Adult adoptions are adoptions of anyone who is over the age of 18. Adult adoptions are permitted by North Carolina law. Most of these adoptions are completed to secure inheritance rights, although there may be other factors at play. In adult adoptions, consent of the birth/legal parents is not required although certain members of the families will have to be notified. An adult adoption will have the same effect as any other adoption in North Carolina – the rights of the prior legal parents are terminated, and a new legal bond is formed between the adoptee and his/her adoptive parent(s).


Can I adopt my life partner?

You can do it under the law but it may not be a good idea. Prior to marriage equality, some couples performed an adult adoption in order to ensure inheritance rights between them. Now that same-sex marriage is legal in all fifty states, there are better options to make sure you and your loved one are protected, even if you don’t marry. Call our attorneys to talk through your family’s particular situation.

Can I be adopted even if my birth mother/father doesn’t consent?

In an adult adoption, the consent of the original parent(s) is not required. However, the law requires that we give the parents notice of the adoption filing and they are allowed to come to court and object. The presiding Clerk of Court will have to determine that the adoption is not in your best interest before s/he will deny the adoption. Just because your original parent(s) doesn’t consent doesn’t mean you can’t be adopted by your family of choice.

Will the adoption change the name of the adult?

That depends on what the petitioner requests. If the person adopting and the adoptee decide to change the adoptee’s name, they can do that in an adult adoption. Otherwise, the name of the adoptee stays the same.

I am an adult who wants to be adopted by my stepparent (my mom’s spouse or my dad’s spouse) even though I still have a relationship with my other biological parent . Will this terminate that parent’s rights?  

Yes. It will.  The legal ties to your other parent (whether deceased or not) will be severed and you will no longer be legally bound to that person.