What You Need to Know About Adopting a Family Member’s Child

adoption

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Adopting a child may allow you to provide that young person with an opportunity to obtain a higher quality of life. Generally speaking, you can attempt to adopt a child even if he or she is a direct or extended family member.

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Let’s go over some things that you should be aware of when attempting to adopt a sibling, niece or grandchild.

Is the Adoption in the Child’s Best Interest?

You will need to convince a judge that the adoption is in the child’s best interest. Generally speaking, this means that you will need to prove that you can provide for the child both financially and emotionally. A family law attorney may be able to give you more insight into the child’s best interest standard and how it will likely be applied in your case.

Will It Strain Relationships Between Family Members?

Let’s say that you wanted to adopt your sibling’s child because that sibling was consistently in legal trouble or was battling a substance abuse problem. While your heart may be in the right place by pursuing an adoption, your brother or sister may not appreciate your efforts. In addition to potentially ruining a relationship with that family member, you could inadvertently strain the relationship between your relative and the child that you want to care for.

Courts Don’t Terminate Parental Rights Without a Good Reason

Your sibling, uncle or adult son or daughter will need to voluntarily waive his or her parental rights before an adoption can take place. Alternatively, a judge could issue an order demanding that they be terminated immediately. However, if neither of those things happen, you won’t have much control over the outcome of an adoption proceeding. Generally speaking, courts only terminate a person’s parental rights if it can be shown that a child has been abandoned, mistreated or is in immediate danger.

Are You Ready to Be a Parent?

While you may be capable of being a good parent, you may not be ready to make the commitment that is needed to raise a child. This may be especially true if you are going to be a single parent or work in an industry that doesn’t allow you to live in one place for long.

Adopting a child can be a long, complex and expensive process. Furthermore, once the adoption is complete, you will be responsible for that child’s care for many years or decades to come. Therefore, it is important that you think carefully before deciding to pursue an adoption.

Adopting a Family Member's Child