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. Stepparent adoption of an adult is common when a biological father has refused to relinquish rights to allow a stepparent adoption when the child was a minor. Once the child reaches age 18 and is an adult, consent of the biological father is no longer required. If a stepparent is interested in formalizing a parent child relationship or avoiding inheritance issues, he or she can undertake the adoption of an adult child of a spouse. In addition, stepparent adoption of an adult can help an adult child if that child has life-long disabilities and will need perpetual care.
Parental Consent Not Required in Stepparent Adoption of an Adult
Because the adoptee is an adult, there is no need or requirement to get parental permission for the adoption. However, adoption does end a prior parental relationship. In addition, there are no social services home study reports to submit to the court. The adopting parent and the adoptee, if married, do need to get the permission of each of their spouses before the adoption can take place. Additional requirements prior to the adoption include that the adopting adult be at least 10 years older than the adoptee, and the adopting parent and the adoptee must agree to the adoption.
When the adoption is finalized, the parents must agree to all the rights and responsibilities that are part of a parent child relationship. Generally, the parties must present an agreement to the court showing they understand and agree to this requirement.
Stepparent Adoption of an Adult Requires Spousal Consent
In a California stepparent adoption of an adult proceeding, if either the person adopting or the person being adopted is married, the consents of the spouse(s) must be obtained and filed with the court. Some courts require the filing of a declaration of single status if there are no spousal consents necessary. Unlike with a stepparent adoption of a minor, the biological parents do not need to consent to the adoption.
Documents Required For Stepparent Adoption of an Adult
There are five documents that are required in most counties in California to go ahead with the stepparent adoption of an adult or other adult adoption:
- A petition;
- A signed agreement to the adoption by the adopting parent and adoptee;
- Consent of the spouses of the parties to the adoption;
- An order; and
- A 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, in addition to explaining why they want to go ahead with the adoption process. The court also inquires whether the adoption is in the public’s best interest. In cases where a stepparent seeks to solidify an informal parent child relationship, or to better care for an adult with disabilities, it is likely that a 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. Therefore, a stepparent may adopt adult siblings without having to wait.
Note that one may adopt a married minor in the same way as an adult. Additionally, in some counties, once the adoption is finalized, you can apply for an amended birth certificate.
If you would like to adopt an adult, you can do so by preparing the paperwork described above and filing it with the court in the county where you live.
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 in preparing all the required legal documents to help you to complete your adult adoption without having to hire a lawyer.
If you need more information about filing for stepparent adoption of an adult, do not hesitate to call our office. A People’s Choice has been providing self-help legal document services for over 30 years and has established an excellent reputation in the community. When you are ready to start the stepparent adoption process, information can be provided to us through our convenient online system, over the phone or in person.
A People’s Choice provides legal document preparation services for filing stepparent adoption of an adult proceedings in all courts throughout California.