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Could you help a loved one through a kinship adoption?

| Jan 11, 2021 | Family Law |

One person’s struggles can affect everyone else close to them.  A family member struggling with addiction can negatively impact the lives of their parents, their spouses and their children.  Someone who commits a crime and winds up in jail will also affect the happiness, financial stability and even health of those closest to them.

If someone in your family is currently struggling with an uncontrolled addiction or is incarcerated, their child may be in a particularly vulnerable social position.  They might even face foster placement with strangers.  You may want to consider whether a kinship adoption might benefit them and allow you to assume a parental role in their lives.

How kinship adoption works

Unlike an adoption of a child by strangers, kinship adoption can be straightforward and even very low-cost for the people involved.  While you will have to pass a background check and meet certain criteria, family members adopting the children of loved ones will often have a faster and more streamlined application process.  State agencies recognize how maintaining family ties can support children going through difficult changes.

If the state has not already revoked the parental rights of your family member who is unable to parent, you may have to go to them and ask them to give up their parental rights so that you can complete the adoption.  The courts will have to review and finalize your request for adoption.

After the adoption, you become the legal parent of the children.  Even if the biological parent is eventually able to rejoin the family, you will still have the right to take care of and make decisions for the children that you adopted.

Kinship adoption can help children overcome difficult early years

Instability at home can affect everything from a child’s mental health to their education.  When a child has a parent who is in and out of jail, who is chronically missing because of addiction or who otherwise fails to parent, that child suffers as a result.

A formal adoption will allow you to provide children struggling with an unstable home environment with a stronger foundation that will set them up for future success.  In other words, a kinship adoption can be the exact tool necessary to prevent the mistakes of a parent from derailing their child’s future.

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