An adoption creates a legal relationship between two parties that previously did not exist. It declares that the person being adopted is legally the “child” of the adoptive parent and becomes the adopting parent’s legal heir. The person being adopted is entitled to all the rights and privileges and is subject to all the obligations of a child born to the adoptive parent.
It is important to keep in mind that only about two-thirds of states in the United States offer a legal process to adopt another adult. Although the adult adoption process will vary from state-to-state, the three main reasons people pursue adult adoption are the same:
Read on to learn more about each of the adult adoption process in California.
In California, any adult person may adopt another younger person. The person being adopted may be unrelated, an adult stepchild, niece, nephew, cousin or grandchild of the adopting person.
Often in a stepparent situation, when the legal parent’s rights cannot be terminated nor consent obtained, the parties can wait until the minor is 18 and proceed with an California adult adoption for stepparents. In adult adoptions:
A person may not adopt more than one unrelated adult within one year of the person’s adoption of an unrelated adult, unless:
In addition, a person may not adopt an unrelated adult within one year of an adoption of another person by the prospective adoptive parent’s spouse unless the proposed adoptee is a biological sibling of a person previously adopted.
A married person who is not lawfully separated from their spouse may NOT ADOPT an adult without the consent of their spouse, provided their spouse is capable of giving that consent.
A married person who is not lawfully separated from their spouse may NOT BE ADOPTED without the consent of their spouse, provided that their spouse is capable of giving that consent.
The consent of the parent(s) of the proposed adoptee, the Children’s Department of Social Services, or any other person is not required.
The procedures for an adult adoption in California are set out in Family Code Sections 9320 to 9328. Since there is no required investigation, an adult adoption in California can usually be completed within a very short period of time – usually 1 to 2 months. The steps are fairly straight-forward and can easily be accomplished with the help of a legal document assistant.