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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102513
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Is an adult adoption a lengthy/costly process? My son-in-law

Resolved Question:

Is an adult adoption a lengthy/costly process? My son-in-law wants to adopt his step-son (my grandson) who just turned 18 a few days ago. My grandson wants to be adopted as his biological father abandoned him. Step-dad had hoped to adopt sooner but since biological father whereabouts unknown time ran out before step-son turned 18.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 5 years ago.
Hello,

This depends by what you define as "costly." Adult adoption is generally quick and rather easy when compared to other legal matters, but it would still need a filing fee of about $300. If you have an attorney guide you through, this can be anywhere from $1,250 to $5,000. So it depends on if you get an attorney and if so, which one.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you. What do you consider quick? Weeks? Less than 2 months??
Expert:  Ely replied 5 years ago.
Oops. I went into discussion about the price and neglected the length aspect! I am sorry. The length is fairly quick. This is not a contested matter and therefore would be heard on the first available uncontested docket. I would say one month, tops. Two if there is a technical complication.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
My grandson is asking if it would be quicker to just do a legal name change himself. He is anxious to get a driver's license but wants to apply in his new name
Expert:  Ely replied 5 years ago.
Hello,

A legal name change is a different matter, aside from adoption. It cannot be "added" to the adoption, but the two petitions can be filed and heard at the same time. Instructions on how to file are below, along with the forms:

http://www.courts.ca.gov/1051.htm

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I think I am confused. I know that when my grandson is adopted by his step-dad, he will have his step-dad's last name but I thought he could also change his first name at the same time of adoption. Are you saying that he would not be able to change his first name without filing another petition?
Expert:  Ely replied 5 years ago.
Let's work to clarify that.

California allows the adult to take the name of the adoptive parent an an adoption per CA Family Code Sec. 9304:

http://law.onecle.com/california/family/9304.html

However, note that it allows him to take the family name, i.e. last name. If he wishes to change his first name as well, he will need to file a separate change of name petition.

http://www.courts.ca.gov/1051.htm

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Got it! Thanks. So it can be done at the same time and legally changing his name before the adoption would not be any quicker, then right?
Expert:  Ely replied 5 years ago.
No problem.

Technically, yes. He can file the adoption and the name change petition back to back. However, to avoid nuanced technicalities, have an attorney help you - it will really, really make everything much simpler.

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