Relative adoption is a common type of adoption. Sometimes referred to as familial adoption, a relative adoption may sometimes be the best option for a minor child. If you are considering adopting a family member, you will want to consult with an adoption attorney. Your attorney will not only be able to answer your questions, but he or she will also take you through the process step by step.
Reasons to Consider a Familial Adoption
For some, adopting a family member was discussed and written into a will or trust. For others, the need is more sudden and shocking. Adoption by a family member provides many benefits to the child. First, the child likely already knows the person or family adopting him or her so there is one less necessary adjustment. Second, the family (including siblings) can often be kept together. Formal adoption allows your relationship with the child to be permanent and recognized by the state. As the legal guardian, you will be able to register any children for school and authorize medical treatments. Additionally, you may claim these children as dependents on your income taxes.
Who Can Adopt a Family Member
If you are over the age of 21 and have a proven relationship with the minor child, your adoption attorney can petition for you to adopt said minor. This means an adult sibling can adopt a minor child. The two most common forms of relative adoptions are grandparents adopting a grandchild and stepparents adopting their stepchild.
In order for grandparents or stepparents to complete a familial adoption, the biological parent or parents of the child must give consent or be deceased. Even if a minor has a child, this does not allow the grandparent to automatically petition to become the primary parent of the grandchild. Similarly, a stepparent who is more involved than a biological parent is unable to file adoption paperwork without the consent of the biological parent. Permission from the biological parent is required in either case. Sometimes uninvolved biological parents are happy to relinquish their parental rights so they are no longer obligated to pay child support.
If a discussion with an adoption attorney may provide clarity to your situation, call Wagstaff Law Office. We handle all types of adoptions including familial. Call us today at (727) 584-8182.