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Adult Adoptions in California

Adult adoptions in California are the topic of this blog post. The laws in the State of California state that any adult person may adopt another younger person so long as the person adopting is at least ten (10) years older than the person being adopted. An adult adoption is when someone adopts a person who is 18 or over and not related to them. An adult adoption changes the legal rights of the adoptive parent and the adoptee. It severs the existing relationship with biological parents.

The person being adopted may be unrelated, or may be an adult stepchild, niece, nephew, cousin or grandchild of the adopting person. Often in a stepparent situation, when the legal parent’s rights cannot be terminated nor consent obtained, the parties can wait until the minor is 18 and proceed with an adult adoption. In adult adoptions,

Neither the consent of the natural parent or parents of the person to be adopted is required;

A Social Services investigation is typically not required;

A married person who is not legally separated from his or her spouse cannot adopt an adult person without the consent of the spouse of the adopting person;

A married person who is not legally separated from his or her spouse cannot be adopted without the consent of the spouse of the person to be adopted;

The person being adopted may elect to change his or her name through the adoption proceeding or may elect to keep his or her existing name.

A Petition for adult adoption is filed with the Court listing the name, age, date and place of birth of the Petitioners, how long the Petitioners have known each other, why the Petitioners want the adoption to take place and why the adoption is in the public interest.  The Petition must also ask the Court to approve the adoption agreement and to make an adoption Order.

If either Petitioner is married, the name of the spouse (if any), the date of their marriage, and the names and ages of their children. If spouses have signed consents to the adoption, their names and dates they signed the consents must be listed in the Petition and the original signed consents must be attached as well.

An adoption agreement between the person to be adopted and the adoptive parent must also be filed with the Petition. Both Petitioners must sign and date the Agreement. The Agreement must say that they both agree to assume the legal relationship of parent and child and all the duties and responsibilities of that relationship.

An amended birth certificate must be filed with the Clerk of the court on or before the final hearing date.  After the adoption is final, the clerk will mail the VS44 to the State Registrar at the Department of Health Services in Sacramento.  An amended birth certificate will then be issued.

Attorneys or parties in California who wish to view a portion of a sample adult adoption kit for California sold by the author please see below.

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The author of this article, Stan Burman, is a freelance paralegal who has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995.

Subscribe to his weekly newsletter with legal tips and tricks for California.  http://www.legaldocspro.net/newsletter.htm

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