i'm 43. can my stepdad still formally adopt me?
October 17, 2020 2:11 PM   Subscribe

my stepdad has been my dad since i was three. he's the one who raised me. lately i'm thinking a lot about having him adopt me legally, but can we still do that at my age?
posted by megan_magnolia to Human Relations (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I think it will depend on the jurisdiction you live in. If you are willing to share that people may be able to give more accurate answers.

In England and Wales you can only be adopted if you are under 18 and unmarried. I understand the same is true in Scotland.
posted by plonkee at 2:24 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


We adopted one of our children when they were an adult. It was very easy—our child was the only one who had to consent, and the fee was $150. We thought we were doing something unusual but the court clerk said they do them all the time. We are in Michigan.
posted by Orlop at 2:28 PM on October 17 [5 favorites]


You mention your location in another answer, and based on that, this webpage seems to answer some of your questions.
posted by metabaroque at 3:23 PM on October 17


In NJ (US) you can. I know a couple who adopted a woman as an adult in her 40s who had lived with them when she was a teen, for both emotional and legal, inheritance related reasons. It was not difficult or expensive.
posted by mermayd at 3:27 PM on October 17


If, in fact, you are in the state metabaroque mentions, be aware that most court workers are going to have NO idea how to get this done. You will need to involve an attorney who knows what to do. Source: I tried to do the same thing at the request of my stepdaughter.
posted by kuanes at 4:42 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


We went through this process (US, Utah). We had to request a hearing and fill out a bunch of forms, some notarized. CoVID complicated things and it would have been much easier with an attorney, but we managed to do it without.
posted by mmoncur at 7:07 PM on October 17


In the US this is generally legal unless you have a pre-existing sexual relationship, there's fraud, or there some super-shady shenanigans around inheritances.

A step-parent or foster parent formally adopting an adult child later in life, either to honor the relationship or to simplify inheritance, is by far the most common reason it's done and is fine and normal in the US. You will need a lawyer, though.

(FUN FACT, a lot of adult adoptions in US case law are wealthy people adopting their poorer same-sex lover, from back when same-sex relationships were criminalized, to the utter rage of the wealthy person's children who then lost part or all their inheritance to the lover. This is why the law is weirdly concerned with sexual relationships between adult adoptees and their adoptive parents. Like, it's not a thing that happens all that often? But from the case law you'd think that was like 92% of adult adoptions because it's all from like the Gilded Age.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:02 PM on October 17 [15 favorites]




thanks, y'all, you have been so helpful! i'm in virginia, my dad is in nc. i didn't realize i would need an attorney but i guess that makes sense! now i just have to figure out how to ask him!
posted by megan_magnolia at 5:46 AM on October 18 [2 favorites]


megan, I think that's a beautiful and kind gesture and I want to take a moment to encourage you to bestow this gift. He's your dad either way, and maybe it shouldn't matter, but you know? It's still awesome.
posted by effugas at 1:16 PM on October 18 [5 favorites]


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