A relative adoption happens when a child is being adopted by a close relative like an aunt, uncle, cousin, adult sibling, or a grandparent. Relative adoptions are not the same as stepparent adoptions. In the United States, 4.5 million children live with their grandparents and 1.5 million children live in households headed by other relatives.
In Missouri alone, 77,857 children live with grandparents and 18,555 children live in households headed by other relatives.
Relative adoptions are not as formal as non-relative adoptions. The child's biological parents must be terminated of their parental rights to the child. The courts only require an abbreviated home study, or none at all, of the relative. The Adoption Act states that a child ages 7 to 12 years old being adopted by a relative must be interviewed in private by an authorized person. Also, children 12 and older are asked for there consent to change their names.
By interviewing the children, it helps the courts to here the child's views about the adoption. Also, it helps the court to make a determination to grant an adoption order. The Adoption Act also states that a child can revoke their consent to the adoption at any time before the adoption order is granted.
Some advantages of relative adoption The biological parents know the relatives personally verses non-relatives they do not know at all. They will know that their children are in safe hands and will be loved. The children are also familiar with the relatives so the children will feel comfortable living with their relatives verses total strangers.
Some disadvantages of relative adoption The adoption can put a big strain on the relationship between the adoptee and the biological parents. The child might not consider you as there parent and will not take your rules seriously.