Many children are adopted by a relative, someone related to the child by family ties or through a prior relationship connection. Placement with relatives or kin is often the first option considered by workers in foster care when children cannot safely remain in their parents’ home or cannot be reunited with them. Kinship families often have different needs and face different challenges than families who adopt children unrelated to them. While kin is the term often used to describe potential caregivers biologically related to the child, some jurisdictions also recognize close friends or "fictive kin" who have a strong or significant relationship with the child and may meet the requirements for a prospective family. Resources in this section include information on relative/kinship adoption, including State and local examples.
8 Crucial Tips for Kinship Adoption
Creating a Family (2016)
Provides information to relative caregivers about best practices in integrating adoptive children into the family. The list includes tips discussing international kinship adoption.
Achieving Permanence for Children in Relative Foster Care: Relative Adoptions and Subsidized Guardianships
Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children
Examines how relative caregivers can mitigate the short-and long-term consequences of neglect and abuse and reviews new developments and ongoing challenges to permanence and kinship care.
Adopting a Relative
U.S. Department of State
Provides an overview of the requirements to adopt a relative who is not a U.S. citizen.
Grandfacts Fact Sheet
Contains factsheets about kinship care prepared by the AARP Grandparent Information Center for each State. The factsheets report national and State statistics and provide an overview of resources for relative caregivers. Support groups, foster care programs, public assistance, and State laws are described.
Kinship Family Video Series
Capacity Building Center for States (2016)
Shares the experiences of kinship caregivers throughout different points in the kinship care and adoption process.
- You Get A Call, Do You Want These Kids?
- They Are My Daughters
- Creating a Sense of Belonging
- He Is an Extension of Me
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Child Welfare Information Gateway
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Child Welfare Information Gateway
Download (PDF - 755KB)
Title IV-E Guardianship Assistance Program
The Association of Administrators of the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance
Outlines 30 State policies on the adoption of the Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP) with program instructions for title IV-E plans, Kinship Guardianship Assistance, training, Fostering Connections to Success, and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 as issued by the Children's Bureau. Also provides updates to the Bureau's Child Welfare Policy Manual and answers GAP frequently asked questions.
Provides information about the adoption process and kinship support and preparation in California.
Making the Adoption/Guardianship Decision (PDF - 525 KB)
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
Provides answers to common questions about adoption and guardianship, birth parent rights, responsibilities of adopting relatives, and more.
Raising Relatives' Children (PDF - 523 KB)
Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parent Association (2012)
Offers information and resources for Iowa kinship care providers.