Special Challenges of Kinship Adoption

Adopting a relative can its own special considerations. What are these challenges, and do you overcome them? Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility & adoption education and support nonprofit, interviews Robin Sizemore, Exec. Director of Hopscotch Adoptions, an international adoption agency with an active kinship adoption program; Lorrin Pekarske an adoption social worker for the Catholic Charities supporting all types of adoptive families, including relative adoptions; and Tim Eirich, an adoption attorney with Grob & Eirich, LLC, specializes in adoption, child welfare cases, and assisted reproduction, and a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys.

Hit the Highlights
  • Domestic Kinship Adoption
    • Without Social Services involvement. With social services/foster care involvement.
    • Advantages and disadvantages of getting social services involved.
    • Is it possible to get an adoption subsidy from foster care for adopting a child through kinship adoption with special needs?
    • Differences between permanent guardianship/custody and adoption?
    • Should you legally adopt your grandchild or niece or nephew, or have guardianship?
  • International Kinship Adoption
    • Changes in how international kinship adoptions are processed.
    • Universal Accreditation Act
    • Independent relinquishment of your relative vs. child being in state care.
    • Can you adopt your relative’s child if he is living in a safe place, such as with a grandmother?
    • Does it matter how close the relative is: niece vs. cousin?
    • Is it possible to live in the country for 2 years to avoid?
    • Do you need to use an adoption agency in the US or can you do an independent adoption?
    • How to find an adoption agency in the US that does kinship adoptions.
    • How much does it cost to do a kinship adoption from another country?
  • Special Issues with Kinship Adoption
    • We think in terms of best interest of the child and we usually assume best interest is for the child to be placed with relatives. Is it?
    • Family involvement & creating boundaries
    • Navigating openness in relative / kinship adoptions
    • Lack of preparation or perceived need for education.
    • People stepping up to adopt a relative’s child were not actively pursuing adoption before and may not be prepared for raising a child who has experienced trauma.

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Image Credit: Philippe Put