Can I Adopt an Adult?
When kids enter the foster care system, the possibility of adoption exists. Unfortunately, approximately 20,000 kids between the ages of 18 and 21 “age out” of the system every year. In Tennessee, youths age out of the system at the age of 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 you will be able to adopt an adult, the person’s birth parents do not need to be consulted. The person does not need to get their permission, but the attorney may notify them that an adoption is about to take place. If you are the one being adopted, you must provide your sworn, written consent to the adoption. 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 also 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 his or her spouse to give consent to the adoption.
The Adoption Process
The adoption process can begin with hiring an attorney. Then, your attorney can file a Petition to Adopt with the court. You will need to wait 10 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 that you will need to attend a hearing in this matter. During this hearing, all parties will be able to tell the judge that they would like the adoption to be approved.
In Tennessee, you will be able to adopt an adult whether you are a relative or not. Home studies are not required in this instance, and because adult adoption is such a simple affair, the costs involved are relatively low.
The day that 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 to that, 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 a fairly simple process, but it is still a good idea to hire an attorney to help you from the beginning until the end. If you need any help or have any further questions, contact us at the law firm of Peterson White.