My husbands sister is wanting me and my husband to adopt her child. Both of the parents want to sign the baby over to us. How does this work. Would a criminal background check still be required? How much would the cost be?

All adoptions in the United States including family adoptions, require a home study. A criminal background check is a required part of all home studies.

In addition to a home study, you will need either an agency or an attorney to take the relinquishments from the birthparents. This terminates their parental rights. After the baby is placed with you an agency social worker or a social worker from the state (if it is an attorney adoption) will need to do post-placement supervision. The requirements for post-placement supervision vary from state to state, but usually require at least two visits in your home to make sure that the baby and your family is adjusting to the adoption. Finally, the adoption needs to be finalized. This is usually done by an attorney even if you are working an agency. Agencies also usually provide counseling for the birthparents.

The home study, post-placement supervision and finalization usually cost about $6,000 to $8,000 if it is an agency adoption. Attorneys are usually much more expensive. There are additional costs for the ICPC (paperwork for interstate adoptions) if the birth parents and adoptive parents live in different states.