Adult adoption is the legal process of adopting a person over the age of majority. States designate the age of majority and other conditions for adult adoptions. There are a number of reasons why families would opt for adult adoption, including formalizing a parent-child relationship, inheritance rights, or perpetual care for someone who has disabilities or cognitive delays. The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-351) allows States to extend guardianship or adoption to age 19, 20, or 21 for young adults who exited foster care, creating another form of permanence for these young people. Find resources in this section related to adult adoption, including State and local examples.
Sample State Legislation to Extend Foster Care, Adoption and Guardianship Protections, Services and Payments to Young Adults Age 18 and Older
American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, Center for Law and Social Policy, Children's Defense Fund, & Juvenile Law Center (2010)
Offers sample legislation as a tool that State policymakers, administrators, and advocates can use as they advocate to extend support to young adults in foster care beyond age 18. Steps that States can take to meet the needs of older children and young adults as they prepare to leave foster care also are highlighted.
Adult Adoption: Creating a Lifelong Family Bond and Legal Connection (PDF - 275 KB)
Florida Youth Shine, Florida's Children First, & Florida Bar Foundation
Provides answers to questions pertaining to adult adoption, including questions on home studies, keeping a name, birth certifications, financial obligations, continued eligibility for Independent Living benefits, and adoption even though the rights of biological parents were not terminated. Steps that need to be taken for the adoption are reviewed, and examples of adult adoptions are described. Includes an appendix with forms and useful information.
Adoption Has No Age Limits: Adult Adoptions (PDF - 769 KB)
Wisconsin Department of Children and Families & Coalition for Children, Youth, and Families (2018)
Outlines the process of adopting an adult in Wisconsin and discusses reasons for adult adoptions highlighted through case examples and includes additional resources.
Ohio Law Permits Adult Adoptions
Ohio State Bar Association
Provides information on, in a question-and-answer format, the Ohio law permitting adult adoption, Ohio House Bill 411 that amended the Ohio adoption law to allow an adult to be adopted if the adult is the child of the spouse of the adoption petitioner and the adult consents to the adoption, and Ohio House Bill 92 that allows an adult child to be adopted by the spouse of his or her parent. Procedures for adult adoption also are described.