What is the Adoption Process for Adopting a Cousin?
It’s not uncommon for children to need a home, and it’s often better for them when they can stay with a family member. If you’re in a position to take full custody of the child rather than sticking them in foster care, you may want to consider adopting a cousin. If your cousin needs a stable and supportive family unit, and you know you can provide that, then start exploring your adoption options right away. You may need to go through many steps that otherwise might not be in an adoption process. An experienced Corpus Christi, Texas adoption attorney can help with this process.
“Do You Want this Child?” A Call Not Many Expect
When adopting a cousin, you’ll most likely get that terrifying, exhilarating, and unexpected call from Child Protective Services. The call could come at any time, and often it comes with the bad news that something has happened to your aunt, uncle, or cousin.
When adopting a cousin, there’s no limit on first or second cousin connection, but you’re probably already pretty far down the line. Typically CPS will contact grandparents and then aunts or uncles of the child before reaching out to cousins. But there are many times when people are simply left without much family.
The question of “Do you want this child?” should invoke an immediate response of either “yes” or “no.” Consider how much you want to be a part of this child’s life, and that possibly you’re the last on the list for family members to take in the child before they’re processed into the foster care system.
The Foster Care System
Technically the child here will go into the foster care system whether you take them or not. The purpose of this is to establish that the child was neglected, abandoned, or put into danger by their parent and that another adult had to step in for them.
Kinship is a primary goal within the foster care system where they do their best to place children with adults they’re related to. However, when kinship doesn’t work out for a child, they could go to registered, usually local, foster care parents. Or, they can go to a group home awaiting placement.
Foster care strongly favors placing children with relatives, and that’s why they make calls like the one explained above. Out of home placement is almost always the preferred option, where the child can leave the environment that may have played host to abuse or trauma.
As you go through the foster care system before starting the adoption, you’ll work with them to show that you can provide a stable environment. On top of that, they’ll do periodic home visits, which will become part of the finalization in your adoption. After they’re in the foster care system for so long without the parents seeking custody or making changes to recover custody.
Through the child being in foster care, you’ll have the opportunity to seek parental rights, including legal custody, physical custody, and to reduce the visitation of the parent if necessary. Often adoptions within the family don’t get to that point until the court system steps in to reduce or eliminate visitation rights. That can happen when they decide that it’s not good for the child for their birth parent to be around.
Children Who Aren’t Okay with Their Parents
When children aren’t okay with their parents, then you may need to expedite the process. Usually, foster care wants family members to give the birth parent a fair chance to turn their life around. Now, in the event of abuse or neglect, you and the foster care system may not be open to allowing the child to return to that situation.
To get that process started faster than usual, you can get in touch with a local Corpus Christi adoption attorney. In that line, they can help you arrange to petition for rights, to fight to terminate parental rights and to reduce access to the child as well. When you go through these hoops, you’ll also schedule at-home visits so that everything can be finalized quickly.
Will You Need an Adoption Attorney When Adopting a Cousin?
When working with an LGBT Texas adoption law firm, you will have access to various resources that otherwise might have been difficult or impossible to find. For those in need of legal assistance, contact Eddington & Worley of Texas. Our Corpus Christi office is available to serve anyone who is looking out for the best interest of a child.
Contact Eddington & Worley to dive into how you can pursue custody, end parental rights, and finalize an adoption.
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