While many people adopt children who are not biologically related to them, there are situations where an aunt or uncle adopts their niece or nephew. Adoption within a family can be a great thing, but it can also have unique challenges. If you are interested in adopting your niece or nephew, use the following tips:
Make Sure Both Parents are Willing to Terminate Their Parental Rights
There are many situations that may cause a parent to realize that he or she is not able to properly care for a child. But if you are interested in adopting your sister's child because she has come to the realization that she is unable to be a good mother or a court has found her to be an unfit mother, you still need the consent of the child's father. It does not matter if the father does not have custody—you will need him to be willing to sign away his parental rights before you can proceed with the adoption. The same applies if you want to adopt your brother's child—the mother of the child must agree to it.
Hire a Family Law Attorney
The adoption process can be complicated, so as soon as you know that both parents are willing to terminate parental rights, you should contact a family law firm and hire a family law attorney who is experienced in adoptions. Your lawyer will be able to assist you with all of the paperwork that is involved in an adoption to ensure that it is filed properly, and also represent you when you go to court to finalize the adoption. In addition, your lawyer will be able to get in contact with the parents of your niece or nephew to facilitate the termination of their parental rights.
Be Prepared for a Home study
Before you will be allowed to adopt your niece or nephew, a home study will need to be done by a social worker to ensure that you are fit to be an adoptive parent. During a home study, the social worker will pay a visit to your home to see how you live and ensure that the child will have a safe and secure place to live. You will most likely also be interviewed by the social worker to see if you are physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared to add your niece or nephew to your home. The last step of a home study is a comprehensive criminal background check.
For more information, contact a professional in your area or visit a website like http://www.carvajallaw.com/.