In Arizona, any adult may adopt another consenting adult who is between the ages of 18-21 or an adult of any age who is a stepchild, niece, nephew, cousin, or grandchild of the adopting person. The adult adoptee’s legal parents(s) do not need to be notified of the adult adoption.
Adult adoptions are handled in the Probate Division of the Superior Court.
Common Reasons for Adult Adoption Include:
- A foster parent may wish to adopt an adult who was placed in their care when the adult was a juvenile if the foster parent has maintained a continuous familial relationship with that person for five or more years.
- A stepchild may wish to be adopted as an adult by his or her stepparent.
- A same-sex marriage partner who was not able to be a legal parent of the couple’s child may wish to adopt an adult child who is now recognized as their stepchild.
- An adoptee may locate his or her birth parents and later mutually agree to adoption.
Benefits of Adult Adoption
- Full, legal relationship of parent and child between two people
- Full inheritance rights
- Security of knowing their family member will be protected by social security, if necessary
- Legal rights and privileges to visit one another in the hospital, receive medical information, and much more
Adult Adoption Process
Adult adoptions in Arizona do not require parental consent, termination of parental rights, or an extensive home study process, making the adult adoption process shorter and less complex than other forms of adoption. We can work with you through every step of the process to complete your adult adoption efficiently and in accordance with Arizona adult adoption law.
One of the most important legal steps in the adult adoption process is the adoption agreement, which must contain certain information, be in writing, and be signed by the adopting adult and the adoptee. This agreement will be filed with a petition for adoption, along with other supporting information and documents. Upon filing the petition for adoption, a hearing date will be set. The adoptive parent(s) and the adoptee will attend the hearing and confirm their consent to the adoption. The court will grant the adoption and enter an adoption decree, officially establishing a legal relationship between the adults. A new birth certificate will be issued and the adult being adopted may legally change his or her name.
In some cases, additional steps may be necessary throughout the adoption process. For example, if the adopting adult has a spouse who is not joining in the adoption petition, that spouse must legally consent to the adoption. Similarly, if the person being adopted has a spouse, that spouse must also consent to the adoption.