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Adult Adoption in Tennessee - Can I Adopt an Adult?

older woman and young adult smiling at camera

When kids enter the foster care system, the possibility of adoption exists. Unfortunately, approximately 20,000 kids between 18 and 21 “age out” of the system every year. In Tennessee, youths age out of the system at 18. The good news is that people can adopt adults in Tennessee, and this has been something that has been happening in this state with greater frequency.

Before adopting an adult, the person’s birth parents do not need to be consulted. The person does not need their permission, but the attorney may notify them that adoption is about to occur. If you are the one being adopted, you must provide your sworn, written consent. Home studies are not required in this instance, and there aren’t any waiting periods.

Along with kids aging out of the foster care system, unconventional families want to make things official with adoption. For example, some adults lived with one biological parent and a stepparent for several years. In this case, the stepparent will need their spouse to consent to the adoption.

The Adult Adoption Process in TN

In Tennessee, you can adopt an adult, whether you are a relative or not, and transfer parental rights and responsibilities to someone at least 18. Adult adoption is such a simple affair the costs involved are relatively low.

The adoption process can begin with hiring an attorney. Then, your family law attorney can file a Petition to Adopt with the court. You will need to wait ten days for the court to schedule a hearing that the person to be adopted, the person adopting, and the consenting parent attend. In most cases, this is the only time you must participate in a hearing. All parties can tell the judge they would like the adoption approved during this hearing.

The day the adoption takes place is always very special to all parties involved. After years of uncertainty, the parent-child relationship is now valid in the eyes of the law when the adoption is final. In addition, the court will order the state to issue the adoptee a new birth certificate that lists the adoptive parents as the adoptee’s parents. You can also request a name change with the Petition to Adopt.

Adopting an adult is relatively simple, but hiring an attorney to help you from the beginning until the end is still a good idea. If you need any help or have further questions, contact us at the law firm of Peterson White.