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 (35)
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 - 9 months ago
1 1 4
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 - 6 months ago
0 0 3
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
monica johnson - 4 hours ago
My name is monica johnson , I really want to testify to the good work of Dr. Ogala for what he has don for me . couple of years ago, my husband left home after we had little misunderstanding, he never returned, no phone calls, no letters, no emails and no sign of him anywhere.and at the same time My daughter got sick so ill, things were so tough for me. I had lost hope, 2 years ago, i met a psychic, he said he would help me, i give him a try but all to no nothing happened, i lost hope completely, my daughter’s situation got worse each day. Last month, i saw a posting concerning the good works of the Spiritual professional(Dr. Ogala), i told the great man my problem and he told me that there is nothing to be worry about for me contacting him all my problem is savol .. He asked me to provide the spiriual materials needed to cast the spells and of cost which i did (Bring Lover back, Healing spell and Career spells). In a matter of weeks, my husband called me and told me he was sorry a #3
Sevda Gulea - 22 hours ago
Am Sevda Gulea i want to thank Dr. Azuba for getting my lover back to me within 48 hours. When my lover left me i was so tired and frustrated till i search the internet for help and i saw so many good talk about Dr. Azuba of (xxxx) and i decided to give him a try and i contact him and explain my problems to him and he cast a love spell for me which i use to get my husband back. If you want to get your lover back contact Dr. Azuba via email: (azubaspelltemple(at)xxxxxx.com or xxxxx933) Dr. Azuba the great man that is able to bring back my lost love. #4
Sevda Gulea - 22 hours ago
Am Sevda Gulea i want to thank Dr. Azuba for getting my lover back to me within 48 hours. When my lover left me i was so tired and frustrated till i search the internet for help and i saw so many good talk about Dr. Azuba of (xxxx) and i decided to give him a try and i contact him and explain my problems to him and he cast a love spell for me which i use to get my husband back. If you want to get your lover back contact Dr. Azuba via email: (xxxx or xxxxx933) Dr. Azuba the great man that is able to bring back my lost love. #5
Ann - 22 hours ago
My name is Handford Ann,i base in canada.i want to share my wonderful testimony on how i got back my ex-lover of my life back, who i sworn to be with until when he left me to another woman for no reason and i try to make things work for both of us yet things where getting worse and i love him so much and there is nothing i could do to get my ex back until i met a testimony share by Maria from USA on the internet talking about a powerful spell caster who brought his ex lover back within 48hours and i decide to give it a try and to my greatest surprise he also did it for me just as he did for Maria and i have a lot of people complaining of fake spell caster but this one i met was a real spell caster who help me to solve my problem i have no solution to,i introduce many of my best friends that have a similar problems,and their problem were solve with the great help of DR.AZUBA.they get back their ex within 48 hours.i am so happy that my ex is back to me again,and the most surprise,is tha #6
George - 1 day ago
I HAVE FOLLOWED MOST OF THESE CRAPS AND GOT SCAMMED. I EVEN SEE SOME OF THEM REWRITING WHAT I WROTE ON THE NET. MOST OF THESE PEOPLE TELLING YOU FAKE TESTIMONIES AND FOR YOU TO BEWARE OF THIS AND BEWARE OF THAT ARE BUNCH OF CRAPS AND SCAMS. THE ONLY MAN YOU CAN ACTUALLY TRUST ON SPELL IS DR MALAIKA HIS EMAIL IS xxxx, I WOULD HAVE BROUGHT HIM RIGHT HERE IN THE STATES IF POSSIBLE. HE DID A WHOLE LOT OF THINGS WHICH I WON’T REALLY MENTION HERE BUT THE MOST OF WHAT HE DID FOR ME WAS HELP ME OUT OF CANCER AND ALSO HELPED ME GOT BACK MY JOB AND MY MARRIAGE. HE IS GREAT AND I MET HIM OVER THE INTERNET JUST AS EVERY OTHER PERSON HAS TESTIFIED BUT HE IS ACTUALLY REAL AND A VERY GOOD SPELL CASTER. I’M STILL VERY MUCH INDEBTED TO DR MALAIKA FOR SAVING MY LIFE AND MY MARRIAGE. I WANT TO LET YA ALL KNOW THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO TRY ANYBODY ELSE EXCEPT THIS DUDE. HIS EMAIL CONTACT IS xxxx THE MOBILE IS xxxxx120 #7
Help - 4 months ago
0 0 1
Me and my fiancé of three years have been taking care of his half niece. Her mother has told us she wants her own life and that we are her mom and dad. My fiancé is going to be 18 in three months and I in six months. His mother has guardianship of our niece, and has agreed to give us guardianship when we get married. My mother has planned on giving us a house when we get married and we plan to get the adoption started as soon as possible. How do I get the papers for her to sign, and how can we be givin guardianship. I know we have to have a home study done but what else comes after they home study? Please help #8
cole singh - 2 days ago
I want to use this medium to tell the world about Doctor MOMODU who helped me in getting my lover back with his powerful spell, my ex and i where having misunderstanding which led to our breakup though i went to beg her several times to please forgive and accept me back because i know i offended her but each time i went i always feel more deeply in pain and agony because she always walk out on me and would not want to listen to what i have to tell but on i faithful day as i was browsing i came arose a testimony of a woman whose problem was more than mine and yet Doctor MOMODU helped her with his spell so i was happy and also contacted Doctor MOMODU for help via email and then told him my story but the only thing he said was that i will wipe you tear with my spell so lucky for me everything want well just as he promised and right now i have got my fiance back and we are both living happily. there is nothing Doctor MOMODU can not do with is spell and just as promise my self i will keep #9
Katie Morgan - 2 days ago
Hello My name is Katie Morgan, and I am very happy for posting on this blog on how a great spell caster helped me in bringing back the love of my life. I know there are lots of women like me out there who have done so much to have back their Husband, I am here to tell you all to search no further because the answer is right here. I sincerely believe if there are up to five spell casters like DOCTOR CANDOVA this world would be a better place, I have seen people complaining on how fake spell castes promised to help them but couldn't but with DOCTOR CANDOVA I tell you your problem is solved already. My Husband and I had been apart for 3 YEARS and I couldn't bear without living without him, I have tried everything to have him back but nothing was working until I saw numerous testimonies about a spell caster call DOCTOR CANDOVA and how great his work is. I contacted him via email xxxx immediately and follow the step that he ask and in the next 48 hours my ex lover c #10
Frank Rachel - 2 days ago
TESTIMONY,ON HOW I GOT MY EX BOYFRIEND BACK WITH THE HELP OF DR OBA GOOD xxxx My name is Frank Rachel and I base in USA...“My life is back!!! After almost a year of Broken Relationship, my boyfriend left me with a broken heart. 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 OBA, which i met online.On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet,I came across a lot of testimonies about this particular spell caster on how he has helped so many people online.IF YOU NEED HELP IN THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES HE IS THE BEST SPELL CASTER YOU NEED How To Get My Ex Love Back ? How To Control My Husband/Wife ? How To Get My Husband/Wife Back ? How To Control My Office Boss ? How To Get My Ex Husband/ Wife ? How To Control My Mother In law ? How To Control Any Desired Girl / Boy ? How To Control My Girlfriend/Boyfriend ? How To Get My Ex Girlfriend/Boyfriend Back ? How To #11
George - 2 days ago
I HAVE FOLLOWED MOST OF THESE CRAPS AND GOT SCAMMED. I EVEN SEE SOME OF THEM REWRITING WHAT I WROTE ON THE NET. MOST OF THESE PEOPLE TELLING YOU FAKE TESTIMONIES AND FOR YOU TO BEWARE OF THIS AND BEWARE OF THAT ARE BUNCH OF CRAPS AND SCAMS. THE ONLY MAN YOU CAN ACTUALLY TRUST ON SPELL IS DR MALAIKA HIS EMAIL IS xxxx, I WOULD HAVE BROUGHT HIM RIGHT HERE IN THE STATES IF POSSIBLE. HE DID A WHOLE LOT OF THINGS WHICH I WON’T REALLY MENTION HERE BUT THE MOST OF WHAT HE DID FOR ME WAS HELP ME OUT OF CANCER AND ALSO HELPED ME GOT BACK MY JOB AND MY MARRIAGE. HE IS GREAT AND I MET HIM OVER THE INTERNET JUST AS EVERY OTHER PERSON HAS TESTIFIED BUT HE IS ACTUALLY REAL AND A VERY GOOD SPELL CASTER. I’M STILL VERY MUCH INDEBTED TO DR MALAIKA FOR SAVING MY LIFE AND MY MARRIAGE. I WANT TO LET YA ALL KNOW THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO TRY ANYBODY ELSE EXCEPT THIS DUDE. HIS EMAIL CONTACT IS xxxx THE MOBILE IS xxxxx120 #12
George - 2 days ago
I HAVE FOLLOWED MOST OF THESE CRAPS AND GOT SCAMMED. I EVEN SEE SOME OF THEM REWRITING WHAT I WROTE ON THE NET. MOST OF THESE PEOPLE TELLING YOU FAKE TESTIMONIES AND FOR YOU TO BEWARE OF THIS AND BEWARE OF THAT ARE BUNCH OF CRAPS AND SCAMS. THE ONLY MAN YOU CAN ACTUALLY TRUST ON SPELL IS DR MALAIKA HIS EMAIL IS xxxx, I WOULD HAVE BROUGHT HIM RIGHT HERE IN THE STATES IF POSSIBLE. HE DID A WHOLE LOT OF THINGS WHICH I WON’T REALLY MENTION HERE BUT THE MOST OF WHAT HE DID FOR ME WAS HELP ME OUT OF CANCER AND ALSO HELPED ME GOT BACK MY JOB AND MY MARRIAGE. HE IS GREAT AND I MET HIM OVER THE INTERNET JUST AS EVERY OTHER PERSON HAS TESTIFIED BUT HE IS ACTUALLY REAL AND A VERY GOOD SPELL CASTER. I’M STILL VERY MUCH INDEBTED TO DR MALAIKA FOR SAVING MY LIFE AND MY MARRIAGE. I WANT TO LET YA ALL KNOW THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO TRY ANYBODY ELSE EXCEPT THIS DUDE. HIS EMAIL CONTACT IS xxxx THE MOBILE IS xxxxx120 #13
George - 2 days ago
I HAVE FOLLOWED MOST OF THESE CRAPS AND GOT SCAMMED. I EVEN SEE SOME OF THEM REWRITING WHAT I WROTE ON THE NET. MOST OF THESE PEOPLE TELLING YOU FAKE TESTIMONIES AND FOR YOU TO BEWARE OF THIS AND BEWARE OF THAT ARE BUNCH OF CRAPS AND SCAMS. THE ONLY MAN YOU CAN ACTUALLY TRUST ON SPELL IS DR MALAIKA HIS EMAIL IS xxxx, I WOULD HAVE BROUGHT HIM RIGHT HERE IN THE STATES IF POSSIBLE. HE DID A WHOLE LOT OF THINGS WHICH I WON’T REALLY MENTION HERE BUT THE MOST OF WHAT HE DID FOR ME WAS HELP ME OUT OF CANCER AND ALSO HELPED ME GOT BACK MY JOB AND MY MARRIAGE. HE IS GREAT AND I MET HIM OVER THE INTERNET JUST AS EVERY OTHER PERSON HAS TESTIFIED BUT HE IS ACTUALLY REAL AND A VERY GOOD SPELL CASTER. I’M STILL VERY MUCH INDEBTED TO DR MALAIKA FOR SAVING MY LIFE AND MY MARRIAGE. I WANT TO LET YA ALL KNOW THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO TRY ANYBODY ELSE EXCEPT THIS DUDE. HIS EMAIL CONTACT IS xxxx THE MOBILE IS xxxxx120 #14
Melanie Bromey - 3 days ago
Am writing this article to appreciate the good work of Doctor Ebakor that helped me recently to bring back my HUSBAND that left me for another woman for no reason for the past 1 year. After seeing a post of a woman on the internet testifying of how she was helped by Doctor Ebakor. I also decided to contact him for help because all i wanted was for me to get my husband, happiness and to make sure that my child grows up with his father. Am happy today that he helped me and i can proudly say that my husband is now with me again and he is now in love with me like never before. Are you in need of any help in your relationship like getting back your man, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, winning of lotteries, herbal cure for sickness or job promotion E.T.C. Viewers reading my post that needs the help of Doctor Ebakor should contact him now on his E-mail: xxxx or call me on xxxxx for more clarification about the spell caster. Melanie Bromey, USA. #15
Katie Morgan - 3 days ago
Hello My name is Katie Morgan, and I am very happy for posting on this blog on how a great spell caster helped me in bringing back the love of my life. I know there are lots of women like me out there who have done so much to have back their Husband, I am here to tell you all to search no further because the answer is right here. I sincerely believe if there are up to five spell casters like DOCTOR CANDOVA this world would be a better place, I have seen people complaining on how fake spell castes promised to help them but couldn't but with DOCTOR CANDOVA I tell you your problem is solved already. My Husband and I had been apart for 3 YEARS and I couldn't bear without living without him, I have tried everything to have him back but nothing was working until I saw numerous testimonies about a spell caster call DOCTOR CANDOVA and how great his work is. I contacted him via email xxxx immediately and follow the step that he ask and in the next 48 hours my ex lover c #16
Louise Dickson - 4 days ago
My name is Louise Dickson i am from {Birmingham City UK) I want to use this possible means to appreciate one man i hold in sincere gratitude and high esteem for his help and his kindness he has rendered to me.This is the reason why i have taken it upon myself to thank this great spell caster called Dr.Ofemo because through his help my life became more filled with love and i am happy to say that my ex lover who has been separated from me for the past weeks came back to me pleading for acceptance from me, This was a shocking event because before i contacted Dr.Ofemo i was the one begging my ex lover to come back to me but through the assistance of Dr.Ofemo i now have my relationship restored. You can also have a better relationship only if you contact: xxxx or you can email his website:http://greatofemospelltemple.webs.com and I’ll always be grateful to dr. Ofemo email him for any kinds of help is very capable and reliable for help xxxx or #17
SOPHIA - 6 days ago
Greetings to every one, Please i saw this TESTIMONY on a site regarding how a Great Spell Caster turned someones life around with his powerful spell. Listen to what she said...... My love life has changed for better since the interference of the most powerful spell caster on earth called Dr.Mighty Owolo in my relationship and my Family in general, My testimony today is in regard of the help that Dr.OWOLO rendered to me when my lover departed from me. My name is Sophia from USA and it gives me joy today in writing this testimony as a way of showing my appreciation to Dr.Mighty Owolo and at the same time i am using this opportunity to advise those that are finding stress and pains in their relationship or marriages to contact Dr.OWOLO who is the best spell caster in the world through these contact details via email: xxxx or call xxxxx857 Because DR MIGHTY OWOLO is the only one that can restore your marriage or relationship with love. #18
Danny Sauron - 7 days ago
My name is Danny Sauron, from united state, i want to share my wonderful testimony on how i got back my ex-lover who left me back,i want to inform people in the world this spell caster is very Genuine because i have been scammed before online until a friend told me about Dr GOOD OBA great powers, He helped me recently to reunite my relationship with my boyfriend who dumped me months ago, But When i contacted Dr GOOD, he cast a love spell for me and my Boyfriend who said he doesn't have anything to do with me again called me and started begging me.To anyone who is reading this article and needs any help Dr GOOD 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.thanks once again wonderful man for helping me to bring my ex lover back to me,thank you,thank you again and again, You can contact him Via this email: [xxxx] #19
laura lsabella - 2 weeks ago
I am laura lsabella; I want to share a testimony of my life to everyone. i was married to my husband George Morgan, I love him so much we have been married for 5 years now with two kids. when he went for a vacation to France he meant a lady called Clara, he told me that he is no longer interested in the marriage any more. I was so confuse and seeking for help, I don't know what to do until I met my friend miss Florida and told her about my problem. She told me not to worry about it that she had a similar problem before and introduce me to a man called DR.ALLI who cast a spell on her ex and bring him back to her after 3days. Miss Florida ask me to contact DR.ALLI I contacted him to help me bring back my husband and he ask me not to worry about it that the gods of his fore-fathers will fight for me. He told me by three days he will re-unite me and my husband together. After three day my husband called and told me he is coming back to sought out things with me, I was surprise when I saw h #20
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