What is an Adult Adoption in California?

What is an Adult Adoption? Many people wonder if they can legally be adopted after turning 18 years of age. In California, adult adoption is quite common. Adult adoption is a legal process in which an older adult adopts a younger adult who is not related to them. California law requires a person to at least be ten years older than the adult they are adopting. Read on to learn more about what is an adult adoption in California, what is the process of an adult adoption and how A People’s Choice can help.

What is an Adult Adoption in California?

In California, once an adult adoption is complete, a legal parent-child relationship is established. The new parent-child relationship has all associated rights and responsibilities of such a relationship (e.g., inheritance rights).  The adoption of an adult will sever all existing parent-child relationships held. The only exception to this is if the adopting parent is a stepparent. If this occurs, the adopting parent’s spouse will keep his/her parent-child relationship with the adoptee.

“It was so nice to have their help with the adoption paperwork. I could have never done it myself. They responded quickly to my inquiry as well as every e-mail. Thank you to all the exceptional staff at A People’s Choice for all of your help and patience!!!” Sarah G.
“We were very pleased with the professionalism, kindness and thoroughness of the A People’s Choice staff. We used them for an Adult Adoption. The process was efficient and painless. We adopted our daughter and A People’s Choice was a huge part of making this happen. We will use A People’s Choice again when we have the need for professional legal document preparation..” Diane M.

Get help filing an Adult Adoption!

  • or call 1-800-747-2780

California Family Law Code section 9300-9340 defines not only what is an adult adoption, but the process involved in adopting an adult in California. A filing fee must be paid to the court upon the Petition for Adoption being filed. Since there are no standard California Judicial Council forms for an adult adoption, the adult adoption petition is typically required to be typed on pleading paper. In an adult adoption, the adoptive parent and the adoptee file a joint petition. The adult adoption petition is the document that requests the court to approve the adoption. The Petition must address the following items:

  • The name, age, place and birth of the Petitioners
  • How long the Petitioners have known each other
  • Why the Petitioners want the adult adoption to take place
  • Whether either Petitioner is married and the names and ages of their children (if applicable)
  • The date the adoption agreement was signed
  • Whether the adoption is in the public interest

In addition to the adult adoption petition, an adoption agreement must be also signed by both parties. The adoption agreement must state that both parties consent to the adoption. If the adoptive parent is married, his/her spouse must also consent to the adoption. Consent must also be provided by the adoptee’s spouse. If the adoptee is single, he/she must file a Declaration of Single Status along with the Petition.

Some courts make the parties file a special, separate request to set the adult adoption hearing. Since the process for adult adoptions is different in every county, using the services of an experience legal document assistant can be invaluable and avoid unnecessary delays due to problems with the paperwork or the court process. A court hearing date will be provided in which both parties and spouses must attend. If the judge approves the adoption, an Order of Adoption will be signed. The Order should contain the same information found in the Petition.  The adoption hearing is confidential.

Following the hearing, the adoptee can file to have a new birth certificate issued. The court clerk will send the amended birth certificate to the State Registrar at the Department of Health Services in Sacramento. An amended birth certificate will be sent to the adoptee within eight months.

Things to be Aware of With Adult Adoptions

There are several things you should be aware of about adult adoptions:

  1. Adult adoption is not available in all states. In some states adult adoption may not be permitted or may be limited to specific circumstances.  An adult adoption can be filed in California in the county of residence of either party. The definition of “residency” is not specifically addressed in the California adult adoption statutes and there are many different interpretations of what determines “residency.”  For example, can you live in California for one week and then file an adult adoption? If your state prohibits adult adoptions and you are considering relocating to California to file an adult adoption, contact a California attorney for clarification on this issue.
  2. Adult adoption cannot be used for immigration purposes. For more information, read this article on adult adoption and immigration in the US.

If you want to learn more about what is an adult adoption or how you can file an adult adoption proceeding, contact A People’s Choice for more information. Our friendly staff can be reached at 800-747-2780.

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By |2018-01-18T15:46:20+00:00April 15th, 2017|Adoption|0 Comments

About the Author:

Sandra M. McCarthy, founder of A People’s Choice Inc., has worked exclusively in the legal field since 1976. She served as the 2004-2005 President of CALDA (California Association of Legal Document Assistants). She obtained a Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her career in the legal field, she has worked as a freelance paralegal, law office manager and paralegal studies teacher, and has co-authored numerous legal publications and written hundreds of self-help legal articles. As a registered Legal Document Assistant, Sandy is dedicated to providing affordable, low-cost, self-help document preparation services for California consumers in all 58 counties.

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