Understanding the nuances of adoption law can be challenging. But when it comes to the question, “Can you adopt an 18 year old in Georgia?” the answer is a resounding yes! Fun fact: the technical name for this type of proceeding is “adult adoption.”
Let’s take a closer look at how this process works.
Adult Adoption Process in Georgia
Georgia law allows for adult adoption, which refers to the adoption of individuals who are 18 years or older. This process provides a legal way to formalize an existing parent-child relationship and offers the same legal rights as any other parent-child relationship. It can be used in various situations, such as step-parent adoptions, relative adoptions, or to provide inheritance rights.
Requirements for Adopting an Adult in Georgia
The requirements for adopting an adult in Georgia are straightforward. The person being adopted must consent to the adoption. The case will be brought where either adopting parent or where the person to be adopted resides, in that county’s Superior Court. The person’s name can be changed, and either one or two adoptive parents can adopt an adult. If only one person is adopting an adult, you’ll need to specify which of their parent’s rights you’ll be replacing (mother or father).
The court will then have a hearing, make sure everything checks out, and if the court approves of the adoption, the judge will sign off on it.
How Much Does it Cost to Adopt Someone Over 18 in Georgia?
The cost of adult adoption in Georgia can vary depending on various factors. However, generally, it ranges from $1,500 to $5,000. This includes court costs, attorney fees, and other related expenses.
What makes adult adoptions much less expensive than minor child adoptions is a lack of home studies, needing consent to terminate a parent’s rights, and the more rigorous court requirements involved.
For adult adoptions, the main parts where you will see costs are in court filing fees, paperwork drafting, and presentation of your case before the judge – recommended to be done by an attorney specializing in adult adoptions.
How to File Adoption Papers Myself in Georgia
If you’re considering filing adoption papers to adopt another adult yourself in Georgia, you’ll first need to obtain the necessary forms from your county’s Superior Court. These forms typically include a Petition for Adoption and a Consent to Adoption form. Once completed, these forms are filed with the court and a hearing date will be set. At the hearing, the judge will review the case and if everything is in order, they will issue an Order of Adoption.
Can You Adopt a 17 Year Old at 18?
Typically, no – you cannot, as an 18 year old, adopt a 17 year old.
However, there is a possible scenario in Georgia where this might potentially happen.
Here’s how: you’d need to overcome the minimum age of 21 to be able to adopt at 18. And to do that, you’ll have to be married and living with your spouse. Your spouse must also consent to the adoption.
Then, you’ll need to overcome the requirement that you must be at least 10 years older than the child you are seeking to adopt. The only way to do that is to be a stepparent of the child – or for you or your spouse to be a qualifying relative, related by blood or marriage in the following capacities only: grandparent, great grandparent, aunt, uncle, great aunt, great uncle, or sibling.
Given this very rare scenario, you are not likely to see an 18 year old adopting a 17 year old in Georgia – but it is theoretically possible.
Second Parent Adoption Georgia
It’s crucial to note that Georgia does not have a second parent adoption provision. Instead, it offers stepparent adoption or equitable caregiver status for parents seeking to adopt or have custody of their spouse or partner’s child. While the option of obtaining equitable caregiver status can provide some parental rights, it is not the same as adoption and do not offer all the legal protections of an adoption.
Adoption laws in Georgia are designed to protect the best interests of the child or adult being adopted. Whether you’re considering relative adoption, adult adoption, or filing adoption papers yourself, understanding these laws can help ensure a smoother process and a successful adoption.