day i contacted LORD MASUKA he cast a Reunite love spell for me and told me to wait for just 24 hours that my Lover will call me and i did according to the instructions given to me by him and surprisingly, in 24 hours, my Ex Lover really called me and started apologizing for all he had caused me. I am the happiest woman on earth today because LORD MASUKA has done a wonderful deeds in my life and i will continue to share this testimony,if you have any issue of any kind he is there for you. You can contact LORD MASUKA His Email xxxx Phone number xxxxx287 Website http://lordmasukalovespelltemple.webs.com/ Skype Lord masuka Facebook harry Masuka #16
Athira Parra - 3 weeks 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 #17
madhavi - 3 weeks ago
Hello everyone , I don’t know about other spell casters but Dr Sambo is the be of all , he brought joy back to my home by helping me bring back my husband , I never knew I he was so important in the family until some girl snatched him from me if not for the help of Dr Sambo ultimate powers I would have lost him for ever , for you out there fining it difficult to talk to you ex to come home or you have talked to them, they refused to come back just contact Dr Sambo on xxxx or visit his web site: http://divinespellhome.wixsite.com/drsambo And his Phone number xxxxx735 #18
Athira Parra - 3 weeks 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 #19
ELIZABETH ROMERO - 3 weeks 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 #20

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