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How to Adopt an Adult in Texas

When hearing the word “adoption”, child adoption comes to mind by default rather than adult adoption. The latter goes through a much easier process than the former because not a lot of other individuals’ consent are needed for adoption to be successful.

In Texas, a number of reasons why an adoption of an adult takes place. These are the most common reasons among others: 

  1. Adult-adoptee is in need of a custody or guardian
  2. The adopting parent has been treating the child as his or her own until it reached adulthood
  3. The adopting parent wants the adult-adoptee to inherit from him or her
  4. The adopting parent is well-bonded with a stepchild who is an adult

There are a lot of advantages to adopting an adult. However, not many people in Texas are aware of the adult adoption process. 

What the Law Requires

Texas law requires that a petition with the appropriate court must be filed by the adoptive parent. The place where the adoptive parent lives or resides should be the place where the petition should be filed.

If the adoptive parent who files the petition to adopt is married, the spouse must also be a party in the petition for adoption.

The adult-adoptee must provide his or her consent to be adopted by the petitioner and the latter must have a written proof of this. Unlike in child adoption, it is not required to notify the parents or family of the adult-adoptee about the adoption. Only the consent of the adult-adoptee matter. After all the requirements have been met, a court hearing shall be set. The court might waive court attendance if good cause can be shown.

When Adoption Will Not Be Permitted

Adult adoption, like child adoption, can be denied for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons is if the adoption is made to avoid legal obligations or to deliberately defraud creditors.

Also, an adoption shall  not be granted if it is clearly shown that one of parties was coerced to agree to the adoption process.

Texas also strongly prohibits adult adoption for the purpose of obtaining citizenship by an immigrant.

Finalization of the Adoption Process

If all requirements have been met, the court has nothing left to do but to permit the adoption.

A new birth certificate for the adult-adoptee will then be issued by the Department of Health of Texas. In the birth certificate, the adult-adoptee’s surname shall be changed to that of the adoptive parents.

The adult-adoptee, for all intent and purposes, becomes the child of the adoptive parent or parents. The adult-adoptee has now the right to inherit assets from the adoptive parents but as a result, he or she loses all rights to inherit from his or her biological parents.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at

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