Relative Adoption

Why Work With An Attorney On Relative Adoption

If you are hoping to adopt a niece, nephew or grandchild, you will likely be able to process the adoption as a relative adoption.  Relative adoptions have fewer statutory requirements than a typical newborn adoption and thus can be less costly. The requirements are minimal. 

  • Adopting parent usually must be 10 years older than the adoptee
  • Obtain consent of living biological parents. If one will not consent, you may be able to terminate parental rights another way.
  • Complete and file legal paperwork with the court to open your case.
  • Determine who will do your investigation (home study) and whether you can use an abbreviated process.
  • File finalization documents and schedule your finalization hearing.

Relative Adoption Home Study 

Every adoption requires a home study, but in a relative adoption, the investigating agency may allow you to use an abbreviated home study. You will need to contact your regional county office (Department of Social Services) to determine whether they or a local private adoption agency will do your home study. Here’s what’s involved in the home study (this is not a complete list, your agency may have other requirements):

  • The investigating agency will visit your home at least twice, usually about 90 days apart
  • Adoptive parents must provide medical checkup reports from their doctors
  • Adoptive parents must be fingerprinted and background checked
  • The agency will provide a packet of questions for adoptive parents to answer about their social background information and family histories
  • Signing release of information forms
  • Verifying adoptive parents are employed
  • Adoptive parents must also provide financial information that indicates they have the financial resources to raise a child.
  • The adoptee will need to have a medical check-up as well. 

Will The Agency Approve You To Adopt?

The investigation probably sounds like a lot of hoops to jump through, but it’s important to keep in mind that your relationship with the agency is not adversarial. They want you to be approved to adopt, and they want to approve you. If they see any issues, they will almost always work with you to resolve them so the adoption can move forward. Their job is to protect the child, not to decide who the biological parents can place their child with. 

We are experts at processing relative adoptions and would be happy to discuss your situation with you to determine whether your adoption qualifies as a relative adoption.

Call us today to schedule a complimentary 15 minute consultation.  The quickest way to reach us: (925) 945-1880 or (800) 877-1880 or click here to contact us via email.  We look forward to hearing from you!