Can you adopt someone older than you in the UK?

In this article we will answer the following question: Can you adopt someone older than you in the UK? We will speak about the possibility of adopting an adult; who can be adopted in the UK and who can adopt a child. We also give you an interesting example of a country where you can adopt a child. 

Can you adopt someone older than you in the UK?

You can not adopt someone older than you in the UK.  An adoption order in England & Wales cannot be made in respect of anyone aged 18 or over. The same applies in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Only minors can be adopted and must have gone through a legal process to allow this in the first place. 

Most adoptions are public in that they are overseen and managed by local authorities, including those made via international routes. Even those few classes as private adoptions have to be scrutinised by qualified professionals. The adoption process across the U.K. is heavily regulated to prevent child trafficking and exploitation and it’s designed for minors, not adults.

If an adult wants to change their legal relationship with a parental figure other legal routes than adoption should be explored. You most likely must see a solicitor because the legal landscape about adoptions is changing in the UK.

Under the framework of the 1976 Act, cases of child adoption when the child has become an adult have been few and far between — either because it’s just not usual or because there’s something in the law that makes the adoption hard to succeed. 

You cannot adopt someone older than you because the time has passed for those parental legal rights because he’s legally responsible for himself, being an independent adult person.

If this is about inheriting property, anyone can leave anything to the person of their choice via a will or a trust. It is legal, and easier than the adoption process. 

Who can adopt in the UK?

In the UK you can adopt a child if:

  • You are aged 21 or over;
  • You are single, married, in a civil partnership, in an unmarried couple (same-sex or opposite-sex);
  • You are the partner or the child’s parent.

Who can be adopted in the UK?

Children under 18 years of age:

  • Whose parents cannot take charge of their care and express the desire to give. them up for adoption before a competent judge.
  • That is a consanguineous descendant of one of the adopters.
  • That has been declared susceptible to being adopted by resolution of a judge.

Can I adopt adults in the UK?

So far it is not possible, but a project that allows the adoption of adults is being discussed. The idea is to start the adoption process for people over 18 and under 24 years old.

How could you adopt an adult in the UK?

What could be done in these cases is to challenge the parentage of the elder. Either you do it, or the interested party does it. In these cases, it is possible that you were granted filiation. But this could be achieved by challenging the previous affiliation.

In these cases, the judge takes into consideration factual situations such as living with the elder, who has been presented as her son and who identifies herself as such. In terms of the procedure: after the challenge, you must claim the filiation. Here the law would recognize who, in said filiation claim, you indicate as your child.

If you need help regarding this issue or a similar one, you should contact a family lawyer for more information.

What is the process of adopting a minor like?

Although each country has its laws, the process to adopt a child is similar in all regions and starts from the moment the future parents decide to adopt.

From here the couple seeks to support and guidance in the centres for the adoption of minors in their locality or country, who will assign a social worker to assist and assist them throughout the process.

Both the man and the woman will have to fill out certain questionnaires, undergo an interview giving detailed information about their marital life, their economic position, health … Their home and life will go through a meticulous study that will reveal whether or not they are prepared to receive the child they want.

Once the family is approved, it will know the minors who are available for adoption, and if the relationship between the couple-adoption centre-social worker-child is successful, the adoption will likely take place.

You must know that becoming an adoptive parent is a long dream that can take months or years to come true, and it is loaded with not a few disappointments and despair.

The child that the couple wants does not always become the child that they ultimately adopt, so whoever decides to adopt must start from the fact that once the journey has begun, it can take different directions.

So, anyone who wants to take this step must be more than sure of its firmness and its value; be strong and fervently desire to become a parent to a child. Because regretting having adopted, not paying due attention to the child who has been received at home, or not giving him the love that he so badly needs, can be fatal for that minor.

Countries where you can adopt someone older than you

Japan and the United States are two of the countries with the highest adoption rate in the world. While in the second most of those adopted are babies, in the first they are men between 20 and 30 years old. Families adopt these adults to continue the business and keep the family name.

According to 2011 data collected by the Journal of Financial Economics, of the latest published, some 81,000 people were adopted in Japan during that period. More than 90% of those adopted were adults (between 20 and 30 years old), so less than 10% were operations related to children or babies. 

As published in this same article, the reason lies mainly in two factors: the low birth rate and the effort to preserve the old family businesses. In the past five years, Japan’s population has shrunk by nearly a million people. The birth rate stands at 1.4 children per woman, although Shinzo Abe’s goal is to raise it to 1.8.

However, this is not a new practice. The first adult adoptions were carried out in the 13th century within a sect related to Buddhism. Little by little, it became generalized and fully developed in the Tokugawa period from the year 1600. At this time, samurai adopted adult men either because they had not had children or because those who had had were not ‘capable enough ‘as if to continue the family line.

In this way, all parties benefited. The samurai took a male child to continue with the surname, the family of the adoptee lost, in general, a second son, little use in the society of that time, and the adopted one, normally, rose a step in society.

During World War II, this practice became even more common, although later it began to be seen with worse eyes. Adopted adults were seen as poor decision-makers who had been forcibly placed in a family. They were the ‘leftover’ children of other families and were sometimes considered, in a macho society, as the ‘women’ who had to be supported or as an opportunistic position.

Nowadays, this practice continues, although it is more focused on the business field. The owners of large companies with only daughters look for a male heir in other families with the knowledge and skills of leaders to manage the company optimally and thus maintain the old family businesses. Some have even survived tens of generations thanks to this method.

At the moment, no other country is known in which this phenomenon occurs. In many cases, the only child in the family is a woman and, although they are fully trained to run a business, the visible face of the company in Japanese society must be male.

The bottom line

In this article, we answered the following question: Can you adopt someone older than you in the UK? We spoke about the possibility of adopting an adult; who can be adopted in the UK and who can adopt a child. We also gave you an interesting example of a country where you can adopt a child. 

The simple answer is no, you cannot adopt someone older than you in the UK.  The adoption process across the U.K. is heavily regulated to prevent child trafficking and exploitation and it’s designed for minors, not adults.

If you wish to know more about this subject, or if you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

FAQ on Can you adopt someone older than you in the UK?

In what states can you adopt someone older than you?

In the United States, you can adopt someone older than you in the following six states: California, Georgia, Nevada, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Utah.

Can you adopt someone older than you?

You can adopt somebody older than you in 6 states in the USA, and it is also a common practice in Japan. You cannot adopt somebody older than you in the UK.

What is the oldest age you can adopt a child in the UK?

In the UK there is no upper age limit for adopting a child, however you must be aged 21 or over, and the child must be a minor. 

Can you adopt someone over the age of 18 UK?

No, you cannot adopt someone over the age of 18 in the UK. The Adoption and Children Act (2002) states that only minors can be adopted in the UK.

References

Nhs.uk

Adoptuskids.org

adoption.org

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

Leave a Comment