Who May Adopt, Be Adopted, or Place a Child for Adoption - Puerto Rico

Date: January 2020

Who May Adopt

Citation: Ann. Laws Tit. 31, §§ 541; 542

The adoptive party shall meet the following requirements as of the filing date the petition for adoption:

  • Be of legal age, except in the case of a married couple or a couple in a domestic partnership adopting jointly, in which case it shall be sufficient for one of them to be of legal age, allowing the other adoptive party to be a minor, but never younger than age 18
  • Have legal capacity to act
  • Be at least 14 years older than the adoptee

In those cases where a spouse or domestic partner wishes to adopt the child of his or her spouse or partner, it shall be sufficient that, as of the filing date the petition for adoption, the adoptive party has been married to or has been the domestic partner of the father or mother of the adoptee for at least 2 years, or that the spouse or domestic partner of the adoptive party is at least 14 years older than the adoptee.

A person declared judicially incompetent may not adopt until competency is restored. A person sentenced to a term of imprisonment may not adopt until sentence is served.

Who May Be Adopted

Citation: Ann. Laws Tit. 31, § 543

Unemancipated minors and minors emancipated by court order or with the consent of the father, mother, or parents with parental rights, may be adopted.

Persons who may not be adopted include the following:

  • Persons who have reached age of majority as of the date a decree of adoption is issued, even if they were minors at the time the petition for adoption was filed
  • Presently or formerly married persons, even if they are minors
  • An ascendant of the adoptee who is related by blood or affinity
  • A guardian by his or her ward
  • A ward by his or her guardian or a guardian by his or her ward, until the date on which general guardianship and final account are approved by a final and binding court order

An unmarried emancipated minor or a person of legal age may be adopted under either of the following circumstances:

  • When the adoptee has lived in the home of the adoptive party prior to reaching age 18 and said situation has not changed as of the filing date of the petition for adoption
  • When the adoptee is an emancipated minor who has never been married

Who May Place a Child for Adoption

Citation: Ann. Laws Tit. 31, § 545

The following persons may consent to the adoptive placement:

  • The father, mother, or parents of the adoptee who, at the time of the adoption, hold parental rights
  • The father or mother who has lost parental rights to the minor as a result of a divorce decree
  • The Department of the Family
  • The child's legal guardian
  • The parents who are minors, but older than age 18 and who are married to each other as of the filing date of the adoption petition
  • The child's birth grandparents when the birth parents are unemancipated minors