An adult adoption, which is allowed in both the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia (in certain circumstances), occurs when one adult adopts another.
MARYLAND - An adult adoption proceeds under the same rules and statutes as an independent/private adoption. Thus, the adult adoptee’s legal parents must be notified of the adoption and given an opportunity to object and show cause why their adult child should not be adopted by another adult. If they consent or fail to object, the adoption will proceed uncontested. If they object to the adoption, a hearing is held and the outcome is specific to each case.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - In the District of Columbia, notice to the adult adoptee's legal parents is not required and an investigation is not performed. The outcome is specific to the facts of the case and the court must be satisfied that the adoption is not being performed for any illegal or fraudulent purpose.
VIRGINIA - In Virginia, there are certain requirements such as the adult adoptee must be a step-child, related to the adopter, resided with the adult adopter for three months before turning 18 or there must be fifteen (15) years between the adoptee and adopter and they must have known each other at least one year and show "good cause" for the adoption to be granted. Parental notice or consent is not required.
For all adult adoptions, the adult adoptee's original birth certificate must be provided to the court. A new birth certificate will be created with the adoptive parents names. When an adult is adopted, their legal relationship with their parents and with any biological or legal relatives is severed and a new legal relationship is formed with the adoptive parents and the adoptive parents biological and legal relatives.
This adoption process includes an in person consultation with an attorney, preparation of a Petition for Adoption and any accompanying legal documents based on the facts of your case and attendance at at least one hearing in Maryland and the District of Columbia.