In Georgia and around the United States, adoptions occur every day with the hopes of giving a child a safe, secure home and creating a family. They involve children from a variety of situations, such as those from a young mother who wants her child to have a better life than the one she can provide, those from a foreign country, or those who are adopted by a stepparent.

Sometimes, there’s a “kinship adoption,” which means a relative is adopting a child already in the family. Those circumstances are a bit different and might require special handling to navigate family relationships.

Here are some pros and cons of kinship adoption:

Advantages:

  • A birth parent will know the potential adoptive parents and will have a greater level of trust that they do with a stranger. They might already have seen the adoptive parents with their own children or nieces and nephews.
  • A kinship adoption could give the birth parents greater access to the child than an open or semi-open adoption would. For instance, they might be able to spend an occasional holiday together or have a chance to visit more often.
  • The extended family could be happier with the arrangement than having the child being adopted by an unrelated person. Remember, however, that what is in the child’s best interest is important. Don’t feel pressured into either allowing a relative to adopt your child – or adopting a child you might not be ready to parent – to keep the family happy.

Disadvantages:

  • It might be hard to watch someone else parent your child up close, and if you’re the adoptive parent, it might seem as if your parenting methods are being scrutinized. A family clash could occur.
  • Disagreements over how much time the birth parent should spend with the child could crop up over time and cause friction.
  • The child could be confused, over time, about just how they fit into the family structure.
  • For birth parents, contact with the child could be a reminder of their loss. They also could feel guilty that they couldn’t parent the child themselves.

Kinship adoption can be a viable option for many families, but it is not to be taken lightly. Legal assistance will be required to complete such an adoption, protecting all parties involved.