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Special Challenges Often Associated with Kinship Adoption

Special Challenges Often Associated with Kinship Adoption

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 Kinship Adoption?

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 at Arizona Family Law Attorneys so we can advise you on the process as well as resources and support that is available to you.
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