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Adopting a relative

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  • Adopting a relative

    Hello several months ago my niece contacted us about adopting her at the time unborn child. She already has two children and was doing drugs when she found out she was pregnant with this child. Fortunatly she stopped the drugs and has been clean every since. They were concerned the baby was going to have sever lung issues and may not even survive birth I told my niece none of this matter and we would deal with it but she wanted to make sure the baby was healthy before making a decision.
    We had not heard from her until this week the baby is now 3 weeks old and completely healthy. She has again approached us about adopting him. She has no connection with him and knows that she can not take care of him. My husband and i are unable to have children. She wants us to come and get him as soon as possible. We were planning a trip to TX at the end of the Month to visit family anyways as we are in Ohio. DH and I have discussed this and are sure that we want to give him a good home. She is unsure of who the Birth father is but all of the possibles want nothing to do with the baby. I know the adoption process can be long and hard but want to at least get the baby the love and support he needs. We were thinking of just having her sign over a power of attorney and legal guardianship until we can get the adoption finalized. My only fear is that the mother may change her mind but do feel that this child needs to make a connection and feel love from someone as soon as possible. He is only 3 weeks old now and will be 6 to 7 weeks old if we go to TX when we were orginally scheduled to go and get him. My question is does this sound like a viable option until we can get the adoption process finalized? And do you think we should go sooner than when we were scheduled to go? I would love to just go and get him now but there are things we need to get in order our house, childcare and so on. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks Amy

  • #2
    It is certainly possible to do what you're planning to (and it's a noble and generous thing to do). However, you're right that if your niece changes her mind a few months or years down the road, you would find yourself in a truly heartbreaking situation. And what if the father changes his mind?

    To prevent heartbreak, you should call an adoption lawyer in your state and/or the state your niece lives in. You will need an adoption lawyer eventually anyway--you can't adopt a baby without a lawyer--and it is much easier (and cheaper) for a lawyer to get things done right in the first place than to fix a problem that you and your niece create by not doing things right in the first place.

    If you go to, there's a US map you can click on to find an adoption lawyer in your or your niece's area.

    If you had time I would suggest first finding one in your area, since you will need one to finalize the adoption, and they should be able to research the law in your niece's state enough to take care of most of the issues there. The purpose of talking to one in your niece's state would be to find out what your niece needs to do to legally place her child with you, and also what needs to be done to make sure the father can't come back years from now and change his mind.

    But if you don't see this post until you're already traveling to see your niece, then just contact an attorney in her state to help you. That attorney can make sure those problems are solved and can also help ensure that the legal guardianship part--which might be a necessary first step in this type of adoption--is done right.

    So go to the adoption attorneys site above and find a lawyer, or two (one in each state). Make sure you do this--it will definitely save you money and stress, because you will start things right and thus not have a bunch of hairy legal problems later, and it could also spare you and your soon-to-be new baby some extreme heartbreak later if your niece or the biological father change their mind.