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Adult Adoption

View profile for Richard Kerry
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We recently received an enquiry from a lady whose adult daughter wanted to be adopted by her step-father. This reminded me of a story from a couple of years ago which got some press attention. Nathan Sparling, a 27 year old, wanted a reform of Scottish family law to allow adults to be adopted.

Nathan’s mother met Brian Sparling when he was 13 and Nathan and Brian struck up a good relationship straight away, with Nathan calling Brian, “Dad”. Nathan’s mother married Brian when Nathan was 16.

Nathan looked into becoming legally adopted in his late teens, but because he was over 18, he discovered he would not be able to do it. However, when his twin brothers arrived when he was 23, it made him think about it again. Nathan stressed how Brian valued him and his sister Amy as his own and how he wanted to formalise that, particularly as Brian is now the father of his two brothers.

Adoption in the UK is only possible up to the age of 18. Nathan wants people to realise this is the case before it is too late.

Nathan primarily wanted to be adopted to recognise the man he was brought up by as his father. However, there would be other potential benefits to a change in the law:

  • The transfer of inheritance rights
  • Restoring an original relationship between adult adoptees and their biological family
  • Formalising the relationship of a stepchild and their step parent.

In Japan, adoption of adults is used as a way to make sure family businesses survive when there are no heirs to take over.

If you have any family law issues, whether it be regarding parental rights, adoption or the breakdown in a relationship, Bell Lax offer a free 30 minute consultation, at your convenience, either by telephone, or coming in to meet with us.  There will be no pressure on you after our discussion, we will give you the benefit of our expertise, and give you time to consider your options.