5 Cases Where Adult Adoption Makes Sense

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Did you know that all 50 states across the U.S. allow adult adoptions? And it’s more common than you might believe. One source notes there are dozens of adult adoptions annually. 

That’s a small number compared to the number of children adopted annually, but adult adoptions do happen. Overall, there are some good reasons why two consenting adults would agree for one of them to adopt the other.

Anyone at least 18 years old can be adopted by another adult,” says Gideon Alper, a lawyer at Florida-based Alper Law. “The adult being adopted, however, must agree to the adoption. In Florida, there is no upper age limit for an adult adoptee. That’s not necessarily the case in some states.”

If you’re curious about the situations where adult adoption might make sense and be a desirable option, keep reading to learn more.

  1. Adoption by Step-Parent

If someone was reared by a step-parent but was not available for adoption due to the biological parent’s refusal, one option is to pursue adoption when the step-child is an adult. Once a step-child is legally an adult, the biological parent’s approval is no longer required to move forward with an adoption. 

So, if there’s a strong bond between the step-parent and the step-child, the two adults might choose to go through the adoption process to cement the parent-child bond. Sometimes, it really is better to accomplish a meaningful objective late rather than never.

  1. Revert to Biological Mom and Dad

Another scenario where adult adoption makes sense is if someone was adopted, had a negative experience with the family they were adopted into, and wants to revert back to their biological parents. The biological parents can adopt the adult they had put up for adoption as a child. It’s a good option for an adopted person who, as an adult, wants to cut ties with their adopted family.

  1. Adoption by Foster Parent

Yet another reason to pursue an adult adoption is if a foster parent wants to adopt someone they raised but could not officially adopt. If the bond is strong between the foster parent and the foster child, the foster parent can adopt the foster child after the foster child has become an adult. Any adoption prohibitions end once the foster child ages out of the foster system.

  1. Transfer Benefits

Someone who was raised by foster parents or step-parents but was never adopted could, when they become an adult, be adopted by the foster parents or step-parents for benefits reasons. 

Specifically, the step-parents or foster parents can, by adopting someone they raised, add the adoptee to their health insurance policy. It can be a good option for foster parents or step-parents who want to look out for people they raised but never officially adopted.

  1. Inheritance Reasons

An adult can adopt another adult to create the grounds for inheritance rights. Suppose someone was raised by a step-parent or foster parent but wasn’t adopted. In that case, they won’t automatically qualify for an inheritance upon the passing of the step-parent or foster parent. 

While the step-parent or foster parent could potentially leave something in their will to a child they did not legally adopt, wills can be contested in court. Adoption means that the adoptee will receive full inheritance rights whether or not there’s a will in place.

These are five scenarios where it can make sense for an adult to adopt another adult. When people think of adoption, they primarily look at it from the perspective of adults adopting children. But there are some good reasons why adults might choose to adopt adults as well.