In California, adult adoption is a legal procedure in which an older adult adopts a younger adult to create a legal parent-child relationship. Older adults may be inspired to pursue adult adoption for a plethora of reasons. For example, some people use adult adoption to help deal with complicated estate planning issues. Others may solidify a parent-child relationship in a stepparent situation.
Whatever your reason may be to adopt an adult, contact us for help in preparing all the necessary legal documentation. Read on to learn more about how to adopt an adult in California.
Procedures for Adopting An Adult in California
California Family Code Section 9300-9340 details the procedures for adopting an adult in California. These procedures are based on the following requirements:
- The adopting parent must be older than the adult they are adopting.
- If the younger adult is married, they must obtain permission from their spouse before an older adult may adopt them.
- If the older adult is married, they must obtain permission from their spouse to adopt the younger adult.
In an adult adoption, legal documents including a petition are filed in the county where one of the parties resides. If the two parties live in separate counties, they may choose to quicken the process by investigating which county is more streamlined and less burdened. Dealing with an overburdened court could unnecessarily delay the adult adoption process by several months.
Unlike child adoption, there is no mandated investigation in adult adoptions. Once the parties file documents with the court, they will set a hearing. However, while some courts schedule adult adoption hearings automatically, others require a formal written request to do so. At the hearing, the court will approve the adult adoption and enter an order confirming the adoption and any name change request.
Adult Adoption Forms
In order to adopt an adult in California, you will need to file the following legal documents at your local courthouse. Plus, your court may require other local forms.
Adult Adoption Petition
The adult adoption petition requests that the court make an order approving the adult adoption. The petition must include the following information:
- personal and residential information of both parties;
- how long both parties have known each other;
- the nature of the parties’ relationship;
- the reason for adoption;
- any spouse’s information;
- the date the parties signed the adult adoption agreement; and
- how the adoption is in the public’s interest.
The court will provide approval based on the petition.
Adult Adoption Agreement
The adult adoption agreement confirms that the younger party seeks to be adopted, defines the legal relationship of each party, and states all the duties and responsibilities of the parties upon adoption.
Consent of Spouses
If either party of the adoption has a spouse, they each must receive their spouse’s consent. Each spouse must sign a consent form and accept the rights and responsibilities of the new parent-child relationship.
The adoption order must detail information stated in the adult adoption petition and agreement. Sometimes it must also include signed copies of the consent of each spouse.
Once you complete the documents referenced above, you will need to file the adult adoption petition and agreement with the local court. The judge will check all the paperwork and confirm whether the facts in the petition and agreement are true. If the parties have correctly completed the paperwork, the court will grant the adoption petition.
Help with Adult Adoption Forms
Unfortunately, California does not provide any judicial council forms for adult adoption. In fact, many California counties including Los Angeles County do not even provide district-specific forms. This makes preparing paperwork for adult adoption a bit more difficult. Therefore, individuals will need to prepare all the necessary pleadings from scratch on pleading paper in proper form.
Even with this in mind, filing an adult adoption does not have to be complex, stressful, or scary. Contact A People’s Choice if you would like low-cost, professional assistance in preparing legal documents for an adult adoption. Additionally, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions on how to adopt an adult in California. Otherwise, you can start the adult adoption process now using our convenient online interview process.