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 (329)
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
John Williams - 3 hours ago
John Williams, By name, and am from CANADA, I recently won $30,000 playing the Maryland Lottery’s Rainbow Blackout Bingo scratch-off. This was possible because i order a lottery spell from Dr Iyaryi the great spell caster who help with bingo scratch-off numbers for winning the lottery. To me for a person to given out such winning numbers that never fail, He is a complete genius and a blessed spell caster. If i were you i will contact him immediately for he will soon be leaving the internet. you can reach this spell caster on the below email xxxx so that you can also win the lottery. xxxxx763 #3
brittany valladeres - 16 hours ago
I'm very happy for the great help that Doctor prince render to me .My name is Brittany Valladeres i live in Milwaukee Wisconsin.I have had lots of trouble with herpes. I have had cold sores on my mouth area, on my chin, on my thumb, I have seen allots of blogs and articles of some person speaking about how doctor prince has cure them with his herbal treatment and i was excited to contact this doctor prince through the e-mail xxxx and Doctor prince promise to help me with the cure and make me healthy again, he told me what to do and i went according to the instructions given by doctor prince, after I'm done with it he told me to go and check myself in any of the health center in my country and i did, only for me get there and after checking, i was confirm that the virus which has been my worries and trouble is no longer in my body system, i have had about doctor prince cure for any deadly disease and now I believe all the Testimonies about him on the internet #4
brittany valladeres - 16 hours ago
I'm very happy for the great help that Doctor prince render to me .My name is Brittany Valladeres i live in Milwaukee Wisconsin.I have had lots of trouble with herpes. I have had cold sores on my mouth area, on my chin, on my thumb, I have seen allots of blogs and articles of some person speaking about how doctor prince has cure them with his herbal treatment and i was excited to contact this doctor prince through the e-mail xxxx and Doctor prince promise to help me with the cure and make me healthy again, he told me what to do and i went according to the instructions given by doctor prince, after I'm done with it he told me to go and check myself in any of the health center in my country and i did, only for me get there and after checking, i was confirm that the virus which has been my worries and trouble is no longer in my body system, i have had about doctor prince cure for any deadly disease and now I believe all the Testimonies about him on the internet #5
ELIZABETH STRONG - 4 days ago
Best and genuine spell caster online to save your marriage and relationship save your marriage if it is heading for divorce now Hello everyone! Life without my lover was a real disaster for me,What on Earth will i do to thank Dr.Ewan for his help. Are you having a hard time searching for a way to get your ex partner back, look no further, this was how i got mine back you can get yours today. My husband and I have been through every top reason for divorce; financial struggles, bankruptcy, stressful jobs, becoming parents when we weren’t ready (neither one of us would give our kids back just the amount of stress is overwhelming) we fought ALL the time over anything and everything. I threatened divorce all the time. One day after a fight I said I was done and filling. He told me he wasn’t in love with me anymore. After a day or two of cooling off I realized that divorce is not what I wanted. No, our marriage was not healthy but we had so much going against us an neither one of us wer #6
jenny markus - 4 days ago
I want to use this opportunity to thank Dr uzoya the great doctor who bring back my husband which makes me very happy today so i could not keep the wonderful work he has done for me so i decide to share it with you all because he is real not like those who eat up my money and never do anything for me, i have 2 lovely kids for my husband, about 3 years ago my husband and i has been quarreling about some things he is doing that he had not been doing before,like keeping late at night and drinking .DR uzoya told me that my husband is having a secret affair with a lady close to my street they do meet after work at one hotel,one day i felt that this was too much to bear then i confronted him one night but he did not listen instead he beat me up in front of our kids then he finally left me for the lady. i felt my life was over and my kids thought they will never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i couldn’t control the pains that torments my heart, my heart w #7
Cherie Moore - 4 days ago
All thank to the miracle work that happened in my life, i have been suffering from Herpes Disease, for 3years ago, and i have gone to several places just to get a cure, but there hasn't have any way out, i was searching through the internet, then i came in contact with a testimony of Dr OSAKA, how he has cured a lady of her disease, i decided to contact him and after i did,i explained myself to him, he told me that he was going to prepare a cure for me, and that was how it started to happen,he prepared a herbal medicine for me which he said i will be taking, and he said that in 2 weeks i will be cured totally, so i receive the medicine and in 2 weeks after using it i was confirmed negative in the hospital contact him today on his email address;xxxx Contact his mobile xxxxx257... #8
SH - 5 days ago
My husband has a nephew but he is not blood related and does not have the means to care for his five children and his ten year old son has no mother since birth (she just left) and both the "nephew" and his son have no place to stay but with my mother in law who is 70 and can't handle all of this and her other 10 great grandchildren. We are willing to pay "the nephew" to pay off his bike and start a career and get on his feet. However, again this "nephew" is only through a marriage (my husbands, half, decreased oldest brother, who got the nephew through marriage from the women he married who had two kids already). Most important, the ten year old boy has no mom and a father that doesn't see him and wants to give him up for adoption for the money. We just want to love and help a child who has been put through so much. Couch to couch. School is about to start and my husband and I were never able to have our own children. How would we go about working through this situation?!? #9
clara - 5 days ago
I was heartbroken that my husband moved in with another woman so I had a spell to bring him back home and stop the affair he had with her. In just 2 days he left her and went to live at the hotel. He called to say so and get news of the kids. The discussion was pleasant, as if he was changing to become the man I knew when we got married. It was exactly as you said…. Now he’s back home and is absolutely crazy about me. I am so thrilled by this spell that I can’t find the right words to say how I feel right now. You are the best Dr UZOYA, All I can decently say is that you changed my life and saved the most important thing in my life: My Family.u can contact him on [xxxx] OR call him on xxxxx Thanks #10
jarem - 6 days ago
I am so happy today because of what Dr,UZOYA did for me,my fiance broke up with me last three month because he thought i was cheating on him,so for the past three month now i have trying to plead with him but he still say the same thing that he does not want us to come back again that he can not trust me so i came in contact with Dr,UZOYA,who told me that my lover is going to come back to me if i work with him so i did what he ask me to do,after that he call me that within 48 hours that my lover is going to come back to me,can you believe that my lover is back to me ,he now love me more than before i am so happy, spell is good when you meet Dr,UZOYA if you need his help contact him [xxxx] or call xxxxx call or email him and i promise that he is going to help you with any problem OK my name is BEARY JAREM i am from the United state of America #11
grace - 1 week ago
Grace is my name and I am one of the persons that have benefited from Dr. UZOYA Love Spell. Dr. UZOYA appeared in the middle of my life when all hope was lost. I gave up on life and thought the best way to cure my broken heart was to take my life after I tried several processes and traveled to India seeking for spell to reunite with my husband who dumped me after three years of our marriage for another lady but none of my effort worked. I made up my mind to continue with my suicide plan before a strange spirit came over me like a rain and ministered to me to search online after seeing so much talks about Dr. Uzoya Love Temple. I reluctantly searched and found amazing testimonies and recommendations about him which encouraged me to contact him via his email. He replied and asked me to wipe away my tears and quit any act to take my life; he said that my case is solvable after consulting his Oracle. Well, here I am today thanking Dr. Uzoya for saving my life and bringing back my Husband. #12
Prik Niki - 1 week ago
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Maria Morgan - 1 week ago
I am Maria Morgan from Florida USA, my gratitude go to my friend who introduce Dr Oviasu that help me bring back my husband, a very big thank to my friend who make these day possible for me and my family to be happy together again. My husband left me with two of our kids and run after another woman who bewitch him and turn my husband eye away from his family for 3 years after 12 years of marriage. words alone can explain how happy i am right now with my family. If you are looking for a truth and powerful man to help you bring back your husband or your ex, kindly contact Dr Oviasu on these phone number xxxxx664 or email him on xxxx. he will be a solution to your problem. #14
frank davis - 1 week ago
DOCTOR OHIRI is indeed a great and powerful man. I am Frank Davis by name am from England. My girlfriend left me and didn’t want any contact with me, not even friendship. She said it was over between us and told me to move on with my life. She ignored my e-mails and refused to answer or return my phone calls. She called me an obsessed psychotic stalker and even threatened me with cops and restraining orders if I showed up. I was absolutely heartbroken and devastated. I thought my case was impossible to resolve until I found DOCTOR OHIRI on the internet. DOCTOR OHIRI casted a spell for me and my situation made a miraculous turn around like something out of a movie or fairy tale with a happy ending. I had a wonderful conversation with my girlfriend After 6 months of no contact, during which she offered out of the blue to come and spend time with me. My relationship has been consistently wonderful and stable. I still cant believe it, it is like a huge burden has been lifted from my shou #15
Maria Morgan - 2 weeks ago
I am Maria Morgan, i want to say a very big thanks to Dr.Oviasu for helping me with his Roots and Herbs, after 13years of marriage, until the issue resolved to problem in my home, i was really worried and bothered because i don't want to loose my husband to another woman. i have went to hospital, the doctor told me that i can't get pregnant again i thought i have lost my husband and my marriage already.i decided to check the internet for updates on healthy living and i came across of a testimonies with no child on how God has use these Dr Oviasu to help her and i also try it and it work for me' but thank God today with the help of Dr.Oviasu roots and herbs i got pregnant within 3 weeks and i was so very happy, i pray that god should strengthen Dr.Oviasu for the kind job he did in my life they are people out there finding it difficult to conceive why can't you contact Dr.Oviasu via email address xxxx or his cellphone number xxxxx664. #16
Dickson Shannon Lucinda - 2 weeks ago
I am a Journalist of over 4 years that Infected was by HIV disease,this disease has over come my body system. My brain fog and memory loss and physical issues made me a vegetable for 4 years. Few months ago i came across some testimonies on how Dr Molemen has been using his Herbal Medicine to treat and cure HIV, Some even testified of been cured from Lyme Disease,Cancer and other infections, I have never heard of such before, due to the fact that i always had the believe that one day there is going to be a cure for this disease, i horridly copied the email address of Dr Molemen and i told him about my condition he told me not to worry that he was going to prepare some herbal medicine for me which he was going to send to me right here in my country, eventually after 5 days of communicating with Dr Molemen he sent me a package which i received and he gave me prescription on how i am to use them, after 2 weeks of taking Dr Molemen Medication i became to feel relief in my body and i told #17
Jez - 2 weeks 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. Azuba on his email (xxxx) 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 but now he has just helped me out to be a fulfill woman and i am now so happy. All Thanks to DR Azuba and if you also want to have your Husband back to yourself here !! his email again is xxxx i am so happy to testify of your work and kindness #18
gavin vanessa - 2 weeks ago
my name is Gavin Vanessa, from usa.I have been through hell and pain,When my husband turned against our marriage,and sent me away,and said that he never wanted to see me again,because he was having an affair outside with another woman.I was finally confused,and so many thoughts came to my mind,when a friend finnally advice me to go and visit a spell caster.And as i was searching for a spell caster to help,I was scammed four{4} times,by some who claimed to be real spell casters.until i found the real and great spell caster Dr KAMA who helped me,and solved all my problems concerning my husband who left me since six months.and after that a friend also complained of her husband too,So i linked her up with the same spell caster who helped me too,and the problem was also solved by the same spell caster :xxxx ,Whao!! the real and great spellcaster is here,all you need to do now is to contact this same address whenever you are in any problem related to spell casting.It to #19
Crystal - 2 weeks ago
What a wonderful spell caster. Very trustworthy, My husband cheated on me for Almost for two years. he ignore me for several months and left me with nothing, but i am happy today that Dr happy brought my husband back, I am so happy, Now my husband is all mine again. I can now say I'm happy again. Great spell from Dr happy, is genuine. I truly believe in him and his spells. he is a professional. I really enjoyed the result which i got, his love spell is marvelous, he is truly gifted, his love spell has brought me happiness, I am extremely pleased, it worked out to my test, he has the most powerful love spell, I recommend his love spell to anyone who is ready to get his or her lover back, contact xxxx or call him xxxxx774 Crystal New Jersey USA #20
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