Trusts and Estates

Ca. Trs. & Estates Quarterly 2017, Volume 23, Issue 1

LUKE, I AM YOUR ADOPTIVE FATHER: ADULT ADOPTIONS AND INHERITANCE – CONTRACTING WITH YOUR "PARENTS"

By Robert Barton, Esq.* and Mary K. deLeo, Esq.**

I. INTRODUCTION

The adoption of a minor child is a familiar concept. Lesser known is the adult adoption, where an adult adopts another adult as his or her child.1 Most states permit adult adoption, including California.

Adult adoptions may be done to formalize a parent-child relationship, such as in families that have foster parents or stepparents, or to reestablish a parent-child relationship between an adopted child and his or her birth parents. Adult adoptions, however, also alter inheritance and benefit rights. Most jurisdictions, including California, treat minor and adult adoptees identically to natural children for the purposes of inheritance and benefit rights.2

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