When people think about adopting, they imagine bringing home a child who needs a new family. But can you adopt an adult as well? What are the documentation and legalities around adopting an adults? Let’s find out in more detail.
An adult can adopt an adult with the consent of both parties in most states in the USA. But there are specific requirements that both the adoptive parents and the adult adoptee have to fulfill. You would be surprised to know that 29 of the US states allow the adoption of a person without any age limit.
Let us look at what adult adoption is and the requirements for it.
Can You Adopt an Adult?
Yes, you can adopt an adult. In most states, you can adopt an adult of any age. As long as both adoptive and birth parents are involved in the adoption consent, and there is no objection from the legal parent or biological parent of the adult child, you can adopt an adult. However, there are specific requirements that you and the adult you wish to adopt need to fulfill to be eligible to adopt.
You might also like to read: How To Adopt A Child In Texas
Which States And Territories Allow Adults To Be Adopted?
Many US states allow the adoption of a person of any age. You can adopt an adult in Alaska, Florida, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Utah, Vermont, and the District Of Columbia.
In Rhode Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Colorado, and American Samoa, both the parties involved in adoption have to file a petition to adopt an adult over age 18 and under 21.
In Nevada and Massachusetts, there is a specific law that the adoptive parent has to be older than the adult they are adopting. The adoptive parent has to be a resident of the Wisconsin and West Virginia states to adopt an adult there.
An Adopting parent can adopt an adult in Alabama only if the adult they are adopting has a total and permanent intellectual and physical disability. In Ohio, you can adopt an adult only if the adult they are adopting has a total and permanent intellectual and physical disability. You can also adopt an adult in Ohio if they are your foster child or stepchild with whom you already have a relationship before they turned an adult.
In Illinois, Idaho, and South Dakota, there is a specific requirement that the adopting parent must have been in a parental relationship with the adult they are adopting for a period which can range anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.
In Connecticut, if you are a step-parent, you can adopt the adult child of your spouse. In Virginia, you can adopt your stepchild, nephew, or niece if they had resided with you in your home for at least three months when they were a minor. Also, there must be at least a 15 years age difference between you and the child you are adopting.
You might also like to read: How To Adopt A Child From Mexico
Are There Restrictions On Who Can Be Adopted Beyond The Age Requirements In Some States?
There are restrictions on who can be adopted beyond the age requirements in some states. The restrictions are based on disability, residency, and having a foster parent or step-parent relationship.
If you are looking to adopt an adult In Wisconsin and West Virginia, both you and your spouse need to be a resident of the state to do so.
In several other states, you need to have a parental relationship with the adult you want to adopt before the adoption. Also, the adult to be adopted must have lived with the adoptive parents in their home for at least months when they were a minor.
Illinois, Idaho, Virginia, and South Dakota are a few examples of such states. These states have a specific requirement that the adoptive parents have a prior parental relationship with the adult, and the adult must have lived with them when they were a minor.
In Ohio, you can only adopt an adult if you already have a legal relationship with the adult when they were a minor. You can also adopt an adult child of your spouse or if the adult child has a total and permanent mental or physical disability.
You might also like to read: What Does An Adoption Lawyer Do
Adult adoption in Florida?
Step-parents and LGBT couples can adopt the adult child of their spouse with a step-parent adoption. To adopt an adult in Florida, you can file an adoption petition if you are a single parent. For a couple to adopt, you must petition jointly.
Can you adopt an 18 year old?
Yes, you can adopt an 18-year-old as long as you fulfill the state-specific requirements for adopting an adult.
Can you adopt someone older than you?
No, you can not adopt someone older than you.
How much are adoption papers for adults?
Adoption paper for adults does not cost much. Adult adoption can cost less than $2000, including all the expenses related to adoption.
How much does it cost to adopt an adult?
It can cost anywhere from $100 to $2000 to adopt an adult.
What is adult adoption?
Adult adoption refers to the adoption of a person above the age of 18 years.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to adopt someone over 18?
An adult adoption costs way less than adopting an infant when it comes to cost. The main cost of child adoption is hiring an adoption agency. While adopting an adult, there is no need for an adoption agency, and the price gets significantly lower. It can cost anywhere from $100 to $2000 to adopt someone over 18, depending upon the circumstances and the place you reside.
Why do people adopt adults?
There are several reasons behind adult adoption. A couple may adopt an adult to establish inheritance rights. You can also do adult adoption to give a formal and legal parental right to the relationship between a step-parent and their stepchild or a foster parent and their foster child.
Often people develop bonds with children and formalize the parent-child relationship, and they adopt them when they become an adult. Also, sometimes, when the biological parents of an adult are unable to care for them, a relative like an uncle or aunt may step in to adopt the adult child legally.
What things can disqualify you from becoming and adoptive parent?
There are specific criteria that an adoptive parent needs to fulfill to adopt a child. Failing any of these will disqualify you from adopting a child. If you are too young or old or are not in optimum health to care for a child, you might get disqualified during the adult adoption process. If you have any prior history of criminal offense or child abuse, you will be disqualified from adopting a child.
Why is being adopted so hard?
Being adopted is problematic because of many reasons. The adoption laws in many states are strict, and since many of the hopeful parents cannot fulfill the requirements, they are unable to adopt.
Older children have more trouble getting adopted as most parents are only willing to adopt infants and not older children as they feel that the child will have difficulty accepting them as their parents.
Thank you for reading the article. It is possible to adopt an adult in most US states. We have discussed the main requirements for adopting an adult in the US. We hope that we have helped answer your query about adult adoption.