Every year thousands of children are adopted by a relative. In fact, in foster care placements, a child’s relatives are often considered as the first and preferred option for permanent family care. While kin is the term often used to describe potential caregivers biologically related to the child, some jurisdictions also recognize close friends or “fictive kin” who have a strong or significant relationship with the child. Whether you are adopting your grandchild, niece, nephew, a more extenuated family relation, or even “fictive kin,” we can help.
Kinship families often have different needs and face different challenges than families who adopt children unrelated to them. Our team has guided and supported many families as they have navigated their relative adoption journey. While kinship adoptions often involve working through challenges, the law recognizes the benefit to a child when a family member steps forward to adopt, making some aspects of the legal adoption process less burdensome for relatives. For example, close family members may not require a home study as part of the Florida Placement, saving the family both time and money, so your family can focus on nurturing your relationship and building strong family ties.
Guardianship or Temporary Custody by Extended Family Member
Sometimes a situation calls for a level of permanency short of adoption. Perhaps your child needs to live with a relative for personal reasons or to attend school. Perhaps your family is relocating but you prefer not to uproot your child in the midst of the school year. Perhaps you have a relative child in your care on a student visa. Caregivers in these situations may have no legal authority to sign school forms, agree to medical treatment, or be recognized as a child’s guardian. We can help you set up a legal framework that fits your needs, whether it be extended care by a relative or a temporary or permanent guardianship. We will help protect you, the child, and the caregiver so you can retain your parental rights until you can be reunited with your child. If you later decide that a more permanent placement is best, we can help establish a permanent guardianship or an adoption.