How Much Does It Cost to Adopt Someone Over 18 in the USA?

How Much Does It Cost to Adopt Someone Over 18 in the USA?, Adopting an adult in the United States is a legal process that allows one adult to adopt another adult, thereby formalizing a parent-child relationship. This process is sought for various reasons, including legal inheritance, formalizing an existing parent-child relationship, or completing a step-parent’s family unit. Understanding the costs involved is crucial for those considering this significant legal step. 

Understanding the Costs Involved

The cost of adopting an adult in the USA can vary significantly depending on several factors, including state laws, legal fees, court costs, and any additional expenses that may arise during the process. Unlike adopting a minor, adult adoption typically involves fewer legal hurdles and lower costs, but understanding the breakdown of potential expenses is essential for anyone considering this path.

For more detailed information on the costs associated with adopting someone over 18, including state-specific fees and legal requirements, visit How Much Does It Cost to Adopt Someone Over 18?

Legal Fees

One of the primary expenses in the adult adoption process is legal fees. Hiring an attorney to navigate the legal complexities of adult adoption is highly recommended. Attorney fees can range widely based on geographic location, the complexity of the case, and the attorney’s experience level. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 in legal fees, though the cost can be higher if complications arise during the adoption process.

Court Costs

In addition to legal fees, adopting adults must pay court costs. These fees cover the filing of the adoption petition and other related documents with the court. Court costs can vary by state but generally range from $150 to $300. It’s important to research the specific fees in your jurisdiction or consult with your attorney for an accurate estimate.

Additional Expenses

There may be additional expenses involved in the adult adoption process, including the cost of obtaining background checks, home studies (though less common in adult adoptions), and any necessary document preparation or processing fees. While these costs are typically minimal compared to those associated with minor child adoption, they can add up and should be factored into your overall budget.


Adopting an adult in the USA is a meaningful legal process that solidifies a parent-child relationship between adults. While the process is generally less complex and costly than adopting a minor, potential adoptive parents should be prepared for the legal fees, court costs, and additional expenses that are part of the journey. By understanding these costs and preparing accordingly, adoptive parents can ensure a smooth and successful adoption process. Remember, the emotional and legal benefits of adult adoption often far outweigh the financial costs involved, creating lasting family bonds that are recognized and protected by law.


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