Skip Navigation Links

Adult Adoption

How to Adopt an Adult

Adult adoption is a legal procedure in which an older adult adopts a younger adult. Once an adult adoption is complete, the parties assume toward each other a legal parent-child relationship, with all associated rights and responsibilities of such a relationship, including inheritance rights.

An adult adoption severs all existing parent-child relationships, unless the adopting parent is the adoptee's stepparent. When a stepparent adopts an adult stepchild, the adopting parent's spouse retains his/her parent-child relationship with the adoptee.


There are no Judicial Council forms for this procedure. Instead, the relevant documents must be typed on 28-line pleading paper. Customizable templates may be downloaded from these links:

Click here to download this Guide, with step-by-step instructions, including sample forms:

  Adult Adoption in California, Step by Step


updated 9/13 mpj