Placing a child in the custody of a relative is often the first option and preferred solution for a child who cannot live with his or her birth parents. One of the biggest benefits of kinship adoption is the ability to keep children connected to their families. Recognizing this and other advantages, most states call out the priority of kinship adoption in their laws.
“Adoptions come in many forms, our attorneys have the experience to guide families through this exciting process.”
In this video, Diana Schimmel explains how we help clients navigate the process smoothly and happily.
Who is the 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.
Benefits of a Lawyer
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 Schimmel, LLC has vast experience with the many forms of adoption. Partner Diana Schimmel chairs the firm’s adoption sub-practice group and is a wealth of knowledge for adoptive families. Having previously worked as a child advocate attorney for the Defender Association of Philadelphia, Diana is a passionate advocate for children and their best interests.
Contact Our Adoption Lawyers for Assistance
When you’re ready to adopt, having the right legal help can ensure an efficient process. Contact the adoption lawyers at Petrelli Previtera Schimmel, LLC for a confidential consultation. During our meeting, we will discuss your goals and explain the next steps.