An adult adoption can happen once the prospective adoptee gets to the age of 18 or older. At that point, the only consent needed is that of the adult wanting to be adopted and, obviously, the person wanting to adopt.
Adult Adoption Reasons
It’s essential to know that adult adoption is very different from gaining guardianship. Legal guardianship is meant to help provide and safeguard for an adult who can’t care for themselves. Guardians can act for the person for who they’re providing guardianship, making legal, health, and financial decisions on the behalf of the individual.
Adult adoptions are finalized for varying reasons:
- An adult adoptee after finding their biological family can decide to be adopted by their birth family.
- A child that was previously a foster child who was being legally unavailable for adoption and has grown close to their foster family as a child can be adopted as an adult if they want.
- A means to produce legal inheritance rights in a relationship.
- A stepchild that has grown fond of their stepparent may be adopted as an adult by the stepparent.
Reasons an Adult Adoption Can’t Be Permitted
State laws can forbid adult adoption under several conditions:
- Banned by some states (particularly Arizona, Ohio, Alabama, and Nebraska), unless the adoptee fulfills requirements that can include a maximum age of 21.
- If the specific state requires a particular age variance between the adoptive parent and the adoptee.
- If the adoptive parent and adoptee are engaged in a sexual relationship of the same sex, sodomy laws will enact.
- If the adoptive parent and the adoptee are engaged in a sexual relationship, that state’s incest laws will enact.
- Many states, such as New York, have found out that adoption laws cannot be used to legalize an adult relationship among same-sex partners. Delaware, despite that, stated that it was okay to use adoption among adults to provide inheritance rights if that was the main reason for the adoption.
Steps to Adopt an Adult
Adoption is governed on a state level rather than a federal one. Consequently, each one has its own important documents and forms. Here are the basic steps to follow:
- Collect the necessary documents from the local courthouse.
- Gather the information you’ll need to fill out the documents, with or without the assistance of an attorney. If the person you want to adopt is not physically or mentally capable, you might need to fill out more forms.
- Fill out and sign the forms in front of a notary and have the notary sign and then emboss your documents.
- Present your paperwork in accordance with the instructions provided.
- Look out for your court date with the Family Court.
- Appear in front of a family judge who will determine your case.
As discussed, there are several reasons why a judge may question or refuse an adult adoption. The most essential concerns are always concentrated on the adoptee’s rights and needs. In addition to taking into consideration the adoptee’s needs and wishes, the judge will also guarantee that every legal requirement has been met.
International Adult Adoptions
it is a lot easier to adopt an American citizen than it is for an American to adopt an adult from a different country. Not only do American adoption laws taken into consideration, but also immigration laws.
Adoption isn’t typically a good way to guarantee that an adult can become an American citizen, and the adoption of international adults can lead to a somewhat intense inquiry by government higher-ups.
Speak with our Adult Adoption Lawyer in Scottsdale, AZ
Have questions about relative and stepparent adoptions? Speak with our Adult Adoption Attorney today! An experienced family law attorney will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. We advocate for our clients so they have the brightest future possible. Give us a call today at 480-999-0800 for a free consultation.
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