When a child’s birth parents are unable to care for him or her, extended family members often turn to relative adoption. Adopting a relative’s baby can be a wonderful way to preserve family connections and ensure a stable, loving environment for the child.
Below, learn how to adopt a relative in Georgia and North Carolina, and discover the services Claiborne|Fox|Bradley can offer to help.
What is kinship adoption?
Kinship adoption, also called relative adoption or family adoption, refers to any adoption of a child by his or her grandparent, great grandparent, aunt, uncle, great aunt, great uncle, or sibling. In Georgia and North Carolina, a child who has any living parent or guardian may be adopted by an adult who is related to them by blood or marriage.
Like any other adoptive parents, adopting relatives gain full parental rights for the child they adopt. This means the adopting family members will be able to:
- Make medical decisions and obtain medical records for the child
- Ensure inheritance rights and insurance benefits for the child
- Easily perform everyday tasks, like enrolling the child in school
- And more
Many times, parents seeking relative adoption in Georgia or North Carolina are already raising a young family member in their home; the legal kinship adoption process gives these families the legal rights they need to successfully parent the child.
How do I adopt a relative’s child?
Whether you are pursuing relative adoption in Atlanta, Savannah, Charlotte, or anywhere else in Georgia or North Carolina, Claiborne|Fox|Bradley will efficiently guide you through the relative adoption process from start to finish. We can provide all of the services and support you need to adopt a family member, including:
- Obtaining Consents or Terminating Parental Rights: If the child to be adopted has living parents or guardian, then those parents or guardian must either voluntarily surrender their parental rights or have their rights terminated by the court.
- Assisting with the Pre-Placement Investigation: While the home study is not required to complete a relative adoption in North Carolina or Georgia, the court may require a simple investigation. We will work with you to ensure you are comfortable with this process.
- Filing the Adoption Petition: We will work with you to complete the necessary legal paperwork and file it with the court in order to initiate the legal procedures for relative adoption.
- Finalizing the Adoption: Adoption finalization procedures vary depending on your state of residence. To finalize your kinship adoption in Georgia, Claiborne|Fox|Bradley will arrange and represent you at a final court hearing. To finalize your kinship adoption in North Carolina, we will complete the necessary administrative procedures to legally complete the adoption process.
- Negotiating a Post-Adoption Contact Agreement: When the child’s birth parents voluntarily consent to the adoption, it is common for both parties to enter into a post-adoption contact agreement. These agreements, which are legally enforceable in Georgia, outline a plan for the birth parents to remain in contact with the child for years to come.
- Securing Financial Assistance: If the child’s parents have abandoned the child, the lawyers of Claiborne|Fox|Bradley can help you to determine if the State Department of Family and Children Services will reimburse a portion of the legal fees associated with the adoption.
Adopting a relative can be a wonderful way to provide your entire family — and especially the child — with a sense of stability. Claiborne|Fox|Bradley can provide all of the services you need to complete your relative adoption in Charlotte, Savannah, Atlanta, or anywhere else in Georgia or North Carolina. Contact us today to learn more about adopting a family member.