Can You Legally Adopt An Adult in Pennsylvania?

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The short answer is yes. In Pennsylvania one adult can adopt another adult. An adult adoption is the adoption of any individual who is at least 18 years old. Perhaps the more interesting and important question is, “why would someone want to adopt an adult?”

The most common reason for an adult adoption is for inheritance purposes. The second most common reason is to formalize an existing parent/child relationship. (A step parent can adopt their step child before they reach the age of 18.) For those interested in seeking an adoption for either reason you should be aware that after an adult is adopted in Pennsylvania any legal relationship between the adopted adult and their biological parents ceases. The adoptee’s birth certificate will be changed to list the names of the newly adopted parent(s) and will have removed the names of the biological parent(s).

While the consent of a biological parent is not required for the adoption of an adult, in Pennsylvania you cannot just adopt an adult in any situation. The courts in Pennsylvania do have in place some bars to adult adoption. It is important that you discuss your particular situation with a family law attorney experienced in adoption law so that any legal consequences that may arise from an adoption can be discussed and planned for. It may be that inheritance would be better served through an estate plan.

Our experienced family law attorneys can answer those questions pertaining to both the adult adoption process and wills. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to speak to one of our attorneys to discuss your specific family law needs.