The State of Arizona, Probate Court, allows an adult to adopt another adult under in three circumstances.

  • The adult to be adopted must be at least 18 years of age, but not more than 21 years of age and this adult must consent to the adoption.
  • The adult to be adopted, no matter the age, must be a step-child, niece, nephew, cousin or grandchild of the adopting person.
  • An adult may be adopted by a foster parent, so long as that adult was placed with that foster parent as a juvenile and the foster parent has maintained a continuous family relationship with the person for five or more years.

The adult adoption can be used in a situation where a same-sex marriage partner, who was not able to be a legal parent of the couple’s child under previous law, can now adopt the now adult child.

The agreement by both adults for the adoption must be in writing. If the adopting adult is married, the spouse can also adopt the adoptee adult. However, if the adopting adult is married and the spouse is not adopting, then that spouse must consent to the adoption. Similarly, if the adult to be adopted has a spouse, then that spouse must also give consent to the adoption.

The consent of the legal parents of the adult to be adopted is not needed for the adoption to be approved by the court. There is a requirement that interested persons be given notice of the adoption. For example, if the adult to be adopted has a child with another person who is not his/her spouse, then notice of the adoption may need to be provided to that child’s parent.

A petition for an adult adoption, with all the supporting information and documentation, must be filed with the probate court. This must include an explanation as to why the adult adoption is requested and why is it is in the best interest of all concerned. Once filed, the court appoints an court investigator to confirm that this adoption is in everyone’s best interest. On the date of the court hearing, both the adoptive parent(s) and the adoptive adult will attend the hearing and confirm their consent to the adoption. Once the court grants the adoption and enter an adoption decree, a legal relationship between the adults in formed. The adult adoption creates a full, legal parent - child relationship between the parties, which include full inheritance rights. A new birth certificate will be issued and the adult being adopted may legally change their name.

An adult adoption allows the adoptive parent(s) and adoptee the formal recognition they desire. Contact Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, directly by email or by calling 480-860-4321 now for a free initial consultation.

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