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Relatives and Grandparent Adoption Laws

Many times, when a child’s biological parents are not available to take care of the child properly, due to any reason, the child may be adopted by a close relative, such as an aunt, an uncle, an aunt sibling, a grandparent, or a cousin. According to child adoption rules, adoption grants the family members full legal parental rights. The adoption process works similar to a step-parent adoption.

In most adoption cases, preference is given to the child’s grandparents over aunts and uncles etc. Some of the common reasons why the child may be adopted by a grandparent or relative include death or incapacitation of the natural parents of the child, divorce of the biological parents, incarceration of a supporting parent, cases of child abuse, neglect, or abandonment by a parent, as well as unemployment or financial instability of a supporting parent. The good thing about adoption by a relative is that children are usually attached to their extended family members in many cases, which makes the adoption process easier for the child.

Another thing to note about a relative or grandparent adoption is that the entire process can be economical for the adopting individual. Although the adopting individual will have to pay for attorney fee, they will qualify for the adoption tax credit. This tax credit reduces their income tax by the amount of their adoption expenses.

In most adoption cases, the process is made simpler when the current parent agrees with the adoption by a relative or grandparent. In states like Florida, the individual can go ahead with the adoption even if the parent refuses to sign a consent. Every case is different, and it all depends on whether the parent is able to emotionally and financially support the child, or if the parent has abandoned the child. Aside from adopting the grandchild, the grandparents can also assume other formal relationships with the abandoned child, such as physical and legal custody, or guardianship. However, among all these options, adoption if the most stable and enduring option.

The adoption process officially terminates the relationship between the child and previous parents and the child creates a new legal relationship with the adopting relative or grandparent. New birth certificates are issued for the child and the new adopting individual becomes the legal parent of the child. Even if the child’s birth parents are living, they no longer have any responsibility towards the child. However, they can still see their child with permission of the adopting party.

In most states, a relative adoption is treated less formally than a non-relative adoption. Whether you are a relative of the child or a ‘stranger,’ you need to get in touch with an adoption attorney who understands family law. Your attorney will be able to answer all your questions regarding the available options and anything particular you need to know about the adoption process. To talk to a child custody and adoption lawyer, call The Divorce Lawyers Chicago at (312) 313-9578.