You are already related to the child you love, but you are not his or her biological parent.

Whether you are that child’s grandparent, aunt, uncle, or other relative, you have a family bond. You would do anything to protect the child. But as you raise him or her as your own, there may be something more that you can do. It may be something you haven’t thought of yet: you may be able to officially adopt the child and become his or her forever parent.

Adopting a Family Member Under Pennsylvania Law

The child is yours in your heart and in your day-to-day life. However, the child may not be yours under Pennsylvania law. If his or her biological parents have died or revoked their parental rights, you might consider undergoing the process of “kinship adoption.”

Simply put, kinship adoption refers to the process of adopting a relative. Some states also consider close family friends as kin if they have a strong relationship to the child. Kin often receive priority as prospective adoptive parents if the child must leave his or her biological parents.

Formally adopting a family member involves a private adoption, and rules vary by jurisdiction. An experienced lawyer can help seamlessly navigate the process. At Petrelli Previtera, our attorneys guide parents through the steps including:

  • Filing an adoption petition
  • Completing a home study
  • Obtaining clearances
  • Completing the needed reports

With relative adoption, a lawyer can be a big help. An experienced firm can streamline your progress and ensure no errors extend the wait time.

Why Officially Adopt a Relative?

Choosing adoption will ensure the child legally remains a part of the family. You will retain full parental rights under Pennsylvania law. As a legal parent, you will also be able to protect the child’s future.

This child is too important for you to take chances, and your relationship is also too important to risk. Do not assume everything will continue as it has without a formal adoption. Instead, find out how you might each benefit from a formal adoption. An experienced adoption lawyer in Pennsylvania can explain how to get the process started.

Get Started with Formal Adoption

Adoptions come in many forms. We know that the uncertainty of the legal adoption process seems daunting. Our firm tailors our approach to ensure you understand what’s going on and what you need to do. If you’re considering becoming an adoptive parent, feel free to call us or schedule an appointment online.

We have the experience to guide families through this exciting process. We can answer your questions and help you take the next steps to get started.