Adult Adoption:

A legal declaration of the bond that

has stood the test of time. 

Frequently asked questions

How do we know if adult adoption is the right choice for our family?


First we will need to determine whether the stepparent is eligible to adopt the adult. They will need to be married to a legal parent of the adult child, and be an effective and active particpant in the adult child's life. By working with your Adoptive Parent Coordinator, you will be provided with education and resources to help you know all of your options. We will dicuss all of your expectations and answer your questions to create a customized stepparent adoption plan for your family.




How much does it cost to adopt an Adult in Florida?


After you have decided that adoption is the right choice for you and your stepchild, the next question is often, what is the cost? An Adult adoption will typically be a flat fee between $2,000 and $4,000. This fee does not include required legal expenses such as, court costs, new documents such a birth certifcates and certified judgements.




Who's consent is needed in order to adopt an Adult child?


The adult adoptee must be over 18 and first consent to the adoption. Second, if the adoptee is married, their spouse must give consent. The biological parent who's rights are being terminated does not need to consent but must be informed. However, the need for the biological parent to be informed may be waived in some situations where that person cannot be found or is deceased.




Do you have to adopt to be a stepparent?


No, but you will be a stepparent only. In other words, a person that is married to another person who has a child does not have legal parental rights to that child simply because of the marriage. It is not your child until you complete a step-parent adoption and then you will receive equal parental rights and responsibilities to the child. In the case of the adult child, this enables the stepparent to easily arrange inheritiance and other legal issues.




Will I need to do a home study?


No, a home study is not required in an Adult adoption, as there is no custody change neccessary as the adoptee is over 18.




Can same-sex couples do an Adult adoption?


As of January 2015, when it was legalized that same-sex couples were now able to get married so gay and lesbian couples can adopt the child of their same-sex spouse. Previously, gay and lesbian couples would have to go through a slightly different process called a second parent adoption.




Why should I adopt my adult stepchild?


Under Florida law, a stepparent adoption gives a married person full and equal parental rights and responsibilities over his or her stepchild. The legal effect of the stepparent adoption is granted by a court order called a Final Judgment of Step Parent Adoption. The result of the adoption judgment is that the adopting parent becomes just as much of a parent as his or her spouse. It is as if the child was born to the biological parent and the step parent. The birth certificate is amended to reflect the names of the stepparent and the biological parent. This eases the legal process of estate planning, custody arrangements and medical consents. This becomes especially important as the stepparent ages and thus enables the child to care for the stepparent just as a child would.




How long will an Adult adoption take to complete?


If all the parties are available and the absent biological parent is easily able to serve notice to, it will take 2-4 months to complete. A good faith effort must be made to find the absent biological parent and inform them of the adoption.




Do you have to be a stepparent or relative to adopt an adult?


No, any adult can adopt any consenting person over the age of 18 in Florida when both parties agree.




Why is it helpful to adopt a Person of Diminshed Capacity?


In some cases, an adult with special needs is adopted. Legal adoption helps to ensure the individual receives perpetual care. For example, the family may need to adopt the disabled adult in order for their insurance to cover the cost of care anf to give them rights as th enext of kin.