Adult adoption in the U.S.
Updated: Jun 14, 2020
I had a situation a while back where a 50 year old man wanted to do just that. He wanted to adopt his adult daughter. Why did he want to do the adoption? Well, her legal father had renounced her as his daughter because a DNA test showed that she was not biologically his. When the daughter found her biological father, he wanted to adopt her so he could add her to his medical insurance and add his name to her birth certificate.
So, can you adopt an adult in the United States?
In Nebraska, the answer is clearly yes. But there are some criteria that you have to meet.
Who can adopt an adult?
A married couple can adopt an adult or a single person can adopt an adult. The person who is adopting this adult has to either be their step parent or a person who has had a parent-child relationship with that adult for at least six months before they became an adult. This means that adult stepparent adoptions are allowed in Nebraska.
If you're not a stepparent, but you have created a parent child relationship with that person before they turned 19, you can proceed with the adoption, but must show that:
1) the parents cannot consent to the adoption or,
2) the parent's rights have been terminated by a court, or
3) the parents have legally abandoned the child for the past six months, or
4) the parents have already relinquished their rights to that child.
I've had the privilege of completing several adult stepparent adoptions. One of the most memorable was a 32 year old woman who was married with children. She called my law office and informed me that she wanted to be adopted by her stepdad. She said: "I really want my stepdad to adopt me because he's always been my dad. I gave him a hard time when I was younger, but now that I'm older, I can see that he was always there for me. He was always my dad, and he always did the best that he could to take care of me and to be there for me."
Her story is only one of many other young adults who are grateful for their stepparents and want to make it official by being adopted by them.
If you've been thinking about an adult stepparent adoption, be assured that it is legal and is actually one of the easiest types of adoptions to complete.