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Ask Michael J, Esq. Your Own Question
Michael J, Esq.
Michael J, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 3471
Experience:  Licensed Attorney - represented hundreds of clients in criminal cases, family law disputes, traffic issues, and general legal issues. Youth Court Prosecutor.
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We want to legally adopt a 26 year old adult male from

Customer Question

We want to legally adopt a 26 year old adult male from Ghana. How do we go about that?
JA: Have any papers been filed in family court?
Customer: No, I'm at square one.
JA: Family law varies by state. What state are you in?
Customer: California
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The young man is in Ghana, he's not here.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Michael J, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting JustAnswer. My name is Michael; I look forward to assisting you today.
By continuing, you acknowledge that I am not providing legal advice and can only comment on the law in general.

Generally, adoptions are for minors, which would be people under the age of majority. Would you be adopting him for inheritance purposes?

Michael

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
No, we have an emotional connection with him and have known him now 5 years. We lost our only son many years ago. Abu is very close to us and he's like a son already. We would like to have a son to care for us in our elderly years and to help our daughter in that sense. But we understand adoption doesn't change his immigration status. That's o.k. it's more about him feeling like he belongs to a real family and hopefully it will allow him to be able to come visit us.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I don't have time to talk now.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
What a rip off! I paid $31 and you didn't answer any questions - you ASKED a question and then tried to get me to pay more for a phone call. What a rip off! Forget it!
Expert:  Michael J, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

I was away from my computer. I, the expert, am not asking for anything. The site may suggest a phone call, but we don't need to in this situation.

Do you want to continue or not? I'm happy to help.

Michael

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Ok I'm sorry. So how do I proceed?
Expert:  Michael J, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

Thank you. Sorry for the confusion.

In California, the parties can file a Consent Adoption. The process is stated here: http://www.occourts.org/self-help/familylaw/adoptions/adult.html.

In short, you must file a Petition, an Adoption Agreement, everyone must consent (you and your husband and the adoptee and his wife) and then an Order must be filed by the Court. Once that's done, the adoption is complete. You may be able to complete the entire process with forms from the Superior Court, but I always suggest speaking to a family law attorney to make sure things are done correctly. He can also advise you on how this will affect inheritance rights.

I hope this helps!

If you valued my time, please consider rating me positively at the top of the page. Experts don't get credit for our answers until you do. If you have further questions, please continue to ask them until you're completely satisfied.

DISCLAIMER: This is not legal advice and I am not your lawyer. My questions are based on my knowledge of the jurisdiction where I am admitted to practice, my experience on this site over several years, and research on the relevant laws and statutes for your jurisdiction, if any. My information is not advice and you should always speak to local counsel before you act.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you. But how does this work if he is still residing in Ghana? Do I fill out papers here and then send them to him?
Expert:  Michael J, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

Is he moving to the United States to live with you?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Also the link that you gave me does not mention anything about foreigners. I don't know if this information is helpful in this case.
Expert:  Michael J, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

I assumed this person was moving to the United States and would be a citizen here. Do you mind telling me why you'd adopt him if he was going to continue living in Ghana?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I think I have what I need now through other sources. The story of how we got together is a long one and you would need much more information in order to help me. This was the wrong choice and I wasted my money. It's not your fault. Thank you for trying. I have a connection with people in Ghana and they are connecting me with a lawyer there. Thank you anyway.
Expert:  Michael J, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

I'm sorry. :( Unfortunately, I'm fluent in family law matters, but no immigration issues. It sounds like that's where you need to focus your efforts. Good luck!

Michael