What is a California Adult Adoption?

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 impotant 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:

  • inheritance
  • formalizing an existing parent/child relationship
  • establish legal rights for perpetual care for a disabled adult

Read on to learn more about each of the adult adoption process in California.

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The Nuts and Bolts of Adult Adoption

  • Inheritance. This is the most common reason for adult adoption in California. Once an adult adopts another adult, they create a parent-child relationship that will be legally recognized. This new relationship allows for the adopted person to inherit from the adoptive parent(s).
  • Formalizing a parent-child relationship. When a previous stepparent-stepchild, foster parent-foster child, or informal parent-child relationship existed, the adult parties may want to formalize the relationship through adoption.
  • Perpetual Care. If the person to be adopted is of diminished capacity or abilities, adoption may provide a means of assuring him/her of lifetime care under family insurance, as a legal family member, or through inheritance.
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:

  • There is no requirement for consents of the natural parent or parents of the adult person being adopted
  • A Social Services investigation is not required.
  • The person being adopted may choose to change his or her name through the adoption proceeding. They may also choose to keep his or her existing name.
  • The person being adopted may choose to change their birth certificate to show the adopting parent’s name.
  • Spousal consent is required if a party is married.
  • The adult adoption can be filed in California if one or more of the parties reside in California. This means that the person being adopted can live in another state if the person adopting resides in California.

A person may not adopt more than one unrelated adult within one year of the person’s adoption of an unrelated adult, unless:

  • the proposed adoptee (the person being adopted) is a biological sibling of a person previously adopted or t
  • the proposed adoptee is physically disabled.

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.

Get help with your California Adult Adoption today!

A People’s Choice can save you hundreds of dollars by preparing your adult adoption documents instead of an expensive attorney!

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Adoption Services We Offer
Price
Uncontested Stepparent Adoption - one minor child
(for each additional minor child add $150)
$499*
Petition to Terminate Parental Rights of unknown father $599
Petition to Terminate Parental Rights (Willful Failure to Support or Abandonment) $599
Adult Adoption - 1 adoptor & 1 adoptee
(add $150 if there are 2 co-adoptors)
$499
Independent Adoption $650*
Other Adoption Services Call for Quote
*Adoptions involving children with Indian ancestry will have higher fees.