Why Adopt an Adult Stepchild?
If you have “adult” stepchildren (i.e., age 18 or older), why should you consider adopting them if they’re “out of the house”?
For starters, the adoption will not only let your stepchildren know that you care about them, but it will also simplify your estate planning.
It is estimated that over 50% of America’s marriages end in divorce. For that reason, wills, trusts and other tools of estate planning are often complicated by the issues of “his” and “hers,” “yours” and “mine.”
By adopting your adult stepchildren, the process is simplified considerably. They are no longer only his or her children, they are your children.
Adult adoptions are straightforward. No consent is needed from the other parent, and the children do not have to give up their relationship with the other parent. There is no need for the child being adopted to change his or her surname, and no need for a new birth certificate. However, consents to the adoption will be required from the stepchildren you wish to adopt.
A petition to adopt will be filed at the local courthouse in the county where you reside, together with a consent form from the child or children to be adopted.
Can the kids still inherit from their natural parent?
Yes. An adult adoption will not interfere with a child’s right to inherit property upon the death of the natural parent, and again, there is no reason why a child needs to give up her relationship with her natural parent. In fact, the adoption file can be “sealed” upon a request to the court, out of public view. No notices or publications are necessary.
What’s the cost?
There is a filing fee of $200.00, paid at the time of filing the Petition for Adoption. In general, our firm may be able to complete the entire adoption process for approximately $1,000.00.