Adult Adoptions in Florida: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
According to the Adoption Network, nearly 135,000 children are adopted in the United States every year. While adoption usually involves children, adults can also be adopted in Florida. There are many myths and misconceptions about adult adoptions. Here, our Tampa adoption attorneys answer some of the most common questions.
Adult Adoptions: Five Common Questions
Why Do People Choose Adult Adoption?
To start, adult adoption can formalize an already existing relationship—thereby strengthening emotional bonds. As an example, a family may want to turn a stepparent-stepchild relationship into a legally recognized parent-child relationship. While that is not important to everyone, it is a good reason to consider adult adoption.
There are also some purely practical reasons. Indeed, the most common reason why people pursue adult adoption is to establish valid inheritance rights. A parent-child relationship, even if created through an adult adoption, is recognized under Florida’s inheritance laws. If you have questions about adult adoption and inheritance, a Tampa estate planning lawyer can help.
Finally, adoption may make sense if the adult child has a significant disability or otherwise diminished capacities. Establishing a legally valid parent-child relationship can make it easier for the family to provide reliable care.
Do All Parties Have to Consent to the Adoption?
Yes—both the adult child and the adoptive parent must consent to the adoption. The only exception is for adults who have disabilities. In that case, legal consent may not be possible. A court can determine if adult adoption is appropriate when the adult is unable to consent.
What Duties Do Adult Adoption Put on Parents?
Not many. Essentially, adult adoption creates similar duties/rights as would have existed if the adoption occurred when the adoptee was still a child—meaning parents are generally not required to provide care for their adult children. Similar to a biological child, once they become legal adults, they are generally no longer the responsibility of the parents.
Do Adult Adoptions Require a Home Study?
No. At least not in most cases. A home study would not make sense for most adult adoption, as the parent and child may not be living in the same place. That being said, a Florida court can order a homestudy if there is ‘good cause’ to do so. Generally, this will only be required if the adult being adopted is disabled.
How Do I Start the Adult Adoption Process in Florida?
It is recommended that you call an experienced attorney for help. The adoption process is complicated—even for adult adoptions. The adopting adult (parent) must complete and submit the Petition for Adult Adoption. The adoptee (adult child) must complete the Consent of Adult Adoptee form. Florida courts do not simply put a ‘rubber stamp’ on adult adoptions, so it is important to ensure that all paperwork is in order.
Call Our Tampa, FL Adult Adoption Lawyers for Help
At Bubley & Bubley, P.A., our Florida adoption attorneys are diligent, results-focused advocates for clients. We can help you and your family navigate the adult adoption process. To set up a completely confidential initial consultation, please contact our legal team today. We handle adult adoptions throughout Hillsborough County, including in Tampa, Plant City, Valrico, Carrollwood, and Citrus Park.