When someone says the word “adoption,” what usually comes to mind is a picture of a young child being adopted by loving parents. However, there are many occasions when someone is adopted as an adult and this happens more than you think. In 2015, there were 41 adoptions in Arkansas where the adoptee was 18 years old or older. This is about 3% of all adoptions in 2015.

There are many reasons for Adult Adoption, such as:

STEP-PARENT: You may have been raised by a stepparent, and the stepparent wanted to adopt you, but your biological parent refused to consent. Once you are an adult, the consent of the biological parents is NOT required. For a recent example of this type of adult adoption, read this article in the Daily Mail and watch the video where a girl gives the adoption papers to her step dad as a birth day gift. Get your tissues ready.

FOSTER PARENT: You may have been raised by a foster parent, and your foster parent may not have been allowed to adopt you while you were in foster care. Once you are an adult, the State no longer has any say in who should adopt you.

REVERT TO BIOLOGICAL PARENTS: You may have been adopted, and for whatever reason, the adoption didn’t work out and you want to restore the legal relationship of parent and child with your biological parents. Your biological parents can adopt you as an adult and this will sever all ties with your adoptive parents and recreate the legal relationship with your biological parents.

INHERITANCE RIGHTS: You may need to be adopted so that you can establish inheritance rights. If you were raised by a step or foster parent but were never legally adopted, you are not entitled to inherit anything from them when they die. Of course, the step or foster parent can include you in their will, but if for some reason that will fails, you are not legally entitled to inherit anything through the intestate succession laws. Be careful, however. While it’s true that you will gain inheritance rights if you are adopted by your step or foster parent, you will also lose inheritance rights from your biological parents. The adoption severs all legal connections with your biological parents.

BENEFITS: You may have lived all your life with a step or foster parent, but you were not adopted for whatever reason so you are not legally their child. As a result, a step or foster parent may not be able to add you to their health insurance or transfer their G.I. Bill benefits to you when you become an adult. . Your step or foster parent can adopt you as an adult, and that will make you their child for all legal purposes.

Adult adoption is a little different than child adoption. For example,

1. Consent is not required of either biological parent.

2. The adult to be adopted must consent to the adoption.

3. The spouse of the adult to be adopted must consent.

4. The person seeking to adopt must have their spouse join as a petitioner or consent to the adoption.

5. As a general rule, a home study is not required.

Because of these differences, adopt adoption is usually an uncontested matter and can be done for a flat fee. If you have questions about adult adoption, contact Chuck Buchan today. Email him at or call him at (501) 500-3883.