How Much Does It Cost To Adopt Someone Over 18?

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Adopting an adult over the age of 18 is a legal process in the United States that allows one adult to become the legal parent of another. Although less common than child adoption, adult adoption can carry significant emotional and legal implications. One of the primary considerations for potential adoptive parents is the cost involved. This article explores the various expenses associated with adult adoption in the U.S.

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Unlike adopting a minor, adopting an adult generally involves fewer legal hurdles and complexities, as it does not require the termination of parental rights or involvement of child welfare agencies. The adult adoption process typically includes filing a petition with the court, obtaining consent from the adult being adopted, and a court hearing to finalize the adoption.

State-Specific Laws: Each state has its own set of laws governing adult adoption, which can affect both the process and the costs. For example, some states require background checks and home studies similar to those required in child adoption cases, while others do not.

Typical Costs Involved

Court Fees: These fees can vary significantly depending on the state. Generally, court filing fees for adoption petitions can range from $20 to $300. In some instances, additional fees may be required for background checks or home studies, if applicable.

Attorney Fees: While it is possible to complete an adult adoption without legal assistance, many opt to hire an attorney to navigate the paperwork and ensure that all legal requirements are met. Attorney fees can vary widely based on location, the complexity of the adoption case, and the attorney’s rates. Generally, legal fees for adult adoption can range from $1,000 to $3,000.

Miscellaneous Costs: Other potential costs may include notarization fees, copying and document preparation fees, and costs related to obtaining necessary consent forms or legal documents.

Financial Considerations

It’s important to note that unlike child adoption, there are no federal or state subsidies available for adult adoption. All costs must be borne by the adoptive parent(s).

Benefits of Adult Adoption

The reasons for adult adoption can vary greatly but often include formalizing a parent-child relationship that exists in practice, securing inheritance rights, or recognizing an emotional bond. Legally, adult adoption affords the adopted individual many of the same rights and privileges as a biological child, including inheritance rights absent a will.


The cost of adopting an adult in the United States can vary depending on several factors, including state laws and the complexity of the individual case. Prospective adoptive parents should prepare for legal and court fees and consider enlisting an attorney to facilitate the process. Adult adoption is a significant legal step that offers profound familial and legal benefits, making the costs worthwhile for many.


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