The Three Most Common Reasons to Adopt an Adult in Melbourne, Florida
There is a percentage of adoption matters that involve an adult person adopting a minor child (think step-parent). And a much smaller percentage of cases with an adult person adopting an adult – it is more common than you may think. Florida laws permit an adult to adopt another person over the age of 18 and when both parties agree. Many people wonder, “Why would a person adopt another adult?” These are the three most common reasons for adult adoption in Florida.
1. To Ratify the Step-Parent Relationship
Some families consist of non-biological members. In those situations the non-biological parent may want to formalize their existing step-parent and child relationship. It may be a step-parents or a former foster parent adopting the now adult child.
2. Estate Planning or Inheritance
Many times adult adoption happens for estate planning reasons. By adopting an adult the law recognizes the legal relationship between (adoptive) parent and adult child. The court’s say “you are now related to one another as if the child was born unto you” during the adoption hearing of an adult. Florida law permits a legal child to inherit from the parents’ estates. Trusts are another format where adult adoption can be helpful. If parties have a trust with “children” as the beneficiary the adopted adult would likely qualify to benefit from the trust holdings.
An adult with special needs can be adopted. A formal adoption can ensure the individual receives the care he/she needs. Such as for providing insurance to pay for care.
Why Wait Until Adulthood to Adopt?
Typical reasons are:
- The biological parent was unwilling to sign consent to terminate his/her parental rights.
- Adopting an adult is much less expensive.
- Adopting an adult allows the adoptee to benefit from all the offerings available to a child from the foster system (college, insurance, etc.)
- Not all parent-child relationships are formed during childhood.
What Happens to the Existing Relationship?
- The adult adoptee’s relationship with the biological/legal parents is severed along with the legal relationships with all relatives in that family (grandparents, siblings, etc.)
- The adoptee can apply for and receive a new birth certificate with the names of the adoptive parents on the face.
- At the time of the adult adoption the adoptee can request to legally change his / her last name. This is accomplished with a separate petition to the court but can run consecutively with the adoption and be heard by the Judge at the same final hearing.
Florida Requirements: Adult Adoption in Melbourne, Cocoa, Rockledge,Viera
- The adult adoptee must be over the age of 18.
- Both the adult adopter and adult adoptee must consent to the adoption in writing.
- The adoptee’s biological parents must receive NOTICE of the pending petition for adult adoption but do not have to consent to the adoption. The biological/legal parents of the adoptee must receive notice of the final hearing although they are not required to attend.
- A married adoptee must obtain his/her spouse’s consent to the adoption.
Is Adult Adoption in your Future?
Each state has different laws for adult adoption. In Florida the above facts apply but please call Rhoden Law Group for additional information. Initial phone consultations are always a courtesy. 321-549-3162