Adult adoption is not only legal, but is becoming a more popular way for people to ensure their estate is inherited by the ones who matter most in their lives.
In Florida, the state law makes no distinction between child and adult adoption. According to the statute, § 63.042(1), “any person, a minor or adult, may be adopted.”
Adult Adoption in Florida requires the consent of the adoptive parent and the adopted person. Additionally, the state requires the consent of the adopted person’s husband or wife if they are married. The court may waive the requirement for spousal consent if the spouse is not available or unreasonably withholds consent.
Further information regarding consent can be found in Fla. Stat. § 63.064.
If the adoptee’s legal parents are still alive, the adoptee will have to provide notice of the final hearing to these people. The legal guardians are not required to consent to the adoption in order for the process to be successful. Once the adoption is final, it will terminate any existing rights, prior to the adoption, between the two parties. This means the adoptee will no longer be entitled to any inheritance, or other benefits, from his or her previous legal parents. But the adoptee’s prior legal parents can create a new will or documents that name their prior child as a beneficiary.
One benefit of adult adoption is you are not required to change your name. When a person files for adoption they must file a Petition for Adoption with the court. This form allows the potential adoptee to designate the name he or she wishes to be known by after the adoption is approved.
A common question regarding adult adoption is whether or not a home study is required before the adoption is approved. A home study is performed by the state to determine the suitability of the intended adoptive parents. According to Fla. Stat. § 63.092(3), a home study is not usually required for adult adoption. This means the adult adoption process is usually an easier process because the parent no longer has to be approved by the state. However, a court can order a home study when a good cause is shown.
Once the adoption is approved, the adult adoptee can receive all of the same benefits of a child adoptee. This includes being allowed to inherit property from the adoptive parents the same as other children.
To determine if an adult adoption will offer benefits in your situation, you should consult with an attorney familiar with the issues related to adult adoptions and estate planning.