“I am eighteen years old, work part-time at Kroger and am in college full-time. Both of my soon-to-be 12-year old sister’s parents are deceased, and we share the same mother who is deceased. She lives with her grandmother and is very unhappy there. I live with my adoptive parents and she use to live with us but her grandmother won custody about 4 years ago because my adoptive mother wasn’t a blood relative, and I have been waiting until I turn eighteen to get my sister back with me. What are my rights as her older sister?”
Since there is a standing court order placing your sister in the care of her grandmother, it may not be easy to get a court to agree with a change of custody, but there is the possibility that the Court will allow you to adopt your sister. You would have to file for a modification of the standing court order. You would have to show the Court: (1) that you are able to financially support your sister and yourself, and (2) that there is some kind of serious problem with her grandmother’s ability to raise your sister; or (3) that her grandmother consents to the adoption. Contact a family law attorney in your jurisdiction for a consultation to discuss your options regarding the modification/adoption proceedings.