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Adult adoption is a form of adoption between 2 or more adults in order to transfer inheritance rights and/or filiation. Adult adoption may be done for various reasons including: to establish intestate inheritance rights; to formalize a step-parent/step-child relationship or a foster parent/foster child relationship; or to restore the original legal relationship between adult adoptees and their natural families.
In Japan, adult adoption may be used in order to facilitate the continuance of a family business. This form of adoption is known as mukoyōshi (“son-in-law adoption”). Adult adoption may also be used in some jurisdictions by same-sex couples in order to establish inheritance rights.
Depending on the laws of the jurisdiction, adult adoption may not be available as a legal option. In the United Kingdom, only children may be adopted. The Adoption and Children Act (2002) states:
In places where adult adoptions exist, it may or may not transfer filiation in addition to inheritance rights. For example, in Colorado, one can adopt an adult of age 21 or older for inheritance purposes, but filiation will remain unaffected. However, adoption of a person between the ages of 18 and 20 (inclusive) transfers both inheritance rights and filiation. In most other American states, both filiation and inheritance rights are transferred.
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