Providing Permanence to Your Family with Kinship Adoption

Perhaps you have assumed a parenting role for a young family member, or maybe you are interested in adopting a relative’s baby after he or she is born. In either case, by formally adopting a relative, you can gain parental rights for a child you love and provide the permanence and stability they deserve.

Bierly & Rabuck can guide you through the entire kinship adoption process, offering the following services to help you safely and legally adopt a family member:

– explaining the relative adoption process and ensuring you understand your rights, as well as the rights of the child’s biological parent(s).

– obtaining consent of the parents whose rights are to be legally terminated.

– filing a petition to involuntarily terminate parental rights in the case of a contested adoption.

– preparing other necessary legal documents to be filed with the court.

– scheduling a finalization hearing and representing you and your child in court.

– obtaining a new birth certificate for your child after finalization.

– providing the general case management and oversight you need through each step of the process.

– and more.

Whether you are interested in adopting a sister, brother, cousin, niece, nephew, grandchild or another relative, read on to learn how to file for relative adoption in Pennsylvania.

Benefits of Relative Adoption

Relative adoption, also called kinship adoption or family adoption, can be a positive arrangement for all involved. It gives the adopting grandparent, aunt, uncle, sibling or other relative the parental rights they need to properly care for their child. In some cases, it may allow birth parents to remain an involved part of their child’s life. And most importantly, it allows children to maintain important family relationships while providing them with the permanence they deserve.

If you are currently raising a young relative in your home, here are just a few reasons to consider completing the formal adoption process:

– It entitles your child to inheritance rights and insurance benefits

– It allows you to claim the child on your taxes

– It simplifies everyday parenting tasks, like obtaining medical records and enrolling the child in school

– And more

The most important benefits of family adoption are often not legal, but emotional; the adoption of a family member can provide a sense of stability and finality to your entire family, especially the child.

How to Adopt a Relative in Pennsylvania

Like any other type of adoption, kinship adoption terminates the rights of the child’s biological parents and establishes a new parent-child relationship between the adopting family members and the child. However, there are many important differences between nonrelative and relative adoption in Pennsylvania.

In most cases, kinship adoption is simpler than many other forms of adoption. Adopting relatives do not need to search for an adoption opportunity or complete an adoption home study, keeping the overall cost of adopting a family member low. In addition, the process can usually be completed quickly, with the finalization hearing often taking place within 60–90 days of beginning the legal process. This makes relative adoption a time- and cost-effective way to provide your entire family with the stability and permanence you deserve.

If you would like to learn more about kinship adoption in Pennsylvania, or if you are ready to begin the procedures for relative adoption, please contact Bierly & Rabuck to schedule a consultation.