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Understanding adult adoption

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2023 | Family Law

Adult adoption may not be a familiar concept to some who reside in Indiana. But the process can bring non-traditional families together and can also have some financial benefits for those involved. If you’re interested in adult adoption, it’s important to understand the logistics and know more about how it works so that you’re prepared for the journey ahead. Adult adoption can be a beautiful experience for everyone involved. 

How adult adoption works 

Adult adoption happens when the adoptee is 18 years of age or older and the person can legally give consent for the adoption. This may happen when a stepparent adopts a stepchild, when an adopted child reunites with a birth family, or when one adopts a foster child after reaching the age of majority. Some people who adopt adults use the legal process to create legal inheritance rights.  

If you wish to proceed with an adult adoption, the first step is to acquire the documents you need and be prepared to fill out additional paperwork if the person you’re adopting isn’t physically or mentally competent. Next, you’ll petition the court in the county in which you or the adoptee lives. Adult adoptions differ from minor adoptions, but the court may order an investigation or inquiry based on the circumstances. The judge will consider all factors and do what is in the best interest of the adoptee.  

Benefits of adult adoption 

Adult adoption is not the same thing as establishing guardianship. The two processes are separate, legally speaking. Adopting an adult, whether it is your stepchild, foster child or someone else you have formed a close relationship with, legalizes that relationship. Some people enjoy the officiality of the adult adoption process. For others, the adoption is simply to establish a legal relationship that makes it easier to award an inheritance.  

Adult adoption is a legal process 

Adopting a loved one as an adult helps some families feel more legitimate. Adult adoption can also make it easier to designate individuals as heirs in your estate plan. Whatever the reason you choose adult adoption, it’s important that you understand the legalities of the process.  

For the state of Indiana to recognize the adoption, you must follow the adoption procedure. You’ll have to complete the necessary paperwork and go through court to have the adoption finalized. In situations like this, legal help is available and can provide you with guidance on how best to navigate the legal process of adult adoption.