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 (374)
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 - 2 years 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
myers - 1 day ago
I want to let the world know about Doctor jude the Great spell caster that brought back my husband to me when i thought all hope was lost. Doctor jude used his powerful spell to put a smile on my face by bringing back my man with his spell, at first i thought i was dreaming when my husband came back to me on his knees begging me to forgive him and accept him back and even since then he loves me more than i ever expected so i made a vow to my self the i will let the World know about Doctor jude because he is a God on earth. Do you have problems in your relationship ? have your partner broke up with you and you still love and want him back ? Do you have problem with your finance ? or do you need help of any kind then contact Doctor jude today for i give you 100% guarantee that he will help you just as he helped me. Doctor jude email is: xxxx or add him on whasapp xxxxx173 #3
Gisela - 2 days ago
my name is Gisela from Miami Florida I was at my worst time in my life I had lost my job and my fiancé left me after 7 years but I was blessed to have Dr unity give me another chance in life he gave me back everything I asked him for he is the best at what he does any problems you might have he can help you out thank you dr unity for helping me I will always be forever grateful to you..Here’s his contact: Email him at: xxxx .Call him or add him on whats-app: xxxxx464. Website: http://unityspelltemple.yolasite.com . Thanks again, you're the best!" #4
Laura Davids - 2 days ago
Hello readers.my husband and I got married 3 years ago and we were so much in love with each other. One day my husband came back home from work and he told me that he wants us to file for a divorce that he's no longer interested in our marriage, i was surprise and everything seem to me like a joke. after then i tried all my best to get him back but there was no way. but to no avail i saw on a blog on how Dr Jatto helped a lady to bring back her lost husband. i was scared but because i love my husband so much and I am ready to do anything to bring him back i decided to give it a try by contacting him via email:xxxx or xxxx So when i contact him i narrated everything to him and he said my case is not a serious one that my husband will come back to me within 24 hours if i believe in his power.he told me to do some certain thing which i did after 2 days my husband called me on phone and was crying for forgiveness I forgive him. right now we are now a new branded family. please if any one o #5
myers - 3 days ago
I want to let the world know about Doctor paul the Great spell caster that brought back my husband to me when i thought all hope was lost. Doctor paul used his powerful spell to put a smile on my face by bringing back my man with his spell, at first i thought i was dreaming when my husband came back to me on his knees begging me to forgive him and accept him back and even since then he loves me more than i ever expected so i made a vow to my self the i will let the World know about Doctor paul because he is a God on earth. Do you have problems in your relationship ? have your partner broke up with you and you still love and want him back ? Do you have problem with your finance ? or do you need help of any kind then contact Doctor paul today for i give you 100% guarantee that he will help you just as he helped me. Doctor paul email is: xxxx or add him on whasapp xxxxx669 #6
Kimberly Cody - 3 days ago
OMG!! This is certainly a shocking and a genuine Testimony..I visited a forum here on the internet on the 15TH Of OCTOBER 2016, And i saw a marvelous testimony of this powerful and great spell caster called Priest Ola on the forum..I never believed it, because i never heard nor learnt anything about spell nor magic before.. Not a soul would have been able to influence me about magical spells, not until Priest Ola did it for me and restored my marriage of 8 years back to me and brought my spouse back to me just as i read on the internet..i was truly astonished and shocked when my husband knelt down begging for forgiveness and for me to accept him back.. I am really short of expressions, and i don't know how much to convey my appreciation to you Priest Ola you are a God sent to me and my entire family.. And now i am a joyful woman once again thanks for your good work and for restoring happiness to my home.. here is his website: www.successspells.net or Email him directly xxxx OR xxxx #7
venessa roland - 4 days ago
My name is Venessa Roland and I base in USA...My life is back!!! After 1 year of Broken marriage, my husband left me with four kids . 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 Oguku, which i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet,I came across allot of testimonies about this particular spell caster. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he restores womb,cure cancer,and other sickness, some testified that he can cast a spell that can help you get pregnant for your husband and so on. i also come across one particular testimony,it was about a woman called jessica hiltom,she testified about how he brought back her husband back in less than 6 days, and at the end of her testimony she dropped Dr Oguku e-mail address. After reading all these,I decided to give him a try. I contacted him via email and explained my prob #8
Kimberly Cody - 4 days ago
OMG!! This is certainly a shocking and a genuine Testimony..I visited a forum here on the internet on the 15TH Of OCTOBER 2016, And i saw a marvelous testimony of this powerful and great spell caster called Priest Ola on the forum..I never believed it, because i never heard nor learnt anything about spell nor magic before.. Not a soul would have been able to influence me about magical spells, not until Priest Ola did it for me and restored my marriage of 8 years back to me and brought my spouse back to me just as i read on the internet..i was truly astonished and shocked when my husband knelt down begging for forgiveness and for me to accept him back.. I am really short of expressions, and i don't know how much to convey my appreciation to you Priest Ola you are a God sent to me and my entire family.. And now i am a joyful woman once again thanks for your good work and for restoring happiness to my home.. Email him directly xxxx OR xxxx #9
Gisela - 4 days ago
Hey everyone, I want everyone to know my testimony my name is Gisela from Miami Florida I was at my worst time in my life I had lost my job and my fiancé left me after 7 years but I was blessed to have Dr unity give me another chance in life he gave me back everything I asked him for he is the best at what he does any problems you might have he can help you out thank you dr unity for helping me I will always be forever grateful to you..Here’s his contact: Email him at: xxxx .Call him or add him on whats-app: xxxxx464. Website: http://unityspelltemple.yolasite.com . Thanks again, you're the best!" #10
Mayor Vargas - 4 days ago
This article is dedicated to the Doctor Osemu Okpamen. I have been married with my wife for 5 years and recently she broke up with me and it hurt me deeply when she told me to leave her alone and that she does not love me anymore when i was always faithful and honest to her. I tried all the ways to get her back buying her what she wants like i always did and she still left me heart broken and she even has a new boyfriend which destroyed me even more until a friend of mine from high school directed me to this genuine spell Doctor called Osemu Okpamen. This man changed my life completely. I followed everything he told me to do and my wife came back begging for me back. I had faith in everything he told me. Also he was there every moment until i got my happiness back and he also provides spells that cures impotence, bareness, diseases such as HIV/AID E.T.C. You can contact him via email at { xxxx } or call me for more info xxxxx. #11
ELENA - 4 days ago
I never knew people still have powers and to make things happened. My husband left me for another woman three months ago and ever since then my life have been filled with pains sorrow and heart break because he was my first love whom i have spent my entire life with. A friend of mine told me she saw some testimonies of a spell caster called Dr, Ochachikpor of (xxxx) that he can bring back lover within 48 house, i laugh it out and said i am not interested but because of the love i had for my husband i did it buy contacting the great spell caster Dr, Ochachikpor i never believe within 48 house my husband called me for the very first time after three months that he is missing me and that he is so sorry for every thing he made me went through.He came back to me and now we are happy together. I still can’t believe it, because it highly unbelievable. Thank you Dr, Ochachikpor for bringing back my lover and also to my lovely friend and for any one who might need the hel #12
linda allen - 5 days ago
Hello everyone, i am here to share my testimony on how i conceived my baby. by the help of a spell caster called Dr aza, i have been married to my husband for 12years without no issue.i had problems with my in-laws even my husband started to have new affairs aside our marriage. it was a very terrible thing to bear. i became a laughing stock among my pear, i prayed and fasted and nothing happened. i was now seen as always unhappy.i was even ready to pack out of my marital home and stay on my own because my husband was not given me any attention that i needed from him. i decided to focus on my job and try to live happy on my own. on this faithful day, i decided to check the internet for updates on healthy living and i came across a story of a woman called mercy, saying that Dr aza helped her with a spell that make her to conceive a baby. i decided to give him a try because this has been my greatest problem in life. today i am a proud mother with a son. words will not be enough to explain #13
CARIDAD - 5 days ago
I never knew people still have powers and to make things happened. My husband left me for another woman three months ago and ever since then my life have been filled with pains sorrow and heart break because he was my first love whom i have spent my entire life with. A friend of mine told me she saw some testimonies of a spell caster called Dr, Ochachikpor of (xxxx) that he can bring back lover within 48 house, i laugh it out and said i am not interested but because of the love i had for my husband i did it buy contacting the great spell caster Dr, Ochachikpor i never believe within 48 house my husband called me for the very first time after three months that he is missing me and that he is so sorry for every thing he made me went through.He came back to me and now we are happy together. I still can’t believe it, because it highly unbelievable. Thank you Dr, Ochachikpor for bringing back my lover and also to my lovely friend and for any one who might need the hel #14
Lewis - 5 days ago
I am here to share the unexpected miracle that happened to me, My name is LEWIS ARNORD i live in United State,and I`m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago between me and my wife so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she did not love me anymore So she packed out of my house and made me and the children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back after much begging but all to no avail and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her adv #15
Florence - 5 days ago
My name is Florence i want to testify how a spell caster save my home after 4yrs of marriage! His powers is so genuine, he is honest and very encouraging... HE also specializes on; Pregnancy spell to conceive baby, If you want your husband/wife to be yours forever, If you tired of being lonely and single and so mush more. Always saying YES to you needs.... Note: You can also communicate with him on live video cam if you wish and to also see some of his magical powers. He is new here in America just start 5 months ago and people have started testifying of his great works, don't be left out. Contact him today via e-mail: xxxx You can also call or text him @ xxxxx You can as well contact me for more info at my mobile number: xxxxx Please text only cause i cant discuss about that because of my husband. Regards Florence #16
Lilli - 5 days ago
I'm considering adopting my maternal grandson , he's 18m and up for adoption in which foster parents are wanting to adopted him ,with graditud for loving and caring for him,because of huge changes in my life at the time,I was reluctant and confused on being the best option for him,I begain to build a relationship with foster parents and deciding after passing all investigating necessary to qualify for me to care for my grandson I decided at the the time foster parents would be the best option 6 months ago.foster parents are going through the process but has not been through the final adoption hearing. I have a change of heart and want my grandson with me and family that love him .can I apeal and stop the adoption.? #17
Annmarie George - 5 days ago
What an amazing testimony to be written I never believed that i could finally get back the happiness and the love that was gone after my husband left me totally. I couldn't just believe that spells and magic could turn my thoughts and my dreams into reality in getting back with my husband after he served me with divorce papers.. my ex husband after the divorce never showed up to me and the kids anymore, he finally made up his mind on me and said it was over. 2 years after our divorce, i was still out trying to get him back and i did all that i knew best could make him happy, and my mum and everybody around just advised i should forget about him and move on with my life, because they felt he was gone forever and was never gonna return. But i never gave up on trying to get him back, because i so much loved him beyond what anybody could ever imagine. I met a spell caster, and what drew my attention most was the reviews people was writting about this spell caster when i contacted him. Espe #18
James - 5 days ago
How to save your relationship and married When your partner Wants a Divorce My wife and I separated 4 months ago and our kids, Emily and Robert, live with her but see me every weekend. I was totally devastated and confused until a old friend of mine told me about a spell caster on the internet called DR LOVE who help people with their relationship and marriage problem by the powers of love spells, at first I doubted if such thing ever exists but decided to give it a try, when I contacted him, he helped me cast a spell and within 48hours my wife came back to me and started apologizing, now she has stopped going out with men and she is with me for good and for real. you can Contact on { xxxx }. If you are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back your husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend E.T.C . contact Dr LOVE , E-mail:{ xxxx } Thank you so much DR LOVE , i will always be testifying about your good work. #19
James - 5 days ago
How to save your relationship and married When your partner Wants a Divorce My wife and I separated 4 months ago and our kids, Emily and Robert, live with her but see me every weekend. I was totally devastated and confused until a old friend of mine told me about a spell caster on the internet called DR LOVE who help people with their relationship and marriage problem by the powers of love spells, at first I doubted if such thing ever exists but decided to give it a try, when I contacted him, he helped me cast a spell and within 48hours my wife came back to me and started apologizing, now she has stopped going out with men and she is with me for good and for real. you can Contact on { xxxx }. If you are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back your husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend E.T.C . contact Dr LOVE , E-mail:{ xxxx } Thank you so much DR LOVE , i will always be testifying about your good work. #20

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