While many of the unique elements associated with kinship adoption are
positive, there are also negatives that must be dealt with along the way.
Adopting a child that you are related to comes with its own special challenges.
In the last decade or two, kinship adoptions have increased in popularity.
In fact, the numbers are still on the rise. With the increase in the number
of children being placed with relatives, is more information on the topic
than ever before. Knowing what challenges are likely to come up and what
to do to move past them is extremely helpful to the entire family unit.
Are There Special Challenges Associated with
One of the challenges that is prevalent in kinship adoption or family adopting
family is pre-adoption education. While adoptions are typically prefaced
with an extensive amount of study on the topic of adoption, parenting
adopted children and the adoption process itself, kinship adoptions often
begin with a lack of specific information and education. This is due to
the fact that many families in this situation feel that they already know
the child. They are overlooking any issues caused by the transfer of the
relationship (niece to adopted daughter, etc.) They are also forgetting
the trauma that has been involved. What brought the child to the place
where they could even be considered an orphan? How much grief and loss
is the child dealing with? How much have they seen? While the presence
of family and language/cultural familiarity can be comforting, there should
be additional training on how to recognize signs of a problem and how
to address common problems should they occur.
While these are all feelings and issues that many adopted children will
experience, families adopting family are often reluctant to admit they
will have to deal with this type of issue. It seems likely that the lack
of preparation and pre-adoption education could be behind the statistics
indicating that the highest rates of dissolution occur with kinship adoptions.
In fact, some of the most difficult situations can occur within kinship
adoptions. There’s a very drastic distinction between kinship and
non-relative adoptions. That is that non-relative adoptions are generally
adoptive parents actively seeking a child to adopt while kinship adoptions
are often a family member stepping up when needed due to an extreme circumstance
that is almost always unexpected. Without the unexpected circumstance/need,
adoptive parents would not be adopting. This usually means that while
the adopting relative may feel that they have less need of services and
support than the non-relative, they may actually need it more.
The unexpected kinship adoption means a family is taking in one or more
children to add to their existing family without a lot of preparatory
time. They haven’t been financially and emotionally preparing for
the day they adopted their child or, as is sometimes the case with kinship
adoptions, adopting a sibling group.
If you are involved or are considering a kinship adoption, please get
in touch with the experienced
Arizona adoption lawyers
Arizona Family Law Attorneys
so we can advise you on the process as well as resources and support that
is available to you.