Adult Adoption Attorney in San Antonio, Texas
Many people think that adoption is only for children. While it is true that the vast majority of adoptions involve individuals under the age of 18, the state of Texas also recognizes an “adult adoption.”
Any adoption – whether you are adopting a minor or an adult – is an exciting time for the entire family that brings joy and warmth to your life. However, legal nuances can get in the way of the adoption process, making it more challenging and time-consuming than it has to be.
It is vital to seek guidance from an adult adoption attorney to ensure that the adoption process goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible. James P Peterson assists families in San Antonio, Texas, and surrounding areas with all types of adoption, including but not limited to international, private, stepparent, and adult adoptions.
Understanding Adult Adoption
As the name suggests, adult adoption refers to establishing a legal parent relationship between an adoptive parent(s) and an adult. Under Texas law, you can adopt a person over the age of 18 when certain requirements are met. Once the court grants the petition for an adult adoption, the adopted adult will get a new birth certificate that includes the names of the adoptive parents. In the eyes of the law, once an adult adoption is complete, the adopted adult is seen as the child of the adoptive parents.
The requirements for adult adoption in Texas include:
the petitioner filing an adoption case must live in Texas; and
the adult whom the petitioner wants to adopt must consent to the adoption.
If these two requirements are met, the petitioner can start an adoption case by submitting an Original Petition for Adoption of an Adult to the district court in the county where the petitioner resides. The adult whom the petitioner wants to adopt must consent to the adoption in writing. Unlike in adoption cases involving minors, the adopted adult’s biological parents do not need to be given notice of the ongoing adoption process.
Three Reasons for Adult Adoption
There are three most common reasons why an adult may want to adopt another adult:
Inheritance. An adult adoption formalizes a legally recognized parent-child relationship, which gives the adopted individual the right to inheritance. In the eyes of the law, an adopted child possesses the same inheritance rights as the adoptive parent’s biological children.
Formalize a parent-child relationship. Through an adoption, a person can formalize an existing parent-child relationship, even if the child is over the age of 18. This is a common reason for adult adoption when the adoptive parent is a stepparent or a foster parent.
Access to family insurance. Adopting an adult can help the latter gain access to family insurance of the adoptive parents, which is especially important if the adopted individual has special needs.
When an adult is incapacitated, another adult can seek guardianship as an alternative to adult adoption. The biggest difference between adult adoption and guardianship is that the latter is a temporary legal arrangement, while the former is permanent.
Adult Adoption FAQ
Many people do not understand what to expect when starting an adult adoption case. The section below is meant to address some of the most frequently asked questions about adult adoptions:
Will you have to go to court?
Yes, the petitioner and the adult will typically attend an adoption hearing before the petition for an adult adoption is granted. However, if such attendance is not possible for a good reason, it may be possible to ask the court to make an exception in your case.
What is decided during an adoption hearing?
When an adult adoption is requested, the court will schedule a hearing to establish a legal parent-child relationship between the petitioner(s) and the adopted adult, create the adopted adult’s right to inherit from the petitioner(s), and change the adopted adult’s name if such a request has been made.
Do I need an attorney for my adult adoption case?
An adult adoption can be a complex matter that involves a series of legal steps and specific requirements that must be met. An attorney can help you navigate the adult adoption process, handle the legal paperwork, and ensure that your ultimate goal is accomplished.
Adult Adoption Attorney Serving San Antonio, Texas
James P Peterson has practiced family law since 1986. With nearly 40 years of legal experience, Mr. Peterson has successfully helped families in San Antonio, New Braunfels, and Boerne navigate the adoption process. Get in touch today to schedule a free strategy session with James P Peterson and discuss your adult adoption case.