First and foremost, Why Adopt an Adult?
There are several reasons to consider an adult adoption:
1) Many adult adoptions occur to formalize the parent-child relationship as is often the case with step-parents.
2) For inheritance purposes, many adult adoptions occur so that one individual can leave an inheritance to another close person.
3) Lastly, some adult adoptions occur to facilitate the care of a disabled person unable to make decisions, whether medical or financial, because of a physical or mental impairment.
No matter the reason, because each party in an adult adoption is an adult, the legal requirements are that the parties agree to the adoption voluntarily and that the proper process be followed to make the adult parent – adult child relationship legal.
Adult Adoptions in California
An adult adoption in California is a legal proceeding in which one older adult person adopts a younger adult person. After the adult adoption proceeding concludes, a legal parent-child relationship is created between the parties. This legal relationship affords the adopted adult full parent and child rights, especially inheritance rights. An adult adoption, like a child adoption, severs all existing parent-child relationships. In cases where the adopting parent is also the adult child’s stepparent, the stepparent’s spouse retains his/her legal parent-child relationship with the adult being adopted.
The process to legally adopt an adult in California is contained in the California Family Code (Fam) §9300-9340. There are four main steps to complete an adult adoption in California:
1) Prepare and file the required applications.
2) Attend the adoption hearing.
3) File the signed Order of Adoption in the Court.
4) Amend the adopted adult child’s birth certificate to reflect name of parent and change surname, if requested.
California courts treat adult adoptions as closed proceedings like child adoptions. Once the case concludes, the courts seal the adoption records. The sealed records can then only be accessed by the affected parties, if needed. In addition, the issuing of an amended birth certificate to the adopted adult child, if requested, effectively severs any existing legal relationship with the adopted adult child’s biological or custodial parent. The adopted adult child is then able to change his or her surname.
Get Help with an Adult Adoption in California
Anyone considering an adult adoption should seek legal assistance with the required paperwork. IntegriDocs, a registered and bonded legal document assistance service, is more than qualified and capable of assisting you with the adult adoption paperwork and process.
Although the adult adoption process is streamlined and easier than minor children adoptions, cases will be denied if the proper form is not followed or the relationship is inappropriate.
Three main issues arise during adult adoption proceedings that cause the Court to reject an application for an adult adoption. They are:
(1) if the parties have a pre-existing sexual relationship;
(2) if the adult child is older than the adult parent; or
(3) if the adult parent was unduly influenced or the adoption itself was procured by fraud.
Contact IntegriDocs right away to start your adult adoption matter!