Originally Published February 17th, 2020
Adoption is not uncommon in the US. In fact, at least 135,000 children are being adopted in the United States every year. But, how about adult adoption? Is it even legal here in the US
WHO CAN BE ADOPTED?
Adopting an adult is possible in the United States. However, rules vary from state to state. At least 29 states allow adoption regardless of age. Thus, that includes an adult.
In states like Colorado, Rhode Island, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands, people are allowed to petition the court to adopt someone over 18 up to 21 years old.
In Massachusetts and Nevada, however, the adult should be younger than the adoptive parent.
West Virginia and Wisconsin, on the other hand, requires that the adopting parent/s be a resident of that state to adopt someone over 18.
In Alabama, the adoption of adults is not permitted unless the person to be adopted, has a permanent and total physical or intellectual disability.
Moreover, Ohio allows adult adoption if the adoptee has a total or permanent physical or intellectual disability. It’s also possible if the adopter already established a relationship with the adoptee while it was still a minor.
Idaho, Illinois, and South Dakota require the adopting parent to be in a sustained parental relationship with the adult adoptee for at least six months up to 2 years.
Connecticut allows a stepparent to adopt the adult child of its spouse if the child is in the custody of the spouse.
Virginia allows adult adoption of a stepchild, niece, or nephew, as long as the adoptee resided in the home for at least three months before reaching adulthood. Also, the adoptee should be least 15 years younger than the adopting parent.
WHY PEOPLE CHOOSE TO ADOPT AN ADULT
- For inheritance purposes. Adoption of an adult allows a person to leave the property and financial assets to the adopted individual without a hassle.
- To formalize an existing parent and child relationship.
- To provide perpetual care for an adult who has a disability.
WHY SOME PEOPLE ARE BEING REJECTED TO ADOPT
Adult adoptions are not always granted. There are several reasons why some people are being rejected to adopt. These are because:
- Some states will apply incest laws if the adoptive parent and the adopted adult are previously involved in a sexual relationship.
- Some states will apply sodomy laws if the adoptive parent and adopted adult “child” are involved in a same-sex relationship.
- Some states require a specific age difference between the adoptive parent and adopted adult/child.
CONSIDERING ADULT ADOPTION?
If you are considering to adopt an adult, It is highly advised to learn the laws concerning adult adoption on your state as well as the state of the adoptee. It’s also best to consult an attorney to have the right information about adult adoption in your area.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Franchette Agatha Jardin believes that everyone has the capacity to help those who are in need. She writes blogs about issues and news surrounding those in prison in the hopes of restoring a little extra faith in humanity.