Some people may be surprised, and a bit confused, by the fact that adults can be legally adopted. Yes, that’s right. Adoption is not just for children. Obviously, an adult has legal autonomy and other individual rights that are limited or unavailable when you are under 18 years of age, so the effect of an adult adoption is somewhat different than that of an adoption of a minor child, but upon finalization of an adult adoption still results in the same legal parental relationship, nonetheless. Why would someone seek to adopt an adult? Well, there are a number of reasons, many of which are more than understandable and make total sense once you hear them.
Reasons for Adult Adoption
Adult adoptions are not at all uncommon. Parents, either single or married, may want to adopt an adult who is not legally recognized as theirs for a range of reasons. The reasons mainly stem from the benefits enjoyed through an adult adoption. Consider, for instance, that the adult being adopted can enjoy many of the benefits they would have enjoyed had they been the natural child of the adoptive parent. They can change their name, should they want to, incident to the adoption. A big benefit is also that the adult being adopted will have the legal right to inherit from the adoptive parent as well as be granted the ability to remain informed on the adoptive parent’s medical status, should they ever be hospitalized. There are certain things only immediate family are privy too in such circumstances. Furthermore, there is something powerful in being legally recognized as the legal child of someone else, regardless of your age.
In many adult adoption circumstances, the adult adoptee may have been the child of the adoptive parent’s deceased spouse. The adult adoptee may be the child of a close friend or perhaps another family member who has long been cared for by the adoptive parent. Regardless of the circumstances, adopting an adult will establish a legal relationship between them and the adoptive parent. This is not only done as a declaration of love and commitment, but also grants legal benefits such as inheritance rights.
While there is a formal process for adopting an adult, it is nowhere near as involved as the process of adopting a child. A petition will need to be completed by the prospective adoptive parent. The adoptee will need to sign a consent form and the paperwork will need to be submitted to the court. All parties must appear before a judge who will either grant or deny the adoption request.
Florida Family Law Attorneys
While adopting an adult may be procedurally simpler than adopting a child, there are still formalities that must be observed. To help you through the process and to counsel you on the implications of adult adoption, you can count on the team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou. Contact us today.