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Taking that step, has anyone else done this?

I have been the legal guardian to my niece for almost 7 years; she just turned 13 last Nov. Her mother, my sister, is still very much apart of her life. However my niece has been very verbal about having no interest in returning to live with her mom. In the last year or two I have been considering adopting her. However I am unsure how intense that process would be. Her mom is still struggling (she has had substance abuse issues).

I'm not sure how to approach this, plus I am concerned about adoption fees and such. All I want to do is give Chelsea a since of belonging, not a since of "I just live with my aunt". Has anyone done this before? Adopt a child is a situation similar to this?

Answer Question

Asked by mommyaunt412 at 4:06 PM on Feb. 6, 2009 in Adoption

Level 1 (3 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • i dont know much about adoptions. and i cant really answer your question. but i want to let you know that you must be a lovely person for being there for your niece. Giving her a family, being kind of a mother to her.

    kudos to you and good luck with everything.

    Answer by m.robertson811 at 4:12 PM on Feb. 6, 2009

  • If your sister is willing to relinquish then you should be able to get a lawyer to help you complete the paperwork through the courts and the fees should be relatively low. And what your niece is expressing is actually quite common with some children who have been in legal guardianship with family. You are right, she may feel that she is in limbo and desires that finalization so that she can feel permanently settled. It may be a tricky thing if your sister is opposed to the idea but at age 14 most courts will also consider the choice of the child and factor that into the determination. Best of luck. We were guardians to my husbands nephew from age 16-18 and I cherished those years with him.

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 4:44 PM on Feb. 6, 2009

  • I adopted my niece just this last summer. Her mother signed the papers and everything went really good. Bio-dad which is my nephew would not sign the papers only because he was running from the law and he thought we were trying to set him up. But it was put in the paper after they tryed for 30 days to serve the papers on him. So once her mother signed the papers we only had to wait 3 months before it was finall.

    Answer by breezy2005 at 6:04 PM on Feb. 7, 2009

  • I wanted dot let you know I've worked with several children in your niece's position. Being adopted does give them a sense of belonging that can't been replaced any other way. I think it's great that you want to do this.


    Answer by MAUREEN55 at 8:05 PM on Feb. 8, 2009

  • I was taking care of a liitle girl that was 2 while her 16 year mom "got her life together". During her 4th birthday party her mom came and pick her up and moved with family. The family was against me raising her and helping her mother out. She avoided all my calls. About a month later she called me and asked me to pick her up her family kicked her out. She let the little girl come back with me while she "got it togther" again. After about a month she came over for a visit and told me she would love for me to adopt Autti. Autti is 4 years old and knows her mom... but she also knows that she can't provide and take care of her... everytime her mothers name is mentioned she crys tears because she doesnt want to go back. ... Maybe talk to her and see how she feels about the situation &tell her your feeling. if she willingly surrenders her rights all you have to do is find a lawyer & start the process.. Cost $3500 here in Louisiana

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:22 AM on Mar. 26, 2009

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