Series on Adoptions: Who Can Be Adopted in Pennsylvania?

By Matthew T. Hovey, Esquire

In honor of National Adoption Month (November), I am launching this month a ten part series on Adoptions in Pennsylvania.  The first piece in this series focuses on the question: who can be adopted in Pennsylvania?  If you are interested in an adoption, I encourage you to please return and read my future articles on adoptions.

The answer to this articles question is simple and straightforward: anyone!  23 Pa.C.S. § 2311 provides “Any individual may be adopted, regardless of his age or residence.”  The interesting part is that anyone regardless of his or her age may be adopted, which means that any adult (19 years old or 84 years old) may be adopted, as well as minors.

The more complicated answer is to the follow-up question: why would you want to adopt an adult?  There are a variety of answers, including a situation where two individuals have had a parent-child relationship and they simply wish to formally recognize that relationship, just as a two individuals who are dating desire to get married.  The other leading reason is for estate purposes.  Just as marriage entitles people to certain privileges and rights under the law, an adoption bestows certain privileges and rights upon the parent(s) and the child.  These rights and privileges will be more deeply explored in a later article, but for now, know that there may legal and tax justifications for adopting an adult instead of simply utilizing a will or other similar instrument.

If you, a family member, friend, or coworker are considering an adoption, please call our office and setup a free initial consultation.

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