Adoption is largely considered one of the most joyous aspects of family law. Making a family whole can be a complex process, but one with a happy ending. It is not uncommon, however, for the individual in need of a loving family to be an adult.
When the prospective adoptee reaches the age of 18, he or she can be adopted in Louisiana as an adult. While the process is generally similar, the termination of parental rights would not be required in this situation. Consent would only be required from the person wishing to be adopted and the person wishing to adopt. There are numerous reasons why an adult adoption might be sought, including:
- Reunited with a birth family: After locating his or her birth family, the adult adoptee may choose to reunite as a member of the family.
- Adult-aged foster child: It is not uncommon for a foster child not to be legally eligible for adoption until he or she reaches adulthood.
- Legal inheritance: Some individuals choose to pursue adult adoption as a means to create legal inheritance rights within their relationship.
- Stepparent adoption: Adult children of re-marriage might become fond of the stepparent and choose to pursue adult adoption to legally become a member of the new family unit.
While the two might be confused, it is important to remember that adult adoption and guardianship are not the same legal process. Establishing legal guardianship is a process that is followed when the intention is to care for an individual who cannot care for himself or herself.
While much of the process can be completed independently, it is wise to seek the guidance of an experienced legal professional to ensure all steps are completed correctly and on time.