Everything You Need to Know about Adult Adoption
When people think about adoption, they often assume that it’s exclusively about children. Although domestic infant adoption is incredibly common, adopting an adult is also possible. So, what are adult adoptions? Why do some people choose to adopt an adult? Who can help you when it comes to adopting adults?
American Adoptions doesn’t facilitate this type of adoption, but we are more than happy to answer these questions for you with this informative guide. If you want to get more adoption information now, then you can fill out our online contact form at any time. Meanwhile, you can continue reading to learn all about adult adoption.
What Is Adult Adoption?
Just as people can adopt a child, you can also adopt an adult. The primary requirement is that both the adoptive parent and the adoptee consent to the adoption. Keep in mind, though, that mandates may vary on a state-by-state basis. Be sure to research local laws before committing to this path.
For instance, a handful of states require a specific age difference between the adoptee and the adoptive parent. In others, spousal consent may be required on the ends of both parties if either the adoptee or adoptive parent is married. Also, state incest laws will apply if the adoptee and adoptive parent have a sexual relationship.
Generally speaking, though, there are far fewer regulations for adult adoption than there are for private infant adoption. If you have been wondering, “Can an adult be adopted,” then the answer is yes.
When Would You Need to Adopt an Adult?
There are many reasons that people choose adoption, whether that’s adopting a child or adults adopting adults. Although someone’s reasons for adult adoption can differ from person to person, there are some common situations that lead people toward this option:
- Inheritance rights: One of the biggest reasons that people choose adult adoption is to create legal inheritance rights for a particular person. If someone wants a loved one whom they share no biological ties with to receive an inheritance, then an adult adoption makes that possible.
- Foster care adoption: Some hopeful adoptive parents want to adopt a child from the foster care system. This is known as foster care adoption. But, it can also be when a long-time foster parent adopts their former foster child once they turn 18 and become a legal adult.
- Stepparent adoption: Similar to when a foster parent adopts their former foster child, a stepparent can also adopt their stepchild through adult adoption.
- Medical needs: In the scenario that someone needs to provide long-term or even permanent care for an adult with health issues or a disability, adult adoption can be beneficial.
- Reunification with birth family: If an adoptee is part of a closed adoption and they want to find or be adopted by their birth family, then adult adoption is an avenue for that.
Remember, there are many more reasons that people choose adult adoption other than those listed above. No two people are exactly the same, and neither are any two people’s reasons for deciding to adopt an adult.
Who Can Help You Complete an Adult Adoption? [State Laws You Need to Know]
As we mentioned earlier, American Adoptions doesn’t coordinate adult adoptions. Our focus is private infant adoption. It can be difficult to find professionals that focus on adult adoption, as domestic infant adoption is significantly more popular.
But, we can still outline some state laws for you so that you can have a better idea of what adopting an adult in your state would look like.
Although each state’s laws will vary, you can find some examples of state laws below:
- Alabama: Only adults who are permanently disabled may be adopted by another adult.
- Colorado: People who are 18-21 years old can be adopted as minors, meaning that child adoption laws are the same for this age group as they are for younger children. For adults over 21, they can petition the Colorado juvenile court to start their adult adoption.
- Idaho: Before an adult can be adopted, they must have lived with the prospective adoptive family for at least a year.
- New Jersey: The prospective adoptive parents need to be at least 10 years older than the adult adoptee. On top of this, written consent from the adoptive family is required.
- Vermont: According to Vermont’s adoption law, adults cannot adopt their spouses, if applicable.
If you are interested in pursuing adult adoption, the best thing you can do today is reach out to a local adoption attorney. Law offices that specialize in family law should understand the laws in your state and provide the best direction for your adoption.
If you have questions about other types of adoption, like domestic infant adoption, we’d be happy to answer them for you. You can fill out our online contact form at any time to get more free information now.
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