In California, an adult adoption is a legal procedure in which an older adult adopts a younger adult. Upon the adoption becoming finalized, the parties will have a legal parent-child relationship. There are several reasons older adults seek to adopt younger adults. Some people choose to do it to help deal with complicated estate planning issues. Other people do it to 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 On How to Adopt An Adult in California
California Family Code section 9300-9340 details the procedures of how to adopt an adult in California. For the adoption of an adult, the following must occur:
- The adopting parent must be older than the adult he/she is adopting.
- If the younger adult is married, he/she must get permission from his/her spouse to be adopted by the older adult.
- If the older adult is married, he/she must get permission from his/her spouse to adopt the younger adult.
In an adult adoption, a Petition and other documents are filed in the county where one of the parties resides. Since some counties are overburdened, if the party adopting and the party being adopted live in separate counties, it may be beneficial to investigate which county is more streamlined and less burdened. Dealing with an overburdened court could unnecessarily delay the adult adoption process several months.
There is no mandated investigation in an adult adoption as there is when adopting a minor child. Once the documents are filed with the court, a hearing can be set. Some courts schedule the adult adoption hearing automatically; other courts need a formal written request to schedule the hearing. At the hearing, the court will approve the adult adoption and an order will be entered confirming the adoption and any name change request.
Forms for an Adult Adoption
In order to adopt an adult in California, you will need to file the following legal documents at your local courthouse. In addition to the standard adult adoption forms, there may be other local forms that will be required to be submitted with the initial paperwork.
Adult Adoption Petition
The adult adoption petition must be filed to ask the court to make an order approving the adult adoption. The adult adoption petition must include the personal and residential information of both parties, how long both parties have known each other and the nature of their relationship, why they seek the adoption, their spouse’s information, the date the adult adoption agreement was signed, show that the adoption is in the public’s interest, and obtain the court’s approval.
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 to the adoption has a spouse, they both must get the consent of each spouse. 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 with the local court. The adoption agreement and order should also be filed along with the petition. The judge will check all the paperwork and confirm whether the facts in the petition and agreement are true. If everything is completed correctly, the court will grant the adoption petition.
There are no California judicial council forms for an adult adoption. In many California counties including Los Angeles County, there are not even “local forms” to use for the adult adoption process. This makes it a little more difficult to prepare the required paperwork in an adult adoption. You will need to prepare all the necessary pleadings from scratch on pleading paper and they must be in proper form.
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 any of the legal documents for an adult adoption. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions on how to adopt an adult in California. You can start the adult adoption process now using our convenient online interview process.