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 (42)
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 - 10 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 - 7 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
jasmine - 4 weeks ago
I want to thank ANA SARAH for bringing joy and happiness to my relationship and my family. I lost my boyfriend, and i required help until i found ANA SARAH a female spell caster, And she assured me that I will get my boyfriend back in two days after the spell has been cast. two days later, my phone rang, and so shockingly, it was my boyfriend who has not called me for long, and made an apology for the heart break, and told me that he is ready to devote the rest of his life with me. ANA SARAH released him up to know how much i loved and wanted him.. right now me and my fiancee are living a happy life and our love is now stronger than how it were even before our break up..All thanks goes to ANA SARAH for the excessive work that she has done for me. Below is her email address in situation you are undergoing a heart break, and I assure you that as she has done mine for me, she will definitely help you too. Email: xxxx or www.anasarahspiritualhome.yolasite.com #3
Anabella Garrett - 4 weeks ago
Dr. Lee, I just wanted to thank you for all your help and efforts with my situation with Garrett. As you know, he broke up with me a few weeks ago and I found you and asked for your help. I had you cast a return my ex-boyfriend love spell on our behalf and I have to tell you that I am very pleased with the final outcome! I'm happy to say, we are back together again after a few short weeks apart! I was so miserable without him in my life. You have made me so happy! I am ordering a binding love spell right now via xxxx to make sure we don't split up again. Thank you for all your hard work and attention to my serious problem http://ancientfathersandmothers.webs.com #4
Anabella Garrett - 4 weeks ago
Dr. Lee, I just wanted to thank you for all your help and efforts with my situation with Garrett. As you know, he broke up with me a few weeks ago and I found you and asked for your help. I had you cast a return my ex-boyfriend love spell on our behalf and I have to tell you that I am very pleased with the final outcome! I'm happy to say, we are back together again after a few short weeks apart! I was so miserable without him in my life. You have made me so happy! I am ordering a binding love spell right now via xxxx to make sure we don't split up again. Thank you for all your hard work and attention to my serious problem http://ancientfathersandmothers.webs.com #5
berry jackson - 4 weeks ago
My name is berry jackson. I am from U S A, I have great happiness in me as i am writing this testimony about the great man called Dr.balogun When my lover left me i never taught that i will be able to get him back after all he has put me through, But i am so happy that after the interference of Dr.balogun i was able to get my lover back after 48hours and i can proudly to say, that who ever need help in getting there lover back should contact Dr.balogun on these contact details below drbalogun222.com for proper understanding of what i have just witness. And i promise that he will help you as he help me.. or call xxxxx599 Good Luck #6
lola - 4 weeks ago
my husband of 9years left me just because i could not give him A child, i did all i could to make sure i give him a child, i even went to an extent of forcing him to have sex with me every night but could not work. not untill one evening when i was browsing through the internet, i saw a comment on how a woman in same problem like mine was made home by A man called Dr onofe. i read about him and decided to contact him for help, i did as he ask me to do but i was still wondering how can someone just bring back my love he don't even know but i keep doing as he ask me to do. i was very surprise one morning my husband came and started begging me to come back to his life. at first i pretend to be angry then i accepted him back. Dr onofe also cast a spell for me to make me have children and as i speak right now i am a mother with 3kids. if there is any one out there who needs his help you can contact him through his personal EMAIL: xxxx or xxxx website: http://onofetemple.wix.com/http i wish #7
jasmine - 4 weeks ago
I want to thank ANA SARAH for bringing joy and happiness to my relationship and my family. I lost my boyfriend, and i required help until i found ANA SARAH a female spell caster, And she assured me that I will get my boyfriend back in two days after the spell has been cast. two days later, my phone rang, and so shockingly, it was my boyfriend who has not called me for long, and made an apology for the heart break, and told me that he is ready to devote the rest of his life with me. ANA SARAH released him up to know how much i loved and wanted him.. right now me and my fiancee are living a happy life and our love is now stronger than how it were even before our break up..All thanks goes to ANA SARAH for the excessive work that she has done for me. Below is her email address in situation you are undergoing a heart break, and I assure you that as she has done mine for me, she will definitely help you too. Email: xxxx or www.anasarahspiritualhome.yolasite.com #8
Help - 5 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 #9
CARLY - 4 weeks ago
hello everyone my name Carly Theo am here to say a big thanks to dr wakina the great spell caster, who help me bring back my boy friend,we have been dating now for 4years and everything have been going smoothly with both of us and we have already fix a date for our wedding last month i was in the offices when he called me i picked the call and i was so shock e what he was telling me that he is no longer interested in the wedding that he want to end the relationship i was shock and i could not continue my work i took excuse and went home i saw it as a joke later that day i went to his house to confirm the call he called i meet him with another lady in his house i was not my self and i ask him what was does words you where saying to me on phone and he also repeat them in the presence of the lady i cried and i thought my life has ended because i love him so much and i cant live without him i was asking my self what has gone wrong with my boy friend i was praying for God to bring him bac #10
Jennie Gouge - 4 weeks ago
Hello every body. Am Jennie Gouge, from Canada, Thank you Dr iayaryi for the Retrieve, A Lover Spell you cast for me And I'd like to thank you for it. My ex and I have been back together for a month now. And it's been even better than before. I think this time it's forever. We've been talking of moving in together, and maybe getting married in the future. Things between us are great. I thank you for helping to bring him back to me. After our time apart, we've learned to appreciate each other more, and not take anything for granted. Thank you. xxxx after trying and falling through other spell casters and witch doctors i had lost hope , but i thank God for giving me the ability to find you to solve my problems i now can't imagine that my business is doing better than i thought and i will always live to praise you....Dr iayaryi of xxxx #11
Marie Scott - 4 weeks ago
My name is Marie Scott from united states, i am married with two kids. Life has been a misery for me and my kids for over six years when my husband dumped me for his new mistress due to some minor misunderstanding that we had. So he engage in a fight with me and throw me out of the house, so all through these sorrowful period of my life, i have been in pain. So one day, as i was browsing through the internet, i came across many post about spell casters testifying how they were helped by them so i decided to seek help and advice. but naturally i didn't believe in spells or magic powers but due to the fact that i was deeply in love with my husband, i decided to go for a try, So i came in contact with Dr.iayaryi of xxxx but before i contact Dr.iayaryi, i was scammed by a lot of spell casters who makes me believe that they can help me. So because of all these, i almost lost hope that i can't get my husband back anymore so when i contacted this Dr.iayaryi, he assure me #12
jasmine - 4 weeks ago
I want to thank ANA SARAH for bringing joy and happiness to my relationship and my family. I lost my boyfriend, and i required help until i found ANA SARAH a female spell caster, And she assured me that I will get my boyfriend back in two days after the spell has been cast. two days later, my phone rang, and so shockingly, it was my boyfriend who has not called me for long, and made an apology for the heart break, and told me that he is ready to devote the rest of his life with me. ANA SARAH released him up to know how much i loved and wanted him.. right now me and my fiancee are living a happy life and our love is now stronger than how it were even before our break up..All thanks goes to ANA SARAH for the excessive work that she has done for me. Below is her email address in situation you are undergoing a heart break, and I assure you that as she has done mine for me, she will definitely help you too. Email: xxxx or www.anasarahspiritualhome.yolasite.com #13
ferguson - 3 weeks ago
I am here to share my experience with the world on how i got my love back and saved my marriage… I was married for 6 years with 3 good lovely kids and we lived happily until things started getting ugly and we had a fights and arguments almost every time… it got worse at a point that he filed for divorce… I tried my best to make him change his mind #14
carly - 4 weeks ago
Add a comment...hello everyone my name Carly Theo am here to say a big thanks to dr wakina the great spell caster, who help me bring back my boy friend,we have been dating now for 4years and everything have been going smoothly with both of us and we have already fix a date for our wedding last month i was in the offices when he called me i picked the call and i was so supprice what he was telling me that he is no longer interested in the wedding that he want to end the relationship i was shock and i could not continue my work i took excuse and went home i saw it as a joke later that day i went to his house to confirm the call he called i meet him with another lady in his house i was so supprice and i ask him what was does words you where saying to me he also repeat them in the presence of the lady i cried and i thought my life has ended because i love him so much and i cant live without him i was asking my self what has gone wrong with my boy friend i was praying for God to bring him #15
Louise Dickson - 4 weeks 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 #16
juliet1111 - 4 weeks ago
I am MOORE JULIET from Australia, I have been trying for 5years to get pregnant and needed help! i have Been going to the doctors but still nothing. The doctor said that me and my husband are fine and I don't know where else to turn, until one day my friend introduce me to this great spell caster who helped her to get back her lost husband back with love spell and also made her pregnant, So I decided to contact this spell caster Dr.Sam on his email after interaction with him he instructed me on what to do, after then i should have sex with the my husband or any man I love in this world, And i did so, within the next one months i went for a check up and my doctor confirmed that i am 2weeks pregnant of two babies. I am so happy!! if you also need help to get pregnant or need your ex back please contact him for help via email: xxxx or xxxx or through his website: http://miraclefertilityso.wix.com/dr-sam You can also #17
kizito - 1 month ago
what more can i say other than to share Dr. Abolo contact info to the world so that those having a broken relationship can fix it up within 48hours. Dr. Abolo has made my life beautify by bringing back my ex wife back to me with his powerful love spell within 48hours so with all this strange miracle that Dr.Dr. Abolo has done for me i am short of words i don't know what to do or say other than to give out his contact information to those facing separation in there relationship to fix it up within 48hours. Here are is direct info xxxx and xxxxx659 contact him right away and have a complete relationship. #18
Mercy - 1 month ago
hello viewer my name is Mrs Mercy i live in USA i want to share my testimony to the world on how dr favor help me to get my husband back and win my love, i was married to Desmond since six years just a month ago; i broke up with my lover, who left me with two kids, now i am 37 years old, i was tired and confused i don’t know what to do, until a friend of mine introduce me to this powerful and real spell caster called DR favor.i contacted him immediately and he replied me fast and told me that my problem will be solved before two days once the spell is been cast. i put all my trust on him because i have never believe on magic before , i did all he says i shall do,to my greatness surprise, the next day my lover who hate me,just calls me and started begging ”saying” that i should forgive him for all that has happened. i didn’t want to forgive him, but my son pleaded with me and ask me to forgive him for all that happened, i really did, and now we are now happily married and bles #19
amanda - 1 month ago
i am amanda by name. 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.paul . His email:xxxx #20
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