Kinship adoption, especially in the form of grandparent adoption, is actively sought out by public agencies. In terms of whether or not the adoption process changes when family get involved, especially when adoptions are processed without the use of an agency or without money changing hands, the process may be quicker and easier.
As noted elsewhere, grandparent adoption is the most common form of kinship adoptions, and adopting grandparents may be given first choice to adopt as well as subsidies to help raise the child. Just the same, this does not exempt relatives from completing adoption procedures in full.
However, sometimes the motivation to adopt will be mitigated by financial considerations. When out-of-pocket expenses from the adoption process loom too large, especially in the case of application by a grandparent, adoption may be contingent on some form of assistance when a steady flow of income is unrealistic (i.e. after retirement or if the relative is already receiving Medicaid and other help). If the family member does not qualify for such aid, though, or a State does not offer public funds to kin, he or she may seek some other arrangement.
There are important implications for prospective adoptive relatives, but there are implications for birth parents as well. Going back to the goal of reuniting birth parents with their children, the desire of parents to regain primary custody of a child may wane if they are granted regular access to visit by the adoptive kin. This assumes that the adoption process is actually completed in full by kin. Grandparents and other relatives may be able to assume custody through legal guardianship or foster care.