Most relative adoptions are GRANDPARENT ADOPTIONS or adoptions by STEPPARENTS, although aunts, uncles, cousins or other relatives may also adopt a child. At least half of all finalized adoptions are adoptions by stepparents or relatives, such as grandparents, aunts, etc.
Many states do not require a complete home study if the child is adopted by a close relative, such as a stepparent, grandparent, sister, brother, aunt or uncle.
Relative adoptions are of necessity open adoptions. In some cases, however, the adoptive parents have concealed the relationship and even the adoption itself from the child.
The primary advantage of a relative adoption is the birthmother feels confident the child will be safe and loved by a family member. Such an adoption does not preclude the relative from death or divorce, and the child may ultimately end up with individuals over whom the birthmother can exert no control.
The main disadvantage of a relative adoption is that if other family members are also aware this is a relative adoption, constant comparisons may be made between the child and the birthparent, and it may be difficult for the adoptive parents to forge a strong sense of ENTITLEMENT to the child.
Find more information on relative adoptions
©2000 by Christine Adamec and William Pierce, Ph.D. Reprinted from The Encyclopedia of Adoption, 2nd Edition (2nd Edition) with permission of Facts On File, Inc.
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