An adult adoption is the process of an individual or individuals petitioning the court for the adoption of a person who is over 18 years of age and therefore legally an adult.
There are three main reasons people pursue the adoption of an adult person:
- Formalizing a parent-child relationship. When a previous step-parent-stepchild or foster parent-foster child relationship exists, the adult parties may want to formalize the family relationship through adoption. Adult adoptions can also create a parent-child relationship of adults who are not biologically related but have considered themselves “family” for many years.
- Inheritance. This is the most common reason for adult adoption – creating a parent-child relationship that will be legally recognized so that the adopted person can be deemed an heir of the adoptive parent or parents.
- Perpetual Care. If the person to be adopted is of diminished capacity or abilities, adoption may provide a means of assuring him or her a lifetime of care under a family insurance plan, as a legal family member, or through inheritance.
The person or persons petitioning to become the legal parent (s) of the adult adoptee sign a Petition that is filed with the Court along with the Consent to Adoption form signed by the adult adoptee. No other consents are needed. The adoptee can choose to change their name as part of this process or can leave it as is. A new amended birth certificate will be issued for the adopted person showing the adoptive parent(s) as the adoptee’s legal parents. As with all other adoption matters, adult adoption records are sealed and confidential by state law.
Please feel free to contact our office if you have questions in this area.