Relative Adoption Law and Legal Definition

Relative Adoption is the legal adoption of a child by a biological relative. For example the adoption of a child by his/her relatives such as a grandparent, uncle, or cousin. Relative adoptions are not the same as stepparent adoptions.

In most states, relative adoptions are treated less formally than non-relative or stranger adoptions. Relative adoptions often require only an abbreviated homestudy. Some relative adoptions do not require a homestudy. However, for this preferential treatment to apply, the adoption must fit the definition of a relative adoption under the concerned state law. Most state laws define "relative" by degree of relatedness. It is to be noted that adoption laws vary from state to state.