Adult Adoption in Texas- Why, When and How Does it Affect Inheritance?

There are many reasons why an adoption may be commenced after the potential adoptee turns 18. 


In an adult adoption the biological parent or parents do not have to be contacted or give their consent as they would if the adoption were for a minor child. Therefore a stepparent who had wanted to adopt their stepchild for years but knew that it was impossible to get a biological parent’s consent may be able to successfully adopt their stepchild once that step child is an adult.
Waiting until a child turns 18 will prevent the need to contact an absent biological parent who has an unhealthy lifestyle.  If that parent has disappeared after participating in family violence or abuse of the child or has substance addiction problems, it is advisable to think long and hard before contacting that parent and bringing them back into the picture.  In this case, waiting until the child is 18 may be a good strategy.  
Another common adoption situation is one in which the child and biological parents simply had no relationship for many, many years. In some cases the child may have never met their biological parent and someone has been the functioning parent . 
A stepparent adult adoption is the most common, however, non-stepparent adoptions involve situations in which people are “just like family” and want to make that family relationship official. This can happen at any age.
Once a person is adopted the parent-child relationship between one or more of the biological parents will be terminated. Therefore it is important to really think this through before taking action. Once a person is adopted, he or she will have lost the legal ability be involved in emergency medical decision-making for their biological parent, and vice versa. 

The adult adoptee should be aware that the adoption will prevent him/her from inheriting anything from his/her biological parent as a matter of law.  Some complicated situations involving inheritance and probate can occur, especially if the biological parent was unaware of the adoption at the time of his/her death.  As probate attorneys, we can assist with these issues. 
Adopting an adult does not give them any immigration benefit under US law, and the adoptee cannot petition to bring their biological parent to the U.S. after the adoption is final. 
For an adult adoption to take place, a petition will need to be filed with the district court in the proper county. A name change may be sought as well.
 
If you are interested in  adult adoption, contact an adoption attorney to see if this is the right option for your family. 
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