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Georgia Adult Adoption Attorney

Adoptions don’t always involve children under the age of 18. In fact, every year in Georgia, there are hundreds of adults who are legally adopted by a loved one. For both financial and symbolic reasons, there are unique circumstances that might make adult adoption the right option for your family. To discuss your legal options for adult adoption, consult the family law attorneys at Fennell, Briasco & Associates™ for a FREE legal consultation. Contact us today at (770) 956-4030.

A Family Law Attorney You Can Trust

The attorneys at Fennell, Briasco & Associates™ have handled complex family law issues for many years. We understand the serious nature of any adoption petition—as every family has unique considerations about their emotional, professional, and financial wellbeing. Our team of adoption lawyers have helped hundreds of Georgia families successfully navigate the adoption system. We are ready to help you, too. Our attorneys take the time to listen to your story and develop a customized legal strategy to help meet your adoption goals. Call us today to see why we are one of the most trusted family law attorneys in North Metro Atlanta.

We proudly serve the following communities:

Cobb County

Marietta
Acworth
Kennesaw
Smyrna

Cherokee County

Woodstock
Canton
Holly Springs

Fulton County

Alpharetta
Roswell
Milton
Johns Creek

Bartow County

Cartersville

Paulding County and Pickens County

What is adult adoption?

Adult adoption is just what it sounds like—the adoption of one adult by another adult. The adult adoption process is governed by O.C.G.A. § 19-8-21. This statute provides that “adult individuals may be adopted on giving written consent to the adoption.” In other words, the adopted adult must voluntarily consent to being adopted by another. To formalize an adult adoption, the county superior court must preside over the proceedings and formalize the adoption by the new parent(s). The adoptee may choose to replace one or both of their biological parents with the petition for adoption—and the petition must clearly state how and to whom parental rights will be bestowed. If there are no compelling reasons against granting the adoption, the superior court will issue a decree of adoption.

What is the effect of an adult adoption?

According to the statute above, once the adoption decree is issued, “the relation between each petitioner and the adopted adult shall be, as to their legal rights and liabilities, the same as the relation of a parent and adult child.” In other words, the adopted adult now has a new parent-child relationship with the adoptive parent. This will affect inheritance rights, meaning that the adopted adult may inherit property from the new adoptive parents, while (in most cases) the adopted adult will become ineligible from inheriting property from their biological parents.
adult adoption ga daughter

Why seek an adult adoption?

There are a number of social, economic, and personal reasons that an adult may seek adoption by a family member or loved one. Some common reasons for adult adoption might include:

  • Inheritance: From an estate planning perspective, it might make sense for some individuals to adopt adults who they wish to inherit a large portion of their estate. For example, if a trusted aunt or uncle wishes to leave their entire estate to a niece or nephew, an adoption of the adult beneficiary (i.e., the niece or nephew) may make the inheritance even faster and efficient. By establishing a parent-child relationship, the legal relationship between those two parties is formalized.

  • Formalizing a Parent-Child Relationship: There are thousands of Georgia children who are raised by non-biological parents (like grandparents, stepparents, foster parents, or other close family members). Once the child reaches the age of majority, the now-adult may choose to formalize their ongoing relationship with the caregiver. This gesture is more than symbolic; it results in meaningful financial and familial benefits between the parent and child. For example, with a legal parent-child relationship, each party can more easily access medical records of the other and/or become eligible for certain benefits like Social Security.

  • Name Change: Georgia law authorizes the name change of any adult who is formally adopted by the adult adoption process. For assistance with adult adoption procedures, contact the team at Fennell, Briasco & Associates™ at (770) 956-4030.

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