When people think of adoption, they typically picture adoptions involving children. However, under South Carolina law, you can also adopt anyone over the age of 18, as well.
These adoptions are straightforward and usually don’t require any sort of background checks or clearances; you’ll just need the advice of an experienced lawyer to follow through with the necessary legal process.
In addition to our experience in infant and child adoption, the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson can also help you complete an adult adoption in South Carolina. We can explain all the laws you need to know and walk you through every step you need to complete if you’re interested in adopting an adult.
We’ve answered some of the common questions you may have about adult adoption below. To discuss your individual situation, please contact us 864-573-5533.
1. Can you adopt someone over 18 in South Carolina?
Like many states, South Carolina allows any adult over the age of 18 to be adopted by another adult person, as long as the proper consent is given.
2. Who has to consent to an adult adoption?
The person being adopted (or their legal guardian, if they have one) and the spouse of the adult adopting them must consent to the adult adoption in writing filed to a court. The biological or legal parents of the adoptee do not have to give their consent for the adult adoption to be finalized and do not need to be notified of the adoption.
3. Why should I adopt an adult?
Because many people over the age of 18 are self-sufficient and, presumably, don’t need the financial support a legal parent provides, you may wonder why you should legalize your parent-child relationship at all.
Often, adult adoptions are completed by foster parents who want to adopt a former foster child who has aged out of the system, stepparents who want to adopt an older stepchild, LGBT parents who previously could not adopt their spouse’s child and any other parents who have established an informal parent-child relationship with someone who is now an adult.
4. What does the legal process of adopting an adult look like?
Unlike infant or child adoptions, adult adoption is a simple process that only requires legal petitions submitted to the court. Unless a court decides background screenings are necessary, a judge will hear your adoption petition without any other investigations.
Here’s what the adult adoption process will entail:
- File an adoption petition in the family court in the county where the adoptive parents live.
- Obtain written consents from the adoptee and the adopting parent’s spouse, if applicable.
- Finalize the adoption during a court hearing, where the court will determine if the adoption is in the best interests of the persons involved.
5. How can attorney Jim Thompson help with my adult adoption?
When you work with the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson to complete your adult adoption, we will provide the legal counsel you need every step of the way. This involves gathering the documentation needed to file an original adoption petition, obtaining consent from the necessary parties and preparing you for the adoption finalization hearing in court.
We will also be available to advise all parties through the adoption process, and our in-house social workers can provide counseling support, if needed.
Adopting an adult in South Carolina is a straightforward process — and an important one for those who complete it. Even when they’ve grown up, children always need parents, and an adult adoption is an ideal way to solidify a meaningful parent-child relationship you might already have. Adult adoption can provide a great sense of security for an adult adoptee.
At the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson, we’ll make sure your adult adoption is completed efficiently, legally and fairly. To adopt an adult today, please contact us at 864-573-5533.