This research by Whydo is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission when you purchase through our links. Learn more


Can You Adopt An Adult?

Find a Qualified Adoption Lawyer Near You! 

So, can you adopt an adult? Adult adoption is quite common in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. 

You can legally adopt an adult even as a foster parent. However, the process remains the same to legally adopt an adult, just like children. In the scenario of adult adoption, the consent of the adoptee also plays a significant role. There are many common reasons to adopt an adult with your spouse as an adoptive parent. Those reasons may hover between a more personal one or a legal one. 

In addition, laws on adopting an adult vary from state to state and even from country to country. For instance, within the United States, certain restrictions and specific parameters decide how to forge relationships with adults. Simultaneously, laws for adult adoption are distinct in Canada and the United Kingdom. We will give you an overview of everything. Continue reading! 

Now coming to the point, there are various legal standpoints, or perhaps you have some personal interests in life. Let us help you navigate the whole process and give you some valid and resonating reasoning for why adult adoption is rising in most nations. Put on your reading glasses and scroll on! By the end of this article, you will have your answer to – “can you adopt an adult?”

But first…

Why Do People Adopt Adults?

Why Do People Adopt Adults?
Why Do People Adopt Adults?

People adopt adults to quench their legal standpoint, or perhaps most of them adopt adults for personal internet. By personal interest, we mean the adoptive parent wants to create inheritance rights. Or perhaps it could be to secure the medical front. 

Unknown to many, foster children under foster care can also claim the adult for adoption with their consent. Consequently, after being in the system for years, biological or custodial parents can follow the easy procedure in the courtroom for adoption. If you are biological parents, the consent will make or break the final decision. 

Look at the other websites on the same topic. You will find many former foster children have forged the relationship and are now legally turned into an adult. Well, the real icing on the cake is the perks of the adopted adults. 

On the other hand, the most common reason is to form an emotional bond and quench your loneliness, and form an emotional bond. Also, the age difference between couples in old age is of serious concern. And that’s where adopting an adult comes to your rescue. 

Most importantly, people in various states or nations adopt an adult to provide perpetual care. In most cases, the adoptive parents possess diminished capacity or disability. So if you want someone to be part of your family, learn about the process of adopting an adult in your state. 

Can You Legally Adopt an Adult?

Yes, there is no other procedure than the legal one to adopt an adult. As the name suggests, adoption is a legal procedure, and many states within the United States have distinct adoption processes. The same applies to other countries like Canada, the United Kingdom, and within their states. You can expect a difference in legal adoption policies. 

Roadblocks to Adult Adoption – Generic Overview

Whether it’s in Canada or the UK, or the United States, most states have laws that signify the easy adoption of an adult. But, the consent of both parties is very important. But suppose you ask us specifically about the United States. In that case, some states restrict adult adoptions on various factors, from disability status to foster or stepparent relationships.

Some states within the United States have imposed restrictions on disability, residency, or having a stepparent. Unknown to many, adoption restrictions in West Virginia and Wisconsin demand adoptive parents should belong to the same state’s residence. Although, that doesn’t mean you can’t adopt an adult in the United States. 

A few territories within the United States like Georgia, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and even North Carolina, allow the adoption of any person irrespective of age. Plus, people in existing legal relationships might face trouble adopting an adult irrespective of the location. 

Can You Adopt an Adult in Canada?

Can You Adopt an Adult in Canada?
Can You Adopt an Adult in Canada?

Yes, but you need to practice the act under Canadian law, which states only married couples can adopt an adult in Canada. If you are in that shoes, feel free to file a petition to the court. In addition, you must know the age limit for adult adoptions in Canada is at least 18 years. However, several other factors decide the final result. 

There are many instances when the discriminatory law prohibits the adult adoption process, mostly when the adult adoption concerns foster children. It all depends on the judge in the court once he/she goes knee down into consideration factors. In addition, you are liable to have your hands on adult adoption only when the adoptee is older by a reasonable number of years. 

Can You Adopt an Adult in California?

Can You Adopt an Adult in California?
Can You Adopt an Adult in California?

Yes, but the adult shouldn’t be your spouse. Secondly, the minimum age limit is 18 years for legal adult adoption in California. Consequently, the adoptee must be attested 10-12 years younger than the adopting parent. Here also, the consent of both the parties will make or decide the adoption process. Furthermore, if the adoptee adult is married, he/she should obtain legal permission from their spouse to adopt an adult. 

Unknown to many, adult adoptions in California are on the rise. However, still, you can’t adopt two adults in the one calendar span. However, with few exceptions, the same is possible also under these umbrellas, including permanently disabled adults and biological siblings. 

Can You Adopt an Adult in Florida?

Can You Adopt an Adult in Florida?
Can You Adopt an Adult in Florida?

A big yes for Florida too! The adult must be above 18 years of age. In fact, if you can prove in the hearing your parent-child relationship with the adult you want to adopt, there is an easy process for the same. Yes, mutual consent of both parties is still required. 

Perhaps you want to establish inheritance rights with the adoptee. May you have a certain kind of medical disability. You can count the adult adoption process as a blessing for you if you want someone to take care of you! 

Can You Adopt an Adult in the UK?

Can You Adopt an Adult in the UK?
Can You Adopt an Adult in the UK?

Yes, the UK is one of the countries where adult adoption has been on the rise for the last two decades. All it takes is for the child to be above 18 years of age, and the adoptive parent must be above 21 years. But as a step-parent, you cannot adopt an adult (step child) to be your extended family member from your divorced spouse. At the same time, a lot will hover on the age differences of the adoptee. 

Most importantly, the adult must not be in a civil partnership with anyone and must be unmarried. Unknown to many, you don’t need to be a British citizen to adopt an adult. However, you must have a permanent residence in the UK, including the Island of Man and the Channel Islands. 

Furthermore, if you want to indulge in the adoption process in the UK, ensure you are a resident of the UK for at least 1-2 years from the adoption date. 

What Is the Oldest Age at Which You Can Adopt a Person?

There is no upper age limit to adopt an adult, but the adoptive parent must have a 10-12 years gap with the adoptee adult. Even adults about 18 years of age can enjoy adult adoption in the UK, the United States, and its territories along with Canada. 

Final Words

That’s it, fellow readers! We bet you have got all your answers regarding, “can you adopt an adult?”. If you still think we have missed something which should be included, let us know in the comments. Meanwhile, keep in mind that the adult adoption process requires a birth certificate too of the adoptee. 

Additionally, adoption laws in each country or within the United States regions may hover. And hence, we advise you to do the research upfront about the laws in your locality. Find out if your concerned living state warrants a specific age difference between the adoptee adult and adoptive parent. 

Not all states within Canada, the United States, UK legalize the step parent and child relationship in case of adult adoption. Most territories don’t consider adult adoption legal under same-sex marriage legal. 

Written by:
Editor-in-Chief and lead author at WhyDo