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Family Law... Adult Adoption - It's Never Too Late

In essence, adult adoption enables the adult child to choose his or her legal family. The consent of the biological parents is not required.

Angela Walker – October 2019

In Nova Scotia, once an individual is over the age of majority (19), he or she can choose to be adopted by another party if that other party is willing to do so (and is also an adult!). Perhaps surprisingly, the process is relatively straightforward.

Adult adoptions are most common when completed by a step-parent who has been a parental figure in the adult child’s life for some time, by a foster family who was unable to complete an adoption, or by a family member or other adult who has assumed the primary caregiving role of a child but was unable to obtain consents to complete an adoption when the adult child was under the age of majority. However, these are not the only circumstances that bring rise to adult adoption.

In essence, adult adoption enables the adult child to choose his or her legal family. The consent of the biological parents is not required. Instead, only the consent of the adult child and his or her spouse (if married) is necessary to complete the adoption process. The adoptive parents commence the application with the court and from there, the adoption is booked for a court appearance (usually quite quickly).

The scheduled court appearance is quite short – 5-10 minutes. Once the adoption is approved and ordered by the Judge, the adoption order will be sent to Vital Statistics and a new birth certificate will be issued identifying the adoptive parents as the adult child’s legal parents.

There are lots of reasons to consider an adult adoption from estate planning to solidifying the true family unit that exists. MDW Law is experienced in adult adoption and is here to help you start this new chapter of your journey.

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