Can You Adopt Someone Older Than You? (Laws You Need To Know)

Can You Adopt Someone Older Than You - Can You Adopt Someone Over 18 - Can You Adopt An 18 Year Old

Can you adopt someone older than you?

In this article, you’ll learn about:

  • can you adopt someone older than you?
  • can adults adopt other adults?
  • can you adopt someone over 18?
  • how old you have to be to adopt someone.

Let’s dig in.

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Key Points About Adopting Someone Older Than You

  • You can adopt someone older than you in 43 states.
  • You can adopt someone older than you if you’re 18 in 39 states.

Can You Adopt Someone Older Than You?

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.

Adopting Someone Older Than You Based On Age

Here are some laws on adopting someone older than you based on age eligibility:

  • You have to be 21 to adopt someone in Colorado, Delaware, and Oklahoma.
  • You have to be 25 to adopt someone in Georgia and Idaho.
  • You have to be 10 years older than the adoptee in California, Georgia, Nevada, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Utah.
  • You have to be 14 years older than the adoptee in Puerto Rico.
  • You have to be 15 years older than the adoptee in Idaho.

Adopting Someone Older Than You Based On Residency

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.

  • Arizona
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • New Mexico
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia

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:

  • Minnesota
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee

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:

  • Illinois
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico
  • Rhode Island

You’ll have to do a home study and work with the birth mother at an adoption agency.

Same-Sex Couples Adopting Someone Older Than You

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:

  • spouses
  • married couples

Mississippi strictly prohibits same-sex couples from adopting.

In general, same-sex couples need to get legal advice about their state’s adoption laws.

Can An Adult Adopt Another Adult?

Yes, an adult can adopt another adult.

You will need to meet the requirements for age, age differences, and residency.

Can You Adopt Someone Over 18?

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:

  • a foster parent adopting a foster child they raised when they become an adult
  • a stepparent adopting a stepchild that they raised
  • older same-sex couples adopting a child together
  • giving inheritance rights to someone and avoiding probate
  • relatives (birth family) adopting a child when the birth parents aren’t in the picture anymore

What Is An Adult Adoption?

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.

Can I Adopt An Adult?

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.

Can An 18 Year Old Adopt?

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:

  • the 5 states that you have to be 21-25 years of age to adopt someone
  • the 7 states you have to be 10-15 years older than the adoptee

How Old Do You Have To Be To Adopt Someone?

Here is how old you have to be to adopt someone per family laws.

  • You have to be 18 years old to adopt someone in 45 states.
  • You have to be 21 to adopt someone in 3 states.
  • You have to be 25 to adopt someone in 2 states.

Can You Adopt An 18 Year Old?

Yes, you can adopt an 18-year-old.

This type of adoption is called adult adoption.

And the adoption of an adult is just as legal as a child adoption.

Can An 18 Year Old Adopt A 17 Year Old?

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.

Can An 18 Year Old Adopt A 16 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:

  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Oklahoma
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • California
  • Georgia
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Idaho

How To Adopt Someone Older Than You

If you want the best adoption attorneys to represent you, fill out the form below.

Our attorneys have the experience needed to ensure that your rights are protected.

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:

  • termination of parental rights
  • gaining parental rights
  • estate planning
  • inheritance rights

After you fill out the form below, we will set up your free consultation.

And walk you through the adult adoption process. 

Talk soon.

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