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Friday, April 5, 2013

Adoption April: Kinship Adoption

Today I'm going to start profiling the different types of adoption. I started doing my research in
America, so this is mainly for that system, though a lot of it is true all over the world. As I count them, there are five different types: kinship adoption, foster adoption, domestic infant adoption, international adoption, step parent adoption, and embryo adoption. My plan is each of these topics will get at least two posts this month: one post detailing what exactly it is, the other an interview with someone involved in the process (an adopter, adoptee, or birth parent.)

Today I will be talking about kinship adoption. Kinship adoption, also called family or relative adoption, is the most common form in the US and probably all over the world. It is when a relative of the child, but not one of the biological parents, steps up and adopts them. This could be grandparents, an aunt or uncle, step parent, an adult sibling, cousin, etc.

Actually, a connection to foster adoption is that the primary goal of the foster care system is really kinship adoption, that is, if the child is unable to be returned to the natural parents. It is believed that maintaining biological family is in the best interest of the child, and that this would lead to the easiest adjustment. It also is hoped it would keep the child from having an ache inside them where they don't know where they come from... whether that happens in non relative adoption or whether it can still happen in kinship adoption is a debate.

Some challenges that are attributed to kinship adoption are boundaries, especially in cases where the child is taken from the birth parents because they are ill fitting guardians (in contrast to, say, perhaps where the birth parents were only very young or died.) For example, many families may struggle on how much influence a parent on drugs should be allowed to have, while at the same time maintaining the fine line that if they cut off all ties with this family member it could cause their adopted child to resent them.

photo credit: George Hodan
Kinship adoption often very naturally happens, so the challenge often is making the process legal.  Stability can be achieved through the legality of kinship adoption, both emotionally (the child knows this is their parent, not just their relative) and legally (far less chance of the birth parents or other relatives challenging for custody later.) Family taking care of each other is a very good thing, so kinship adoption is often a great avenue for expecting parents who are considering putting their child up for adoption, as the birth parent is very assured of the quality of upbringing and also it often is very simple to maintain an "open adoption" relationship.

At the same time, many birth parents who feel they can't parent may feel that way because of the circumstances in which they were raised, so choosing to adopt the child to an extended family member might go against their motivation.

Grandparents are more and more the ones adopting. Often times these are young grandparents, whose teen children find themselves unable to parent, but there are many reasons why this happens. But grandparents the the most common adopters in kinship adoption. They often struggle with lack of energy and also trouble crossing the generation gap.  Children adopted by grandparents may struggle because their parents have different values and expectations than the parents of their peers, due to the generational differences between the parents.

It is also common for relatives to foster the child, instead of formally adopting them. This is especially true with those of limited income, since they may not meet the legal requirements for adoption, but with the government aiding them they can provide familial stability.

Another route is legal guardianship, which is not quite as complicated as adoption.

Still, emotionally adoption is probably the healthiest because of the fact that once adopted, legally the child is treated the same as any biological child would be, and therefore there is very little likelihood that the child's life will be disrupted. All children crave stability, but especially those who have had instability in their past.

People seeking to legally adopt family members would do best to approach an adoption attorney.

3 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. STEPPARENT ADOPTION is the most common type of adoption in the world today. This process allows a person to legally adopt his or her partner’s child or children. STEPPARENT ADOPTION is usually done in the court of law in the presence of an attorney and by doing so; the noncustodial parent loses their parental rights to the kid. In some cases, the noncustodial parent may have visitation rights but this will only depend on the state and also on the mutual agreement.
    Doing STEPPARENT ADOPTION is highly advised for those people who are getting married to a divorced individual or widowed couple that had kids from their previous marriage. It is also advisable for those persons getting married a fresh but the partner has one or more children from the former relationship. The entire process aims at solidifying your commitment to the marriage. It also gives the noncustodial parents zero reason to disturb your marriage, unless of course visitation rights are given.
    Each state may have differing laws regarding this adoption, so it is always advisable that you check with an attorney in your state.

    ReplyDelete
  3. stepparent adoption is the most common type of adoption in the world today. This process allows a person to legally adopt his or her partner’s child or children. stepparent adoption is usually done in the court of law in the presence of an attorney and by doing so; the noncustodial parent loses their parental rights to the kid. In some cases, the noncustodial parent may have visitation rights but this will only depend on the state and also on the mutual agreement.
    Doing stepparent adoption is highly advised for those people who are getting married to a divorced individual or widowed couple that had kids from their previous marriage. It is also advisable for those persons getting married a fresh but the partner has one or more children from the former relationship. The entire process aims at solidifying your commitment to the marriage. It also gives the noncustodial parents zero reason to disturb your marriage, unless of course visitation rights are given.
    Each state may have differing laws regarding this adoption, so it is always advisable that you check with an attorney in your state.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for comments, they delight me! Please keep your comments civil and while I read every comment, I reserve the right to delete ones that are especially negative. Thanks!

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