Can you adopt someone older than you?
In this article, you’ll learn about:
Let’s dig in.
You can adopt someone older than you in 43 states.
The other 7 states require you to be 10-15 years older than the adoptee.
You can adopt someone older than you if you’re 18 in 39 states.
(This takes into account age requirements, which is why it’s 39.
“Age requirements” are you having to be 18+ and the ability to adopt someone older than you.)
The other 5 states require you to be 21-25 years old to be an adoptive parent.
Here are some laws on adopting someone older than you based on age eligibility:
Another law that determines if you can adopt someone older than you is your residency.
“Residency” generally means “have you lived in the state for a set period of time?”
Each state has different residency laws.
Here is a list of residency laws by state.
Let’s say you have lived in Colorado full-time for the last 6 months.
You would be considered a resident of Colorado.
To file a petition for adult adoption, you need to be a resident of that state.
In the following states, you HAVE to be a resident to file a petition for adult adoption:
There are 7 states where the adoptive parent does not have to be a resident of the state.
In these states, you can adopt a child who has been placed in your home by foster care.
These 7 states allow you to adopt a child without being a resident of the child’s home state.
In 3 states, the adult adoptive parent can be a non-resident.
But this is only if the adoptive parent is a relative of the adult adoptee.
These three states are:
Indiana and South Carolina allow a nonresident to adopt a child with special needs.
An adoptive parent can be a non-resident through an adoption agency without limitations in:
You’ll have to do a home study and work with the birth mother at an adoption agency.
For same-sex couples, the adoption laws language is vague in most states.
23 states include language to be inclusive of same-sex couples, like:
Mississippi strictly prohibits same-sex couples from adopting.
In general, same-sex couples need to get legal advice about their state’s adoption laws.
Yes, an adult can adopt another adult.
You will need to meet the requirements for age, age differences, and residency.
Yes, you can adopt someone over 18 years old.
These are called adult adoptions and are very common.
Some reasons that people do adult adoptions are:
Adult adoption is a legal process that establishes a parent-child relationship.
This parent-child relationship gets established between the adoptive parent and the adoptee.
Since the person is an adult, the biological parents legally don’t have rights anymore.
The adopted person won’t have to terminate the parental rights of the birth parents.
But the adoptee will need to notify the biological parents if the adoptee is under 21 years of age.
Once the adoption process is complete, a legal relationship is established with an adoption order.
With this adoption order, you can get a new birth certificate for the adopted adult.
Because this adoptee is a grown-up, you won’t have “legal rights” over the adoptee.
But you will still be the legal parent and the “adopted child” will have inheritance rights.
Yes, you can adopt an adult as long as you meet your state’s requirements.
The requirements for adopting an adult are listed above in this article.
Yes, an 18-year-old can adopt someone.
An 18-year-old can be an adoptive parent in 38 states.
This is taking into account adoption laws like:
Here is how old you have to be to adopt someone per family laws.
Yes, an 18-year-old can adopt a 17-year-old in 38 states.
In these 38 states, there are no restrictions for an 18-year-old to adopt a 17-year-old.
Yes, an 18-year-old can adopt a 16-year-old in 38 states.
In these 38 states, there are no restrictions for an 18-year-old to adopt a 16-year-old.
For an 18-year-old adopting either a 17 or 16-year-old, the states that restrict this are:
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This means that you don’t wrongfully lose rights when adopting.
And you will have a smooth hearing when presenting your case to the judge.
So that you won’t have any issues with your adult adoption.
This includes issues related to:
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