Compared to other types of adoption, adopting kin is much easier to do. There are several reasons people choose to adopt their nieces, nephews, grandkids, and other family members. Every family is unique and requires different things. Often this is one of the best ways to keep a family together and ensure no one ends up in the foster care system. It can be one of the best solutions when parents are not ready to take care of their kids.
The first thing you will have to do is get consent from the child’s parents that say they give up their rights. You may have to petition the court or attend multiple court sessions to adopt a kin. Depending on the case, there may be home visits and other documentation required. That is why it is important to have an attorney you trust to walk you through the step-by-step process.
Though this process is easier than many other forms of adoption, having an attorney will allow you to keep up with all of the information being thrown your way. The attorney will keep you informed of all court dates and keep you up to speed on what the judges will be looking for.
What is Kinship Adoption?
Many family members take in the children whose parents are not ready to be parents. However, that does not mean you have rights to the child. Many family members, like grandparents, choose to adopt the child in order to make decisions for the child’s well-being.
Reasons To Adopt
Some of the reasons to adopt kinship can include:
- You would have medical decisions based on health and all access to medical records without the biological parent present. This can be crucial during an emergency and may help save the child’s life.
- The child would be able to inherit from you and not from their parents. It would also allow them to receive your benefits, like health insurance and social security.
- If the child is not in school, you would have the permission to enroll them in school and ensure they get to and from safely. You would be seen as the parent in the eyes of the school.
- They would become your child, and this is better than the foster care system in many cases. You can provide a loving and stable home for a young child.
Though this may not be an issue for many families and most grandparents can already go pick up their grandchildren, having legal responsibility for a child may keep you out of trouble. This will also ensure the parents legally give up their rights on making decisions for their biological children.
Who Qualifies as a Child’s ‘Kin’?
Many states recognize the term “kin” as a biological relative. Some states also consider close family friends or others with a strong relationship to the child. These people may receive priority as prospective parents if the child must leave his or her birth parents.
The Kinship Adoption Process
Kinship adoption rules vary depending on the jurisdiction, according to the handbook published by Child Welfare Information Gateway. The court may either:
- Transfer legal custody to the relative instead of ordering foster care, or
- Award child custody to the state’s social services department, after which the department will place the child in appropriate care.
If these options have been explored and the child cannot be placed with a relative, the state will terminate parental rights and seek other prospective adoptive parents.
Why You Need an Attorney
The rules about kinship adoption vary by state. That’s why it’s especially important for people who want to adopt a relative child to speak with a lawyer about their rights. Petrelli Previtera, LLC has vast experience with the many forms of adoption.
When To Talk To An Attorney
The moment you decide to adopt kin is when you should get an attorney involved. Our team at Petrelli Previtera will sit down with you and look at all the information you have gathered stating why you want to adopt a family member. We want to hear from you and help make this adoption process go smoothly.
Contact Petrelli Previtera today to start the process with a legal consultation.