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 (278)
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 - 1 year 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
Helen - 15 hours ago
Hello Everyone out there,I am here to give my testimony about a Herbalist doctor called GREAT PAPA who helped me in my life. I was infected with HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS in 2010, i went to many hospitals for cure but there was no solution, so I was thinking how can I get a solution out so that my body can be okay. One day I was in the river side thinking where I can go to get solution. so a lady walked to me telling me why am I so sad and i open up all to her telling her my problem, she told me that she can help me out, she introduce me to a doctor who uses herbal medication to cure HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS and gave me his email, so i mail him. He told me all the things I need to do and also give me instructions to take, which I followed properly. Before I knew what is happening after two weeks the HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS that was in my body got vanished . So if you are also heart broken and also need a help, you can also email him at:xxxx / xxxx He also have a h #3
Selena Comer - 2 days 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 #4
jerry smith - 2 days ago
hello everyone, my name is jerry i want to testify of what drogboduku hads done for me and my sister i have been seek of kidney problem for four years now and my sister was HIV positive, we have been going from place to place to place for cure but all to no avail there was no solution not until a friend of mine introduce to me drogboduku, who told me he was going to help me cure my sickness since then he started working on it, he also gave me five days to come and testify but i my self taught he was joking, the following morning he send me some halber medicine for the cure, after which i start taking the medicine,so that verry day which was the fifth day a great mirracle happend, all of a sudden the pains left me and i jumped up and down there was no pain left, so picked up my phone to call drogboduku to tank him for his mirracle immidiately my sister jumped in and was verry happy, i was like whats going on, so she said she went to the hospital for test and the test result was HIV nega #5
CANDYCEE - 2 days ago
This is a Wonderful testimony on a Spell caster called DR DAN that Just helped me and Brought My Ex Husband back within 4Days with his Love spell. I am Candy Cee from United States, Life has being very Difficult for me Since my Husband Left me and my Two Kids. My Kids and I and had being Missing My Husband and I cried almost Everyday because of him, One Faithful Day, Someone Directed me to This man DR DAN and I Contacted him VIA Email and He Casted a Love spell for me and Told me that i will see the Results within 4DAYS, My Husband That Left me For about 3years, Called me And Started opposing and he even sent me an apologizing Text. From that Moment, I and My Family had being Living happily. Readers Out There, Who are in Pains and have Great Pleasure in Contacting this Man should do that On this Email: xxxx You Can also Reach Him or Contact him Directly On His Website: http://blessedspellhome.wix.com/dr-dan or call him xxxxx #6
Alina Bevin - 2 days ago
Happiness is all i see now, i never thought that one day i will live on earth cured of this disease.i have been suffering of this deadly disease GENITAL HERPES SIMPLEX since 7years ago.i had spent a lot of money on drugs and going from one places to another,from churches to churches,hospitals has been my everyday residence,constant checks up have been my hobby not until one day,i was searching through the internet,i saw a testimony on how Dr Akuna helped someone in curing her GENITAL HERPES SIMPLEX.quickly i copied his email:xxxx, just to give him a test i spoke to him,he asked me to do some certain things which i did,he told me that he was going to prepare a herbal cure for me,which he did and thereafter i received it and after using the herbal cure within a weeks and two days i was totally cured, i had to go back to the same hospital that has never helped me and behold i was confirmed negative by the doctor, so today i am here to spread the good work of Dr #7
kate - 5 days ago
I am s the great Dr Erediawa for curing my herpes disease,for 7 years ago i was having this infection that made me look so horrible, since i have been having this disease i have been in a complete agony weeping everyday, i have gone to several places trying to get a cure but nothing was change, i had to search for solution in the Internet, luckily i came across this testimony of how Dr Erediawa cured a man from this terrible affection so i decided to contact him through his email address :xxxx i told him exactly how i was feeling and he assure me that he will help me to get cured from my disease, i believed him and obeyed all his instruction that he gave to me, afterwards he prepare a herbal herbs for me and when i received it and started using it just as he has promised me, i was cured totally within 3 weeks of usage.please help me Thank Dr Erediawa for curing my herpes, you can contact him via xxxx, whatsapp number: xxxxxxxxxx. #8
June - 5 days ago
Have anybody heard of this great spell caster who help to win Lottery and clear all your debts and buy your self a big house and car and also have a comfortable life living. His Lottery spell is wonders and work very fast. He help me to won a big money that change my life and my family. Recently i won $50,000,000 (FIFTY MILLIONS DOLLARS) I am so grateful for helping me to win the Lottery that change my life. It was a dream come true for me and my family. Your Lottery spell made wonders and miracles. Thank you so much sir for dedicating your time to cast the Lottery spell for me.I am extremely grateful for the Lottery spell he did for me. If you want to win lottery like me all you do is contact the voodoo spell caster that give me the rightful numbers of the below email xxxx or call xxxxx679. He will also send you the rightful number you need to win fast. #9
Kane - 6 days ago
Thanks to Prophet Abuvia because He is great. He has done so much for me. A few months ago my wife left me for another man. I was so depressed I was even admitted in hospital. Then for some reason I was searching for divorce lawyers and to my surprise I ended up on the prophet abuvia website (www.prophetabuviasolutiontemple.webs.com). I started reading his works and testimonies and I was so encouraged to fight for my marriage through his power and work. There were times were I lost hope,thinking of giving up but He reminds me to never lose hope. Isaiah 41:10. Today I can say my marriage has been restored. We happy and playing every day and she is happier than before. if you are having such or any kind of problem, you can also contact prophet abuvia on his email xxxx Kane Robert #10
mary - 1 week ago
I can’t believe this. A great testimony that i must share to all patient of [HBV] in the world. i never believed that their could be any complete cure for HEPATITIS B or any cure for HEPATITIS B, Mrs JANE introduce me to Dr Ozolua a herbal doctor who lives in Africa who brought him back to life again. so i had to try it too and you can,t believe that in just few weeks i started using the herbal medicine he sent to me i was perfectly OK and . Right now i can tell you that few months now i have not had any symptoms of HBV and i have just went for text last week and the doctor confirmed that there is no trace of any HBV in my body system. Glory be to God for leading me to this genuine Dr Ozolua I am so happy as i am sharing this testimony. My advice to you all who thinks that their is no cure for HBV that is Not true ,just contact him and get cure from Dr Ozolua via his email xxxx #11
joel sandar - 1 week ago
Hello viewer's , i want to share with you of a great spell caster who help me cast a spell on my ex boy friend who used me and dumped me for my girl friend, so when i met this great spell caster called Dr Aza, i explain what i was passing through. So he gave me instruction to follow, which i did, after three day's when the spell was cast, my ex boy friend called and started apologizing to me and said he want me back.You can also contact him if you have any problem via email xxxx you can call him or what,s App his number: xxxxx060, to help you with your problems. you can visit his website on drabaherbalhome.webs.com #12
katherine - 1 week ago
My name is Morgan Katherine , 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 Dr Ade 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 Dr Ade 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 called Dr Ade and how great his work is. I contacted him immediately and follow the step that he ask and in the next 48 hours my ex husband called me and was eager for my forgiveness and that he wished #13
katherine - 1 week ago
My name is Morgan Katherine , 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 Dr Ade 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 Dr Ade 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 called Dr Ade and how great his work is. I contacted him immediately and follow the step that he ask and in the next 48 hours my ex husband called me and was eager for my forgiveness and that he wished #14
Lucas - 1 week ago
I can not believe that voodoo has grown to the extend when you can use it to win lottery. I saw a comment online of a spell caster called PRIEST AZIBA who helped me with a voodoo that make me win the powerball lottery of $85,000 he also told me that if i had go for the millions i would have win as well. But the problem was that you can only use the spell once, which means there is no second chance to play twice because it against voodoo said by the spiritual man. I was so grateful for this was something i never believe that it ever going to work but today i was able to pay my debts. It an amazing work this man is doing out there and i advice he keep on the good work for he is God sent to earth for the poor. The emails is: xxxx #15
louey - 1 week ago
First of all i want to thank Sierra hbavna for the post she made on how DR MOMODU helped her in bringing back her lover before NEW YEAR At first when i saw the posting i was so happy and in the other hand so scared,That this might not be real, Then i decided to give it a try in which i contacted DR MOMODU and told him how my lover left me for another lady for the past 4months and i have been lonely and depressed without him,So i told him if he has helped anyone called Sierra hbavna and he said yes, that was the lady he helped in bringing back her lover before NEW YEAR,I said good and i told him that if he can help me in bringing back my own lover,He laughed and said once i have contacted him that my problem will be solved. He said that my lover will be back to me within 24hours and do an unexpected thing for me. i said really, Truly when the 24hours was completed i got a text from someone saying am sorry then i decided to call the number i saw it was my lover smith voice. I was so happ #16
HERNANDEZ RUEBEN - 1 week ago
i have been suffering from (HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS) disease for the past four years and had constant pain, especially in my knees. During the first year, I had faith in God that i would be healed someday. This disease started circulating all over my body and I have been taking treatment from my doctor, few weeks ago I came on search on the internet if I could get any information concerning the prevention of this disease, on my search I saw a testimony of someone who has been healed from (Hepatitis B and Cancer) by this Man Dr PAPA and she gave the email address of this man and advise we should contact him for any sickness that he would be of help, so I wrote to Dr. PAPA telling him about my (HERPES Virus) he told me not to worry that I was going to be cured!! hmm I never believed it,, well after all the procedures and remedy given to me by this man few weeks later I started experiencing changes all over me as the Dr assured me that I have cured, after some time I went to my doctor to c #17
Pamela Brown - 1 week ago
My Dear friends online, my name is Pamela From UK, I have to give this miraculous testimony, which is so unbelievable until now. I had a problem with my Ex husband 2 years ago, which lead to our break up. when he broke up with me, i was not my self again, i felt so empty inside me, my love and financial situation became worst, until a close friend of mine Andy told me about a spell caster who helped him in the same problem too her name is (xxxx) This spell caster i told her my problem and i did what she asked of me, to cut the long story short. Before i knew What was happening my husband gave me a call and told me that he was coming back to me in just 2 days and was so happy to have him back to me. We have been together and we are happy with ourselves. Thanks to Dr Goodnews for saving my relationship and for also saving others own too. continue your good work, If you are interested to contact her and testify this blessings like me, the great spell cast #18
GRACE FLINT - 1 week ago
Greetings to you all, i am here today on this forum giving a life testimony on how Dr.Aluya has cured me from HIV Virus, i have been stocked in bondage with this virus for almost 2years now, i have tried different means to get this sickness out of my body i also heard there was no cure to the virus, all the possible ways i tried did not work out for me, i do have the faith that i was going to be cured one day, as i was a strong believer in God and also in miracles, One day as i was on the internet i came across some amazing testimonies concerning how Dr Ayes has cured different people from various sickness with his Herbal Herbs Medicine, they all advised we contact Dr Ayes for any problem, with that i had the courage and i contacted Dr.Ayes i told him about my Sickness, He told me not to worry that he was going to prepare some Herbal Medicine for me, after some time in communication with Dr., he finally prepared for me some herbs which he sent to me and he also gave me prescriptions on #19
debby - 2 weeks ago
I want to say a big thanks to Dr Ekaka for the wonderful work he did for me last week, I have been on heartbreak with my husband i was in the middle of losing my husband and my two children. Before my friend told me about Dr ekaka and his wonderful work, Although i never believed on spell but i decided to give it a trier, i contacted Ekaka on his website: ekakaspelltemple.wix.com/drekaka and his email: ekakaspelltemple at xxxxxx . com He told me what i needed to do which i did. today is the 4th days now and my husband and i are back together and we living happily and it still seems like a dream to me. i will advice anyone in need of help to contact this great man. #20
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