Grandparenting

Adoption

Adoption is a formal legal arrangement granted by the courts. In adoption, the rights of the child's biological parents are terminated forever and the adoptive parent obtains all the parental rights and responsibilities of the biological parents. Adoption is a permanent, legal transference of custody. Adoption is forever and once finalized it is extremely difficult and rare to terminate the adoption.

Browse through the page below to get answers to common adoption questions.

If I adopt my grandchild what rights will the child's parents have?
Once you have adopted your grandchild, you will be the child's legal "parent" and the child's birth parents will no longer have any rights to the child.

Can a parent end an adoption?
Usually not. An adoption is a permanent legal relationship. It cannot be terminated by a parent except in very rare circumstances.

Will I be financially responsible for the support of my adopted grandchild?
Yes. If you adopt your grandchild, you will be your grandchild's legal parent. As such, you will be financially responsible for the care, education and support of your grandchild.

If I adopt my grandchild, will that affect my grandchild's foster care payments, food stamps, SSI and other payments?
Yes. You can apply for public assistance for your adopted grandchild and yourself. However, you cannot apply for public benefits for the child alone. If you decide to apply for benefits for yourself and your adopted grandchild, your income and resources will count when it is decided whether you and your grandchild are eligible for benefits.

Can I apply for public assistance for my adopted grandchild and for myself?
Yes. You can apply for public assistance for your adopted grandchild and yourself. However, you cannot apply for public benefits for the child alone. If you decide to apply for benefits for yourself and your adopted grandchild, your income and resources will count when it is decided whether you and your grandchild are eligible for benefits.

What are adoption subsidies?
Adoption subsidies are payments made on behalf of children in foster care who are adopted and have special needs, such as children who are hard to place in an adoptive home or children who are disabled.

Are all adopted children eligible for adoption subsidies?
No. Adoption subsidies are available only to children in foster care who have special needs or have been in care for a certain amount of time. Talk to your caseworker about an adoption subsidy before your adoption becomes final. If you are denied an adoption subsidy and you think that decision is wrong, contact a legal services or legal aid office or your local bar association (association of lawyers) as soon as possible. Not all of the children in foster care who are adopted by their grandparents receive these payments.

If I adopt my grandchild and I designate or choose someone to take care of my grandchild if I am ill or if I die?
Yes. You can designate or choose someone to take care of your grandchild when you die by writing a will. You can also choose someone to take care of your grandchild if you are sick by choosing a person to be your grandchild's standby guardian.