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 (228)
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 - 1 year 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 - 1 year 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
DANIELA - 9 hours ago
Wow my Douglas is back to my life, this year is the most happiest year i have ever had in my whole life, am very happy because i celebrated the xmas with my lover Douglas who left me 2 years ago i have always loved him and always which to be with him again, but never knew that Dr Ewan is going to bring him back to my arms within 48 hours and not just bringing him but at the festive period. Am very happy my dream has come true.Am very happy and i know 2016 is going to be a great year for us. So i want to thank Dr Ewan for the great work which he did for me and if you need his help you contact him through: xxxx, or call him on his mobile number he is always there to help you like he did for me, xxxxx531. Name: Daniela From: UK. #3
AVA ROSE - 11 hours ago
CONTACT THE VOODOO SPELL CASTER FOR LOTTERY SPELL,CASINO GAMBLING SPELLS: xxxxx0com or xxxx. WIN LOTTERY JACKPO,EUROMILLION JAKPOT, WIN YOUR CASINO GAMLIN GAMES WITH THE HELP OF HELP OF A SPELL CASTER DR EGUAGA:email:dreguagaendofpainspelltemplexxxxxx.com Hello all my viewers My name is ava rose, from usa florida i am 68 years old I am very happy for sharing this great testimonies,The best thing that has ever happened in my life is how I win the lottery [mega millions jackpot 3 days ago with my husband. I am a woman who believe that one day I will win the lottery. finally my dreams came through when I email Dr EGUAGA. and tell him I need the lottery numbers. I have spend so much money on ticket just to make sure I win. But I never know that winning was s #4
Bruk Nelson - 1 day ago
Hello viewers i am BRUK NELSON from CANADA! I am very happy to shier the testimony of these great man called Dr Lucky did for me and my family, Sharing this great testimonies is the best i could do to tell the world on how Dr Lucky help me in winning lottery jackpot ,The best thing that has ever happened in my life is how I win the lottery euro million mega jackpot. I am a man who believe that one day I will win the lottery. finally my dreams came through when I email Dr Lucky. and tell him I need the lottery numbers. I have spend so much money on ticket just to make sure I win. But I never know that winning was so easy until the day I meant the spell caster online which so many people has talked about that he is very good in casting lottery spell, So I decide to give him a try. I contacted this great Doctor and he did a spell and he gave me the winning lottery numbers. But believe me when the draws were out I was among winners. I win 22,000 million Dollar. Dr. Lucky truly you are the #5
Bruk Nelson - 1 day ago
FOR LOTTO JACKPOT CONTACT DR LUCKY TO HELP YOU OUT ON YOUR LOTTERY JACKPOT AND BE HAPPY FOREVER, SIR YOU ARE THE BEST IN WINNING LOTTERY FOR A BETTER LIFE Hello viewers i am BRUK NELSON from CANADA! I am very happy to shier the testimony of these great man called Dr Lucky did for me and my family, Sharing this great testimonies is the best i could do to tell the world on how Dr Lucky help me in winning lottery jackpot ,The best thing that has ever happened in my life is how I win the lottery euro million mega jackpot. I am a man who believe that one day I will win the lottery. finally my dreams came through when I email Dr Lucky. and tell him I need the lottery numbers. I have spend so much money on ticket just to make sure I win. But I never know that winning was so easy until the day I meant the spell caster online which so many people has talked about that he is very good in casting lottery spell, So I decide to give him a try. I contacted this great Doctor and he did a spell an #6
amanda - 2 days ago
Instant Virgin Spray a very effective formula for a vagina tightening and strengthen its walls. The action of the vaginal spray you will notice immediately after the first use. With prolonged use spray gives a permanent effect. To get the vagina rejuvenation spray in the United Kingdom just place an order, pay it and we’ll ship it to your location asap. Shipping to the UK takes 2-3 days via free Airmail. our email address is xxxx OR call us at xxxxx423. Price of one bottle (15 mg) of vagina tightening spray is $50.95 #7
leo jerry` - 2 days ago
Hello everyone here on inter-nite This is my first time to believe a VOODOO SPELL CASTER, I used to be a very poor man who has always not find luck when it comes to playing the lottery, I have been playing lottery since i was 26 years and now i am 33,years meaning i have been playing the lottery for 9 years. The biggest fund i have ever won in my life was 350 $ . But one day my story turns to history after i find this man name Dr LUCKY on the Internet that he is the best when it comes to winning of lottery. This man is a very strong voodoo doctor who gives out the numbers that can never fail. After all my years of laboring and struggling to win the lottery i finally won ( $73,000,000) Dr LUCKY is the name, email is xxxx xxxx is the only way to win the lottery and it is the best on VOODOO spell for wining lottery Dr LUCKY is the best VOODOO spell caster to be trust okay EMAIL HIM NOW xxxx #8
SMITHTEEV - 3 days ago
I read some testimonies about a love spell caster by Dr.huwawa on how he has helped lots of people in bringing back their ex lovers within 48hours, Sincerely I was just thinking if that was real and if this man could really help bring back my lover whom I love so much. I decided to contact him because I love my boyfriend very much and we have been apart for a couple of months I really missed him so much, I have tried all other means to get him back but couldn't.I contacted Dr.huwawa and he told me that my ex will come back to me in the next 48 hours,Dr.huwawa released him up to know how much i loved and wanted him. And opened his eyes to picture how much we have share together. My ex is now back to me again.As I`m writing this testimony right now I`m the most happiest girl on earth and me and my boyfriend is living a happy life and our love is now stronger than how it were even before our break up.All thanks goes to Dr.huwawa for the excessive work that he has done for me by helping me #9
SMITHTEEV - 3 days ago
I read some testimonies about a love spell caster by Dr.huwawa on how he has helped lots of people in bringing back their ex lovers within 48hours, Sincerely I was just thinking if that was real and if this man could really help bring back my lover whom I love so much. I decided to contact him because I love my boyfriend very much and we have been apart for a couple of months I really missed him so much, I have tried all other means to get him back but couldn't.I contacted Dr.huwawa and he told me that my ex will come back to me in the next 48 hours,Dr.huwawa released him up to know how much i loved and wanted him. And opened his eyes to picture how much we have share together. My ex is now back to me again.As I`m writing this testimony right now I`m the most happiest girl on earth and me and my boyfriend is living a happy life and our love is now stronger than how it were even before our break up.All thanks goes to Dr.huwawa for the excessive work that he has done for me by helping me #10
Helen - 3 days ago
Good day everybody, This is my testimony on how i won 53,193,914 million pounds on Mega millions lottery. I want to use this opportunity to thank GREAT PAPA, for casting winning spell for me to win the lottery of 53,193,194 million pounds,lottery ticket. I have been playing lotteries for the past 5 years now and i have never won any. Ever since then i have not been able to win any lotto and i was so upset and i needed help to win this mega million lottery. so i decided to go online and search for help, there i saw so many good testimony about this man called GREAT PAPA,of how he has cast lucky spell lotto for people to win the lottery. I contacted him also and tell him i want to win the Mega millions lottery, he cast a spell for me which i use to play and won 53.193,914 million pounds in mega millions lottery. I am so grateful to this man, just in-case you also need him to help you win, you can contact him through his Email: (xxxx, or ou can also contact him through his #11
Henderson - 5 days ago
My name is Henderson Elizabeth, am form Tampa Florida, united state,I am here again to say a big thanks to dr abass for making me a complete woman again, i was infected with Herpes for 6 years i have been seriously praying to God and searching for cure. I came here last month to search for solution to my problem and i saw comment of people talking about different doctors and God directed me to choose dr abass and i contacted Him, he sent me a medicine and directed me on how i will take the medicine for weeks, i did so and went for a test and my result came out as Negative. i am so happy, i shared tears of happiness and i have taken it upon my self to always testify about how God used dr abass to solve my problem. I am a clean woman now, without any virus, if you are infected with any disease like HIV, AIDS,CANCER, DIABETES,THYROID or any other disease you can also be happy like me by contacting dr abass through his Email: xxxx or whatsapp him on xxxxx401, #12
HOPE WILIAN - 5 days ago
A broken heart can be one of the most painful things to heal from and can take a very long time to heal. During these times it can feel like the whole world could light up in flames and it still couldn't compare to the pain inside. Of course, admitting a broken heart can be a difficult thing to do and most of us try to continue on with life masking the pain in our heart. With this pain comes many emotions. I was also trying to masked my pain, until i found help, here is my story. My name is Hope Wilian from USA, My Wife and I are both directors and shareholders in our family business. We have been married for 6 years but my wife is now going for a divorce, i agreed in the first place but i later realized what happens to my family and what rights will I have in the business if my wife divorce me, and i have worked so hard for my family and this business, i was incomplete and wondered what to do because he already went to court. I was browsing on the internet when i saw a post on how a s #13
joyce ramond - 5 days ago
Wow, i am the happiest woman on earth today. i want to testify of what Dr JATTO did for me. i am Joyce ramond by name.I live in uk,Dear brothers and sisters, i have suffered breakdown in relationship for eight years now. My man abandoned me and went for another woman. This is a man i love with the whole of my heart, and i was left to suffer emotional pains. So somebody introduced me to a herbal and spiritual doctor who she said the spiritual doctor have done so much for her. So i contacted the doctor, and i explained my problem to him. So he assured me that he will do it and that he will breathe spell and my man will come to me begging. So i did all he says i should do, and believe me in just four days, my man called me on phone and was begging. i was so so surprised and finally my man is back to me. Please i want you all to be happy with me and also be thankful to doctor JATTO for his powerful spell breaker. please in case you are suffering from heartbreak, and you need your man back, #14
Henderson - 5 days ago
My name is Henderson Elizabeth, am form Tampa Florida, united state,I am here again to say a big thanks to dr abass for making me a complete woman again, i was infected with Herpes for 6 years i have been seriously praying to God and searching for cure. I came here last month to search for solution to my problem and i saw comment of people talking about different doctors and God directed me to choose dr abass and i contacted Him, he sent me a medicine and directed me on how i will take the medicine for weeks, i did so and went for a test and my result came out as Negative. i am so happy, i shared tears of happiness and i have taken it upon my self to always testify about how God used dr abass to solve my problem. I am a clean woman now, without any virus, if you are infected with any disease like HIV, AIDS,CANCER, DIABETES,THYROID or any other disease you can also be happy like me by contacting dr abass through his Email: xxxx or whatsapp him on xxxxx401, #15
Elizabeth Walters - 6 days ago
i can't still believe love spell work being in tear for over 5 year now because my boyfriend left me for another woman,he just call me one blessed day and breakup with me and said is over without no reason no explanation. even before then we were always quarreling fighting and doing different ungodly act..and one faithful day i was looking for solution and how to resolve issues my boyfriend and as i was going through the internet i saw several testimonies about Dr Bola how he helped so many people to unite their lover back,so i contacted him and to my greatest shock everything worked out for me,my boyfriend came begging me to accept him back and never to live me again all thank to DR Bola he is a genuine spell caster you can contact him on his email:xxxx i just couldn’t believe it, anyways we are back together now and we are happy, i am very much grateful to Him for restoring peace in my marital home,email: xxxx Thank you sir Bola. #16
julia ava - 6 days ago
Hello viewers, I am JULIA AVA,i am from Florida,i want to use this wonderful opportunity to thank Dr. Eguaga who helped me and my family to win lottery jackpot this year 2016, last week. his email:xxxx OR xxxx. We won($20,000) i have spent so much money playing this game for many years,i ask myself sometimes when will i win huge amount of money,one day i came across Dr.Eguaga Vanguard on internet how he helped people and grant them their heart desire by winning lottery with his powerful lottery spell,so i decided to email him. He assure us that our request will be granted once he cast the lucky winning number spell,i believe and follow his instructions, and also trust him. after the casting of the spell,he sent us the winning numbers,wish we use to play and won {five hundred and twenty eight point eight million dollars} right now i am very happy,we are multimillionaire we won a huge amount,he is the best spell caster i have ever seen o #17
Susan - 1 week ago
We adopted our daughters baby. He knows she is his birth mother, and I am his Mommy, too. He has not asked if his daddy (grandpa) is his dad. His father calls once a year to meet him, we have not allowed that due to addiction issues. He see's our daughter, for short visits, when she is doing ok. Our son is 8 years old now and so far hasn't made any connections to ask questions. He figures grandpa is the "Daddy" of everyone. We are concerned about telling him too late. We feel some quilt about not letting the dad see him or letting the dad's mother never meet him. They say wait till he asks, but will he feel deceived? #18
Pamela Scott - 1 week ago
I'm Pamela Scott from Las Vegas,USA.I can’t hide this amazing testimony that took place in my life. A powerful spell-caster named Dr. Candova brought back my love who left me and run off with another woman while I was six months pregnant,it was a painful period for me because i loved him so much an didn't want to lose him,so i contact Dr.Candova via email: xxxx and whatsapp him with his number xxxxx153,he cast a spell for me and behold my husband was back to me and we are now a happy family,contact him to fix your relationship because he did it for me and i completely trust Dr.Candova to fix your relationship,Thank you Dr.Candova for this. #19
BRYON STEWART - 1 week ago
Thank you sir for your genuine spells. I'm Bryon Stewart by name. From USA Taxes I came across many testimonies on net testifying of Dr Ogudu a voodoo spell caster that will help you cast a LOTTERY spell and give you the rightful numbers to win the lottery, i didn't believe it, at first but as life got badder i decided to take a try, now my try has made me a millionaire, i have been playing all types of lottery since 7 years now but i have not win up to $500,after contacting him he cast the spell and give me the hot winning numbers and i won( TWO MILLIONS DOLLARS) now i am a living testimony of the good works of Dr Ogudu A gifted man with a great powers, it is my secret but i decided to make the world known to it as it might be a help to any one who is interested, Email him (xxxx) or call xxxxx254.....yours faithful client Bryon stewart #20
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