Not all adoptions involve a child. Many people today wonder, “Can you adopt someone over 18?” or “Can I adopt an adult?”
The answer is yes. In fact, one of the growing adoption trends is adult adoption, where a person older than 18 can be adopted by another adult or couple to formalize a parent-child relationship.
At Herring & Mills, we can help you complete the legal process of an adult adoption, which is more straightforward and easily completed than a traditional child adoption. However, because there are always legal complexities that can occur with any process involving parental rights, we encourage you to work with an experienced law firm like ours to help your adoption proceed as smoothly as possible.
You can discuss your individual adult adoption situation with us at any time by calling 919-821-1860 or contacting us online. We can help you get started with your adoption process whenever you’re ready.
To help you better understand how to adopt an adult in North Carolina, we’ve provided some basic information below.
What You Need to Know About Adopting an Adult in N.C.
When it comes to adult adoption in North Carolina, the laws are pretty flexible: Any adult can adopt any other adult, although spouses cannot adopt each other. Only three people need to consent to the adoption — the adoptee, the adopting adult and the spouse of that person, if applicable.
So, yes, you can adopt an adult without their legal parents’ permission — but you may have to notify them of the adoption proceedings. The other people who may receive notice of the proceedings are:
- Any adult children of the prospective adoptive parent
- Any spouse of the adoptee
- Any adult child of the adoptee
It’s important to remember that just because someone receives notice of the adoption doesn’t mean they have to give their consent for the adoption to go through. In addition, a court may “for cause” waive the requirement to notify the parent of the adult adoptee.
At Herring & Mills, we can determine who needs to be notified about your upcoming adult adoption and any circumstances in which the notification requirements may be waived by the court.
Why do I need to formalize my relationship with an adult adoption in N.C.?
If you already have a strong parent-child relationship with someone, you may not think a formal adoption is necessary. However, creating a legal parent-child bond has many legal advantages, including:
- Inheritance rights for the adoptee
- Access to social security benefits and insurance for the adoptee
- The adopter’s access to the adoptee’s medical records and ability to make medical decisions for the adoptee and
- Name change
Parental rights are rights that receive the highest protection by the law and provide the greatest protection and security for the adoptee. Because of the ease of completing adult adoptions, we recommend legally finalizing the parent-child relationship you already have, as there are few (if any) disadvantages to an adult adoption.
How to Adopt an Adult in N.C.
If you decide to proceed with an adult adoption, we can help you through every step of the legal process. Here’s how it works:
- We file the adult adoption petition with your local court. We’ll help you complete all the necessary legal paperwork.
- We obtain the consent paperwork from the adoptee and the adopting adults. We will also notify all the people required by law to be aware of the adoption.
- We finalize the adoption in court. While both the adoptee and the adopting adult are required to appear in court, there are certain circumstances where this requirement may be waived. We’ll speak with your local court to determine what is and isn’t necessary for your adult adoption finalization hearing.
Although the legal adult adoption process is rather straightforward, we highly recommend using an attorney to complete your adult adoption in North Carolina. As two of the most experienced adoption lawyers in North Carolina, we’ve completed many adult adoptions and will make your adoption proceedings as easy as possible.
To get started with your adult adoption in North Carolina or to ask us any questions you have, please call us anytime at 919-821-1860 or contact us online.