Adopt a grandson, nephew, niece, etc. can be through private or independent adoption. Private adoption is the adoption of a child who is not under the care of the state. Such an adoption takes place without the aid of an agency. Private adoption laws may vary slightly from state to state, but the general procedure is the same. Follow these steps to adopt a family member.
Step 1. Study your state's child adoption code
You can find the code using the links provided by Find Law, then look for “adoption” with your state's code.
Step 2. Determine if you are eligible for adoption
Most states have certain rules for adoption: age, citizenship. For example, if you are married, you may need the consent of your second spouse, or you may be able to jointly adopt a child. If you have ever committed crimes, and if it involved children, then you are not eligible for adoption. Read the code carefully to see if you can adopt a child.
Step 3. Consider whether you need to involve an agency in this matter
You may need to contact the agencies that will determine your welfare before starting the adoption process. Explore the adoption laws in your state:
- Whether private adoption is allowed in your state. Some states prohibit private adoption, and couples wishing to adopt a family member must contact an adoption agency with a request. Read the code for information about whether you can adopt a child without the help of such agencies.
- Do I need an inspection of housing conditions. Some states require a preliminary inspection of the home where the adopted child will subsequently live.
- Will you have observers. Most states require adoption agencies or other agencies to screen and monitor the child in the new home for a period of time. If such supervision is necessary, then you need to contact the agency that provides such a service. In court, you can get a list of agencies that are qualified in this matter.
- Is home schooling required. Some states have a requirement for training or counseling for the whole family, which is done by adoption agencies. During this training, the agency employee will study the history of your family, get to know all its members and study the general situation in the house. For more information, read the Health and Human Rights document published by the US Department of Homeschooling.
Step 4. Find the required forms
Forms vary from state to state. You can find them:
- In the courts of your city or state. Most courts can take these forms, they are issued free of charge. On the State Court website, you can find the addresses of local courts.
- In the nearest social organization for children and families. Here you can also be given forms free of charge. You can find the address of such an organization on the Internet, through your favorite search service. For example, if you live in Minnesota, you might look for Minnesota Child and Family Welfare or Social Organizations Minnesota.
- Your state's Department of Health and Human Rights. You can also get free forms here. The address can be found through a search engine on the Internet or by calling them on the phone.
- Download online. There are dedicated sites like Legal Zoom or the U. S. Legal Forms, where you can download the required forms.
Step 5. Fill in the forms
Print or write in black or blue paste all the information you need. The court clerk will help you fill out all the information you need or will refer you to another court or authority on the matter.
Step 6. Obtain the appropriate consent
The biological parents sign the corresponding document at the notary, who must also sign it. Under the laws of some states, the adoptive parent also signs the document. Make sure it's the right amount of time after birth according to the laws of your state. It must take from 12 hours to 15 days after the birth of the child before the woman in labor can consent to adoption.
Step 7. Check if you need a criminal record
If such a procedure was not carried out during the period of inspections by social services, then such a document must be submitted along with the request for adoption. Check with your state's health and human rights department as to which form they need to file this document in.
Step 8. Get a criminal record
Contact the police to find out how to properly draw up this document. You will likely be fingerprinted and have to pay a small fee.
Step 9. Submit a medical certificate
Check your state code to see if you need to provide a medical certificate to a woman in labor. If so, fill out the required form and sign it.
Step 10. Submit all of your forms to court
Contact a court official to find out how many copies of each certificate you need and how much these services will cost. Bring these copies and the cash contribution to the employee, he will help you arrange everything correctly and file a lawsuit. The contribution is accepted in cash or other funds.
Step 11. Attend a court hearing
At the hearing, the judge will ask you a few questions and then make a decision about the adoption.
Step 12. Submit the appropriate documents to the Department of Health
After confirmation of adoption, you need to change the child's birth certificate, where the adoptive parents are indicated as legitimate. Many states require parents to complete additional forms before issuing a new birth certificate, which must be submitted with the Department of Health's approval for adoption. Please contact there for information on the completion of the adoption procedure. Find a health site using a map provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- In many states, the requirement for families to be homeschooled may be denied. Check the code to see if you can opt out of training and file your denial request in court.
- If you are looking to hire an experienced attorney, visit the US Law Academy website for referrals to an experienced adoption attorney.
- If the family member you wish to adopt does not reside in the United States, contact the United States Department of State regarding the adoption procedure in this case.