Relative (or “kinship) adoptions are adoptions in which adults adopt children whom they’re related to (or who are close to their families). Kinship adoption can be a very effective means of lovingly including a child – who unexpectedly needs parental care – in an extended family.
Because an important bond exists with this child, the adoption process can often proceed more smoothly than adoptions where there is not a preexisting relationship.
This is not to say, however, that kinship adoptions cannot be challenging. In any adoption, the most prudent course of action is to consult with an attorney prior to starting the process in order to recognize and avoid any issues that may arise in the future.
Kinship care refers to the full time nurturing of children by their own relatives – members of their tribe or clan, grandparents, aunts or uncles, godparents, stepparents, siblings, or other people with whom these children maintain close relationships. In fact, the term kinship in this context is meant to include a variety of cultural values and relational ties.
It indicates that there is a bond of kinship between the child or children and the adults with whom they’re entrusted to receive necessary care and protection. Kinship care and kinship adoption are designed to allow children to grow up within a familiar, loving environment.
Relative Adoption’s Special Challenges
Relative adoptions are a great option in many situations and can provide children with an authentic ready-made family, but there are also difficulties associated with this parental transition.
Relative adoptions are on the rise, and as their numbers grow, their special challenges continue to come under scrutiny. There are several common challenges that are worth considering.
Because relative adoptions occur within families, there is a tendency to forego pre-adoption education. When family members adopt, they often bypass this preliminary step.
It’s important, however, not to forget that the child in question is no doubt traumatized by the precipitating incident that’s left him or her an orphan. In fact, some of the highest adoption-dissolution rates occur with kinship adoptions.
Most adoptions involve couples who are actively seeking children, but kinship adoptions are usually prompted by unexpected event(s). Many people involved in kinship adoptions sidestep adoption-support services, but they often have heightened needs for such services.
Typical adoptions include plenty of financial and emotional planning and preparation. Relative adoptions, on the other hand, are often dropped unexpectedly into preexisting families, and they can be especially difficult to navigate in these regards.
How an Arizona Adoption Attorney Can Help Relative Adoptions
If you are considering adopting a close family member and everyone is “on board” with the arrangement, you may be wondering why you would need to hire an attorney to help you.
It is important to remember that adoption is one of the biggest decisions that you can make in your lifetime, and will affect you and your adopted child for years to come. As a result, it is important to make sure that your adoption is legally valid and that you avoid any issues that could arise.
Here are some of the specific ways that a lawyer can help you and your family if you are considering or pursuing a relative adoption:
- Determine whether relative adoption is appropriate in your situation
- Explain the adoption process to everyone involved and walk you through the steps
- Help you with the adoption application and any other paperwork that is necessary in your case
- Represent you in court should any issues or disputes arise during the adoption process
If You Are Considering an Arizona Relative Adoption, Contact Stuart & Blackwell Today
Adoption is a beautiful choice, and a kinship adoption can be the most natural choice of all. Kinship adoptions, however, are not without their challenges.
An experienced adoption attorney can help you navigate these challenges as you welcome your new family member with open arms. At Stuart & Blackwell, we understand just how effortless and how difficult kinship adoptions can be.
We appreciate the magnitude of your decision to adopt a family member and our mission is to compassionately guide you toward its successful completion.
At Stuart & Blackwell, we focus our practice on adoption and we’re here to help you with one of life’s most rewarding journeys. Contact us or call our office today at (480) 420 2900 for a free consultation.