How Family Adoption Is Different

Posted on: June 13th 2015
The best adoptive parents might already be in the family.

If you’re thinking about a family adoption, here are a few things you’ll need to know:

Giving baby up for adoption is always a challenging situation. Finding the best adoptive parents is likely the most difficult decision you’ll ever make. But a willing and able family member could make your decision easier and your baby’s future more secure.

Some States Define Family Differently

A family or “kinship” adoption is defined differently depending on the state where you live. explains that in most states, a relative is an “uncle, aunt, adult sibling, grandparent, or great-grandparent” of your baby. These family connections may be by whole blood, half blood, marriage or adoption.

States may differ greatly beyond those close-family parameters. For example, cousins, nieces and nephews may, or may not be considered family. If the state where you live offers special consideration for family adoptions, closer family members may qualify while more distant relations may not.

Adoption within the family can make everyone happy.

Many States Make Family Adoption Easier

While a loving family for your baby might be found in any neighborhood and any state in the country, many states recognize the potential benefits of giving baby up for adoption inside the family. This is why you may find that the laws governing family adoptions where you live help make the process easier.

Adoption Services says nearly half of the states in the U.S. offer a more “streamlined adoption process,” which might mean there would be no pre-placement evaluation of the adoptive parents, no home study, and no background checks. But your state might differ. You can check the laws where you live at Some state laws also offer incentives to help minimize the cost of the adoption.

Some States Have Similar Requirements as Non-Family Adoptions

Although many states try to make family adoption easier, not all of them do. There are several states that require a criminal background check, which could apply to all adults living in the home of the adoptive parents.

There may also be a home study, which determines whether the home is suitable for your baby. And in some cases, a temporary placement period is required where your baby lives with the adoptive parents for a time to determine whether the arrangement works.

After the adoption is final, the adoptive parents are permanently and legally Mom and Dad.

Important Things for You to Consider

Family or kinship adoptions might be the best option for you, your baby, and the adoptive parents. Your child will be raised and cared for by people you know very well, and you may never have to wonder where he is, what he looks like, and how he is growing. But there is the possibility of a downside to giving baby up for adoption within your family.

With all adoptions, parental rights are permanently terminated. This means that as soon as the process is final, you will no longer be your baby’s legal parent. says this could create a stressful situation for everyone involved. Sometimes family relationships become strained if there’s ever a question about who is the parent and who isn’t. Counseling can help everyone understand the difficulties involved.

Family or kinship adoptions can work seamlessly and be the best solution for you, the new parents, and your baby. But it’s not as simple as making a choice. There’s still a process to follow, even though it varies from state to state.

If you are considering adoption, contact us:

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Images Courtesy of Family Formation: Client photos printed with permission.