We often receive calls from people inquiring about adopting an adult in California. Believe it or not, it is fairly common for an older adult to adopt a younger adult in California. Doing so creates a legal parent-child relationship. Adult adoption helps simplify complicated estate planning issues. For example, a party can make sure his/her property goes to his/her adopted children upon passing in the event their will is challenged or they die intestate. Read on to learn more about adopting an adult in California.

Adult Adoption Overview

When adopting an adult in California, you need to understand what an adult adoption does and does not do. You will also need to thoroughly grasp how the adult adoption process works. A California adult adoption occurs when an adult adopts a person who is 18-years-old or older and not related to them. California law requires that the person adopting the other adult must be at least ten years older than the adult he/she is adopting. The adoptor and adoptee jointly Petition the court for the adult adoption. A hearing is required. The adult adoption proceeding can be filed in the county of residence of either party.

“We were very pleased with the professionalism, kindness and thoroughness of the A People’s Choice  staff. We used A People’s Choice for an Adult Adoption. The process was efficient and painless.” D. Metcalf
“We adopted our daughter recently. A People’s Choice was a huge part of making this happen. We will use them again when we have the need for professional legal document preparation.” D. Metcalf

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When adopting an adult in California, particularly a person who is not a citizen of the United States, be aware that an adult adoption does not change or influence the normal immigration process. Furthermore, the adult adoption does not give a non-US citizen special privileges or green card status to enter or be in the United States. Read our article on adult adoption and immigration for more information on this topic.

The Process of Adopting an Adult in California

When contemplating adopting an adult in California, ask yourself the following questions. First, do you want to hire a professional who knows what they are doing or, alternatively, try to wade through the adult adoption process yourself. In order to file an adult adoption you will need to prepare and file various adult adoption forms with the court. Unfortunately, unlike other type of adoption proceedings, the paperwork required in adult adoptions is often required to be drafted from scratch. This is why the services of an experienced legal document assistant is invaluable when adopting an adult in California. An experienced legal document assistant will be able to easily prepare the necessary paperwork and get your hearing set without unnecessary setbacks. A People’s Choice is a great option for adult adoption help. We have over 35 years of experience preparing this type of paperwork.

Generally speaking, adult adoptions need:

  1. The Petition. The petition must be drafted on pleading paper. This document is used to ask the court to set a hearing date and time to make an order approving the adoption. It must include the following information:
    1. The name, age, date, and place of birth of the Petitioner
    2. How long the Petitioner has known the adult to be adopted
    3. Why the Petitioner is requesting the adoption
    4. The other spouses consent to the adoption (attach the declaration expressing consent)
    5. Request for the court to approve the adoption agreement
    6. The date the adoption agreement was signed
    7. Whether the adoption is in the public’s best interest
  1. Adoption Agreement. When adopting an adult in California, the court requires the parties to sign an adoption agreement. The adoption agreement is made between the person to be adopted and his/her intended adopted parent. The agreement must state that both parties agree to assume the legal relationship of parent and child and all the duties and responsibilities which pertain to such a relationship. Both parties must sign and date the agreement.
  1. Order of Adoption. The Order of Adoption is the document signed by the Judge to grant the adoption. At the hearing, if the judge approves the adoption agreement, he/she will sign this order. Contact A People’s Choice for help with preparing the order.

When adopting an adult in California, the adult adoption hearing will be confidential. Both the adoptive parent and adoptee must attend the hearing. The court order is filed with the probate clerk after the hearing. An amended birth certificate form must also be filed with the court upon the court granting the adoption request. Once processed, the adoptive adult will receive an amended birth certificate within 8 months. The person being adopted has the option to change or not to change their legal name. Furthermore, if either the adoptor or the adoptee are married, the consent to their spouse is required.

There are no judicial council forms for adult adoptions. Every county has different requirements. Some counties have local forms; however most counties require the adult adoption forms to be prepared from scratch.  The adoption must be submitted on pleading paper. Contact A People’s Choice for help in completing the required documents to file for an adult adoption in California. Not only will we prepare all the necessary forms, we also help filing the paperwork with the court and setting the hearing. Call us today at 800-747-2780.

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