I would like to adopt my 7 year old cousin when I move within the year. Do I need my aunt to sign over parental rights and that's it?

The process of adoption for children who are already born takes from six to 18 months. First, the adopting parent(s) must have a home study done that shows that their home is a safe emotional and physical space for the children. The home study includes a criminal background check. Your aunt must talk to a counselor about why she wants to make an adoption plan, and how she will adjust once the adoption plan is implemented. In addition, the children must have a psychological assessment to see how they will adjust to being placed with you. Finally, there must be a transition plan in place where the children are slowly moved to the new home. All of this can take six to 18 months.

The cost of this process could be anywhere from about $8,000 to $30,000 depending on which adoption agency or adoption attorney you work with. At the IAC, we do not place children over 12 months old, and rarely place children who are not newborns. If our agency handled a situation like this (assuming the children are under 12 months and our assessment determined that the adoptive placement would not cause them harm) it would cost $8,000.