Placement with relatives, or kin, is often the first option considered by foster care workers 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 kinship and relative 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.
Adopting a Relative for Immigration to the United States
U.S. Department of State
Provides an overview of the requirements to adopt a relative from abroad.
Adoption and Guardianship for Children in Kinship Foster Care (PDF - 9,980 KB)
Generations United & Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (2018)
Provides general information about adoption and guardianship for children in kinship foster care, including how they differ and State trends.
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 processes.
- You Get A Call, Do You Want These Kids?
- They Are My Daughters
- Creating a Sense of Belonging
- He Is an Extension of Me
Kinship/Relative Care Organizations
Placement of Children With Relatives
Title IV-E Guardianship Assistance Program
The Association of Administrators of the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance
Outlines State policies on the adoption of the Guardianship Assistance Program, provides links to Federal resources, and presents frequently asked questions.
Working With Kinship Caregivers
Seneca Family of Agencies
Provides information about the adoption process and kinship support and preparation in California.
Children’s Home Society of New Jersey
Offers workshops, support groups, and other services for caregivers who have legal guardianship and the right to make medical, educational, and other decisions.
Kinship Navigator Programs
Offers links to benefits and supports for relative caregivers who need relevant and current information on services for themselves or the children in their care.
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, the responsibilities of adopting relatives, and more.
New York State Kinship Navigator
Provides legal, financial, referral, and advocacy information for kinship caregivers so they can provide stability and permanency for children in their home.
Raising Relatives' Children (PDF - 523 KB)
Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parent Association (2012)
Offers information and resources for Iowa kinship care providers.