Earlier this week I blogged about the ability for an individual to be “adopted” into a Trust, as well as what effect such an adoption order would have upon their rights in relation to their birth parent’s estate. While it may seem like a lot of work to have to be legally adopted to gain access to a trust, if the thought of living the trust fund lifestyle leaves you saying “sign me up”, you may be asking whether it is possible for you to be legally adopted as an adult.

The legal adoption of individuals above 18 years of age in Ontario is governed by section 146(3)(a) of the Child and Family Services Act. Such a section provides little guidance regarding what the court is to look to in determining whether to grant such an adoption, simply providing that the court has the authority to make an adoption order for an individual above 18 years of age.

In Re: Q. (A.L.K.), [1996] O.J. No. 353, Madam Justice Katarynych provides the following commentary with respect to the factors which the court should look to in determining whether to grant the adult adoption:

  1. whether the interaction between the applicant and the proposed adoptee is materially and substantially a parent-and-child interaction, assessed not just subjectively by the two individuals at issue, but also from an objective perspective;
  2. whether the parent-and-child relationship between the applicant and the proposed adoptee has any counterpart in the proposed adoptee’s other relationships; in short, whether an adoption is merely adding a parent to the adult child’s life or rather replacing a former parent;
  3. whether the adoption will advertently or inadvertently defeat the legitimate claim of the proposed adoptee’s existing parents under other legislation also enacted for the public good; and
  4. whether the application is made in good faith.

If the court is of the opinion that the adult adoption meets the criteria listed above, it should grant the adoption.

Thank you for reading.

Stuart Clark

Do adopted children still receive an entitlement from their birth parent’s estate?

Can you be adopted into a Trust?

Saskatchewan’s New Adoption Regulations