Adopting an adult
How Do Adult Adoptions Work?
There are many different types of adoptions. One of the lesser-known options is adult adoption. There are certain criteria that must be met in order to adopt an adult into your family.
What Is Adult Adoption?
Adult adoption is a legal procedure that allows a couple or individual to bring a person over the age of 18 into their family. Although not all states recognize this type of unconventional adoption, New Jersey does. It allows people to enrich the lives of adults who need the permanent connection of a loving, nurturing family.
Why Do Families Choose to Adopt an Adult?
Adult adoption is still a new concept to many people, but there are many reasons why more families are going this route. Just like adopting a child, adult adoption helps to secure a person’s family situation. If you are interested in adopting an adult, a New Jersey adoption attorney can help you with the process.
One of the most common reasons for adult adoption is that a person wishes to leave an adult an inheritance, and one way to do that is to establish a legal relationship. Adoption solidifies that familial relationship so that the adult can receive the inheritance that the person wishes to leave them.
A stepparent may want to adopt their adult stepchild to create a closer, loving family bond. This form of adoption can occur on the same day that the petition is filed with the court. Because the person is already an adult, there is no worry about having to get their other biological parent’s consent.
Adult adoption can occur when a person who was adopted or went through the foster care system has reconnected with their birth family.
Adult children who lived with a foster family but were never adopted as a minor can be adopted by their foster family.
Some adult adoptions involve adults with disabilities so that they can receive care for their lifetime. The person who adopts them oversees their care and makes all decisions affecting their welfare.
What Are the Laws on Adult Adoption?
In order to adopt an adult, there must be at least a 10-year age difference between you and the person you wish to adopt. If you are married, your spouse may have to give consent to the adoption. However, in some cases, the court may allow an adult adoption without your spouse’s consent if they are unavailable or unreasonable.
One of the strictest laws regarding adult adoption is that there must not be a sexual relationship between the adopter and the adoptee. At any point, if the two people engaged in a sexual relationship, the adoption cannot take place. Adult adoption also cannot occur for criminal reasons. If the court suspects that fraud is involved in the adoption, it will prohibit it from happening.
Although there’s no reason to get consent from the person’s biological parents for adult adoption, you should give them notice of the adoption.
What Is the Adult Adoption Procedure?
If you have decided that you wish to adopt an adult, you must visit your local court to obtain the right documents. An experienced New Jersey adoption attorney can provide all the information needed to fill out these forms. If you are adopting an adult with limited mental or physical capacity, you must fill out and file additional documentation.
Completing and signing the paperwork should be done in the presence of a notary who should then sign and emboss it. Pay careful attention to all instructions, and submit your paperwork accordingly. You will have to wait to be notified of a court date at your local family court where a judge will hear your adult adoption case.
If you need help with an adult adoption, contact contact a New Jersey adoption attorney at Cofsky & Zeidman LLC in Haddonfield at (856) 429-5005 at your earliest convenience.