Adult Adoption

You can adopt an adult.  Why would you want to do that?

Answer; The reasons range from sentimental to practical.

The adoption of a minor child requires the consent of the child’s biological parent(s).  A biological parent may be unwilling to consent to such adoption for a myriad of reasons.  But, when the child turns 18 years old, they may petition the court to be adopted by an adult.  An example of a sentimental reason may be that the child has a close relationship with a stepparent or other adult in their life and desires to solidify that bond through an adoption.

Other situations can be for more practical reasons such as an adult child not being eligible for specific education or health benefits. An excellent example of this is a step-parents VA Disability Benefits, as they apply to Indiana’s college tuition deferment.  A Veteran’s stepchild is not eligible for such a benefit unless the adult child is adopted by the Veteran.  An adoption could amount to saving tens of thousands of dollars in college tuition.

There are many reasons for an adult to adopt another adult and fortunately, in Indiana, it is pretty straightforward.  Unlike other states, there’s no notice or consent requirement for biological parents.  Courts have the authority to grant the adoption petition “with the consent of the individual acknowledged in open court,” (I.C. 31-19-2-1).

Here is the current law;

IC 31-19-2-1 Adoption of adult; petition; venue; consent; investigation

Sec. 1.

(a) An individual who is at least eighteen (18) years of age may be adopted by a resident of Indiana:

(1) upon proper petition to the court having jurisdiction in probate matters in the county of residence of the individual or the petitioner for adoption; and

(2) with the consent of the individual acknowledged in open court.

(b) If the court in which a petition for adoption is filed under this section considers it necessary, the court may order:

(1) the type of investigation that is conducted in an adoption of a child who is less than eighteen (18) years of age; or

(2) any other inquiry that the court considers advisable; before granting the petition for adoption.

As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.11.

Though the process is straightforward, you should consider the services of an attorney to assist you in navigating the legal system.  If you or somebody you know are considering an adult adoption, or want to learn more about the process, contact an attorney at Frangos Legal, LLC to assist you with the process.