When faced with an unplanned pregnancy, women often turn to friends and family first for support. Sometimes, a relative will express interest in adopting the child. We call this type of adoption kinship, relative or family adoption. In Florida, a family member can adopt your baby. Under the right circumstances, this is a great option. We take a closer look at relative adoption in this article to help you determine if it is ideal for you.
Advantages of Family Adoption
You will likely interact with your child more after a relative adoption. Traditional adoptions do include post-placement contact in an open adoption situation. However, if a family member adopts your baby, you will probably see the child more frequently. Of course, this depends on your relationship with the relative and how often you currently interact with them.
Because you know the person adopting your baby, there is an established sense of trust. You may already know their parenting style and can feel more confident that your child will have the type of life you want for him or her. You are aware of their history, values and lifestyle, which can reinforce your decision to place your child with them.
When a biological relative adopts a child, they have more understanding of the genetic predispositions of the child. They may be able to identify and address issues more easily because they are familiar with the child’s biological history. This could be something as simple as inherited behavioral quirks. For instance, the baby may scream every time he is in the car. The parents remember that Uncle Joe had the same issue, and it was later discovered that he gets carsick. The parents ask their doctor to prescribe medicine for carsickness, and the crisis is averted.
Your family members may disagree with your decision to place your child for adoption. It may cause conflict and stress for everyone involved. Families are often more likely to accept and support a relative adoption. While you should never allow anyone to make adoption decisions for you, it can be comforting to know your family supports your choice.
Challenges of Relative Adoption
There can be some uncertainty about family roles and relationships. If your parents adopt your baby, for example, you are legally the child’s sibling. If you have children later in life, they are the biological siblings of the adopted child, but legally they are nieces and nephews. Family roles must be clearly defined so as not to create confusion for everyone.
Adoption is not co-parenting, so you must respect your relatives’ parenting decisions. This can be challenging if you have frequent contact with them. When you place your child for adoption, you relinquish your parental rights. You may find yourself struggling with the choices the adoptive parents make for the child.
Lack of Closure
Grief and loss are very real feelings all birth mothers experience. When a family member adopts your child, you may be frequently reminded of your adoption choice, triggering those feelings of loss. Consider how you will feel seeing your child at family gatherings or perhaps even daily if the child is adopted by a close relative. It may be hard for you to get closure when you have consistent contact with the child.
Experienced Family Adoption Attorney
Kinship adoption is not right for everyone, but if you feel it is the best option for you; we can help. Tammi Driver is a licensed Florida adoption attorney experienced in family adoptions. Call today to schedule a consultation. 727-800-6681