Can I change my name if I am adopted as an adult?

adoption name changeWhat Are Adult Adoptions?

Adult adoptions enable an adult to enter a legal parent-child relationship with another adult who is a parental figure to them. This relationship confers all of the same rights and responsibilities as a biological parent-child relationship. For example, the child can inherit property from the parent.

An adult adoption also severs all existing parent-child relationships pertaining to the adoptee and their prior parents unless the adopting parent is the step-parent of the adoptee. In that case, the adopting parent’s spouse maintains his or her parent-child relationship with the adoptee.

Most of the time, an adult adoption is pursued to grant inheritance rights to the person being adopted. Of course, there’s also an important social reason – the chance to formalize a family bond that already exists and may have been growing strong for many years.

What Is Required For Adult Adoptions?

The specific steps and paperwork required for an adult adoption vary by jurisdiction.

The parties must submit a petition for approval to the state court usually where the Petitioners reside. The petition for adoption provides specific details, including the ages of the parties, information about their relationship, and why they are seeking adoption.

After the adoption petition has been reviewed and all legal issues addressed to the satisfaction of the court, the court will produce a formal court order granting the adoption.

If the Petitioner is married, then their spouse’s consent is also required. Spousal consent must be obtained in written form. This form simply confirms the marital relationship, the date of marriage, and the spouse’s consent to the adoption.

Bear in mind this is only a general outline of the process. Specific details can change based on state and local laws. Knowing that, it’s important to discuss your needs with an adoption expert.

Can I Change My Name During Adult Adoptions?

The legal rights conferred by adoption are the same whether the adoptee is a child or adult. The adoptee will be able to make a name change during the process; a step referred to as surname change. All adoption records are sealed once the process is complete. However, many courts require public notice for name changes of adults to ensure the name change is not for fraudulent purposes.

Once the name change is complete, all the adoptee’s personal records will reflect the change.

Jennifer Fairfax and Catelyn Slattery are experienced in all aspects of adoption in Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia. They can help you smooth the path to an easy and hassle-free adult adoption. To discuss your needs or get started, contact Jennifer or Catelyn today.

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“I believe in working with each of my clients—in support of their family dynamic—to make the dreams of parenthood a reality. Whether you are single or married; or gay; a step-parent, a surrogate or intended parent or a child of adoption, it is my mission to serve as your advocate. With a dedication to the ethical and sensitive nature of each situation, I will help you understand the laws within Maryland or Washington, DC for adoption or surrogacy, and pledge to be your partner throughout the journey.” - Jennifer Fairfax