ADA
adult adoption

This section tells you about:

  1. What is adult adoption?
  2. How do I adopt an adult?
  3. How do I schedule the hearing in Adoption Court?
  4. Is the hearing confidential?
  5. How do I get ready for the hearing?
  6. What do I do after the hearing?
  7. How do we ask for an amended Birth Certificate (VS44)?
  8. Other adoption information at this site
  1. What is adult adoption?

    An adult adoption is when someone adopts a person who is over 18 and not related to them. The person adopting must be at least 10 years older than the adult they are adopting.

  2. How do I adopt an adult?

    You must file these documents with the Court:
    Type them on pleading paper. You can get pleading paper at bookstores or stationery stores. There are no Judicial Council forms for adult adoption.

    Petition

    The Petitioners (this means the adoptive parent and the adoptee) must file a Petition. This is the document that asks the Court to make an Order approving the adoption. It must say:

    • The name, age, date and place of birth of the Petitioners
    • How long the Petitioners have known each other
    • Why the Petitioners want the adoption to take place
    • If either Petitioner is married, the name of the spouse (if any), the date of their marriage, and the names and ages of their children. If spouses have signed consents to the adoption, list their names and dates they signed the consents. Attach the consents to the Petition.
    • The date your adoption agreement was signed. (Attach a copy of the adoption agreement.)
    • Whether the adoption is in the public interest
    *Special note: An adult adoption changes the legal rights of the adoptive parent and adoptee. Adult adoptions are very complicated. Your petition must contain specific words. Talk to a lawyer first. You can find a lawyer from the membership list of the Silicon Valley Bar Association’s website . You can also get a referral to a lawyer from the Santa Clara County Bar Association . Their phone number is 408-971-6822 .

    Adoption Agreement

    This is the agreement between the person to be adopted and the adoptive parent. Both must sign and date the Agreement. The Agreement must say you both agree to assume the legal relationship of parent and child and all the duties and responsibilities of that relationship.

    You must also agree to file a petition in the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara. Your Petition must ask the Court to approve your Agreement and to make an adoption Order. You do not have to notarize the Agreement.

    Order of Adoption

    To finalize the adoption, you must ask for a Court hearing. If the Judge approves your adoption agreement, s/he will sign an Order of Adoption.

    The Order must contain all the information that is in the Petition and Agreement. Preparing an Order is complicated. Ask a lawyer to help you.

    Both petitioners must go to the hearing. The biological parents do not need to consent to the adoption. But, if either Petitioner is married, you must have their spouse’s consent.

  3. How do I schedule the hearing in Adoption Court?

    File your papers in the Probate Department of the Superior Court, in Downtown Superior Court (DTS). See the Downtown Superior Court web page, for location, phone number and business hours.

    There is no fee for an adult adoption.

    When you file your papers, ask the Probate Clerk for a hearing date. Or, call the Probate Department. (See the court phone list and look for "Probate Filings".)

    Hearings are on Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m.

  4. Is the hearing confidential?

    Yes. All adoption proceedings are heard privately in the Judge's chambers. Friends, family, and cameras are always welcome.

  5. How do I get ready for the hearing?

    Bring the Order of Adoption and any consents that you did not file previously.

    Both the proposed adoptive parent and adoptee must be at the hearing.

  6. What do I do after the hearing?

    After your hearing, file your papers with the Probate Department Clerk. You can get certified copies of the Order of Adoption for free. Just ask the clerk.

  7. How do we ask for an amended Birth Certificate (VS44)?

    You must file an amended birth certificate form (VS44) with the Court on or before the final hearing date. You can get this form from the agency you are working with or from the Probate Department of the Superior Court (at DTS).

    After the adoption is final, the probate clerk will mail the VS44 to the State Registrar at the Department of Health Services in Sacramento. You will get an amended birth certificate in about 8 months.

    For more information on amended birth certificates (including fees) read the Name Change page on this web site.

  8. Other adoption information at this site:

© 2014 Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara