Adult adoption, though less common than child adoption, is a legal procedure one adult can use to adopt another. Adult adoption is done for various reasons. For example, stepparents commonly adopt adult stepchildren after a biological father refused to relinquish parental rights of his minor child. Once the child reaches age 18, adoption no longer requires the biological father’s consent.
Additionally, if a stepparent is interested in formalizing a parent-child relationship or avoiding inheritance issues, they may choose to adopt an adult child of their spouse. Further, stepparent adoption of an adult is often beneficial for an adult child with life-long disabilities requiring perpetual care. However, stepparent adoption of an adult in California requires different processes and forms from adoption of a child.
Requirements for Adult Adoption in California
When an adoptee is an adult, there is no need to get parental permission for the adoption. However, adoption does end a prior parental relationship. Additionally, the court does not require any social services home study reports to submit an adoption request. That said, the court does require that the adopting adult is at least 10 years older than the adoptee, and the adopting parent and the adoptee must agree to the adoption.
Further, if married, both the adopting parent and the adoptee need permission from each of their spouses before the adoption can take place. Plus, some courts require a declaration of single status if there are no spousal consents necessary.
Ultimately, after the court finalizes the adoption, the parents must agree to all the rights and responsibilities of a parent-child relationship. Generally, the parties must present an agreement to the court showing they understand and agree to this requirement.
Forms for Stepparent Adoption of an Adult in California
There are five documents most California counties require for stepparent adoption of an adult or other adult adoption:
- signed agreement to the adoption by the adopting parent and adoptee;
- consent of the parties’ spouses;
- order; and
- memorandum setting a hearing for the final adoption hearing
In the petition, the parties must explain the nature of their relationship to the court and how long they have known each other. Then, they must explain why they are interested in the adoption process. At this point, the court will inquire whether the adoption is in the public’s best interest. Typically, when a stepparent seeks to solidify an informal parent-child relationship or care for an adult with disabilities, the court will find the adoption in the public interest.
Generally, an adult may not adopt more than one adult within a certain time frame, usually a year. However, there is an exception if the adults are siblings. Additionally, an individual may adopt a married minor the same way as an adult. Plus, in some counties, after a finalized adoption, parents can apply for an amended birth certificate.
A People’s Choice Provides Low-Cost Legal Document Help for Adult Stepparent Adoptions
If you are considering filing an adult stepparent adoption in California and want to avoid the high cost of attorney’s fees, contact A People’s Choice for low-cost legal document help. Although we cannot give legal advice, A People’s Choice can help you prepare all the required legal documents to help you to complete your adult adoption without having to hire a lawyer.