How do I adopt my relative's children?

How do I adopt my relative's children?

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  • Answer ✓
    This will vary by state and depend on the situation through which the child is placed for adoption. Is your relative pregnant or is the child already born? The first step would be to contact an Adoption Attorney and/or agency to discuss your situation. In both cases where I have adopted a relative's child, we used an attorney for all of the legalities and an agency for the home study. We had a lot of peace of mind knowing the attorney was working directly for us. 

    Depending on your state and also what state your relative is in, you will likely need a homestudy. In some cases, especially if you are in the same state and/or are an immediate relative, the child may be able to be placed in your custody while you complete the paperwork. This is especially true in cases where a child is in foster care in the same state as the adopting relative. It is important to note that even though you may be adopting the child of a relative, some states only consider an adoption a "kinship" adoption if the adoptive parent is an immediate relative. For example, I adopted my cousin's child but the adoption was considered a private adoption with all of the associated fees and process. 

    You may have many of your questions answered and read about other experiences at the Kinship/Relative Adoption Forum found at Adoption.com. The process will likely look the same as a private adoption would if the relative is pregnant. If the child is in foster care, you will need to contact the state agency who has custody of the child to express your interest in adoption. The good news with adopting from foster care is that the process is often handled through the state agency and substantially cheaper. 

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