Adoption typically involves parents adding a child to the family unit. This can be done as domestic adoption or international adoption. Other common examples are making a stepparent a legal parent, or even a grandparent or family member adopting the child. While less common, there is an occasion where a parent or family wishes to adopt a person over the age of 18. There are many valid reasons for doing this.
A will can name any beneficiary, but there are certain protections given to family members. For example, family members are the only ones who can defend a will contested in probate. It also means that the adopted child stands to get all or part of the estate if there is no will.
Making it legal
Formalizing a relationship can be a symbolic gesture, but the adoption process legalizes an existing relationship in the eyes of the law, government and most everyone else. Perhaps it is done after a long stint as a foster family or one where there was a marriage after the child was born. Sometimes parents are not even aware that they have children and want to strengthen that bond once they find out.
Caring for the vulnerable
It is sometimes necessary to adopt a disabled adult to ensure that someone can take over the responsibilities and obligations of caring for this person. It may also enable the adoptee to enjoy certain benefits that they can only enjoy if they are listed as a member of the family.
The process is usually less complicated
Adopting a minor can involve many issues, including getting approval from both biological parents or even grandparents. There are also home visits to ensure that the living space is suitable for raising a child. None of this is a concern when adopting an adult, but the documentation can also be quite complex and difficult to prepare. A knowledgeable family law attorney can help make the process go more smoothly even if there is the potential for scrutiny.