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The overwhelming majority of adoptions involve an adult adopting a minor child. However, an adult adopting another adult is not as rare as you might think. Florida’s state laws permit an adult to adopt a person 18 years or older, when both parties mutually agree to do so. You may be wondering, “Why would someone adopt an adult?” This is a fair question if you’re unfamiliar with adult adoption. Below we examine the three most common reasons for adult adoption in Florida.

1. Inheritance

In many cases, people choose adult adoption for inheritance reasons. Adoption creates a legally recognized parent-child relationship. This allows the adopted child to inherit property from the adoptive parents, in accordance with Florida’s laws.

2. Formalize a Parent-Child Relationship

In some cases, people simply want an official recognition of their parent-child relationship. This often involves stepparents or foster parents adopting the adult child. It’s a wonderful way to formally seal the bond between a parent and child who are not biologically in those familial roles.

3. Care for a Person of Diminished Capacity

In some cases, an adult with special needs is adopted. Legal adoption helps to ensure the individual receives perpetual care. For example, the family may need to adopt the disabled adult in order for their insurance to cover the cost of care.

Why Do People Wait Until the Child Is a Legal Adult to Adopt Him or Her?

Every situation is unique, but some typical reasons include the following:

  • The stepparent or foster parent was unable to legally adopt the child because the biological parents were unable or unwilling to relinquish parental rights.
  • It is far less expensive to adopt an adult than it is to adopt a child, so some people choose adult adoption as a cost-effective measure.
  • Some parent-child relationships simply aren’t formed until the child is already an adult.

What Legal Changes Occur?

Similar to a traditional minor child adoption, there are some important legal changes, which take place after an adoption is finalized.

  • The relationship between the biological or legal parents and the child is severed.
  • A new birth certificate is created with the names of the adoptive parents.
  • The adopted person can legally change his or her last name to match that of the adoptive family.

Requirements for Adult Adoption in Florida

  • The adoptee must be over 18 years of age.
  • The adopter and adoptee must both consent to the adoption.
  • If the adoptee is married, the spouse should also consent to the adoption, although there may be reasonable factors for the court to excuse this requirement.
  • The biological parents of the adoptee do not have to consent to the adoption. They are required to be notified of the final hearing.

Are You Considering an Adult Adoption?

It is important to note that each state has different laws regarding adult adoption. For example, in California, there must be at least a 10-year age difference between the adopter and adoptee. Other states may have additional requirements that could make adult adoption more difficult.

If you are considering adult adoption in Florida, contact us for more information and assistance.  Phone: (727) 800-6681