The termination of parental rights is referred to as the “civil death penalty” because there is nothing worse a Court can do to a person than to legally and permanently remove that person’s parental rights. Because of the severity of termination, it can be difficult to have one’s rights terminated. There must be good cause for a Court to legally remove a child’s parent from its life and there is a process to completing a termination suit.
Need an Adult Adoption in Texas?
The recent adult adoption of a Florida businessman’s girlfriend in an attempt to protect assets from civil litigation has put the spotlight on the legal act of adopting an adult. The Texas Family Code, Section 162.501 specifically allows for the legal adoption of an adult by another adult.
Adult adoption differs little from the adoption from a minor, with the exception that an adult must consent to the adoption. The biological parents of the adoptee do not need to be notified of the adoption and are not entitled to notice of any adoption proceedings. An original petition for adoption must be filed with the court and a hearing will be held.
One of the most common reasons for a formal adult adoption is when a step-parent was unable to formally adopt a step-child while the child was underage due to a biological parent’s refusal to allow for the adoption to go forward.
The adoption of an adult creates a parent-child relationship in the eyes of the law. One of the legal ramifications of adult adoption is that the adopted adult may no longer inherit from their biological parents, but may only inherit from their adoptive parents, per Texas Family Code §162.507.
An adult adoption will not be granted by the court if it appears that the adoption is being sought to defraud creditors or avoid other legal obligations. It will also not be granted if the judge believes a party is being taken advantage of, such as if a party is disabled, elderly or under duress. Adult adoption can also not be used to receive benefits under U.S. immigration law.
If you are considering adopting an adult of if you are an adult who is considering consenting to being adopted, please contact the Ramos Law Firm so that you may discuss the legalities and adoption process.