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Can I adopt my 20 yr old niece who is currently here in the country legally?

Ocala, FL |

my sister and her family is legally here in the country.My niece is under f1 visa but I want her to stay with me. considering her age can I still adopt her? what are the requirements?

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Attorney answers 5

Best Answer
Posted

Nothing under Florida adoption law prevents you from adopting a 20-year-old, nor does Florida law prevent you from adopting someone who does not have a legal status in the U.S. However, you should speak with an immigration attorney if you think the adoption will assist your niece's efforts to stay in the U.S.

The contents of this answer should be considered friendly advice, not legal advice (I'm a pretty friendly guy), and the answer should not be construed to constitute an attorney-client relationship. If you'd like actual legal advice, call me for a free consultation at 813-635-0222. Also, if you liked this answer as much as my big ego thinks you did, be sure to click the thumbs-up button!

Posted

I recommend that you seek the assistance of an experienced attorney. This is a complicated field, and I suggest that you contact an attorney with both immigration and adoption experience. My office specializes in this and would be glad to set up a consultation for you. Otherwise, you can find a list of other experienced immigration attorneys through http://www.ailalawyer.com/ and other experienced adoption attorneys through www.adoptionattorneys.org.

Here are the basics. If you adopt a child past when the child turned 16, you will not be able to petition for immigration benefits for her based on the adoption. There is one exception to this rule, which is that if you adopt a sibling group, and one was below 16 and the other was over 16 but under 18, then you would be able to petition for immigration benefits for both children based on the adoption. However, it sounds like your niece is already over 18 and not in a sibling group.

Additionally, you should be careful in going forward with this because adoption for the purposes of immigration is considered fraud. That being said, though, from your question, it does not seem like immigration benefits was the only reason you wanted to adopt your neice. It sounds like you have bonded with her and would like her to stay a part of your family. If it is true that your goal is family unity, there are potentially other routes to immigration benefits.

Again, if you would like to discuss the process in detail, my office would be happy to talk with you. We regularly give guidance on this type of case.

Good luck!

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I am licensed to practice solely in Georgia, and do not intend to give legal advice or create a lawyer/client relationship. Please consult an attorney in your state for detailed advice on your legal question.

Asker

Posted

Thank you for your help. I will discuss this with her. I will check her academic reports too since I found out there are programs out there for student s who excel in their school.

Posted

I agree with my colleague. I would definitely recommend you contact an experienced attorney in your area that handles these matters as I am concerned of the motive behind the adoption.

You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation since every case is different and not all information is relayed in an online question. The Law Office of Ophelia Bernal-Mora, P.A. is a family law firm located in Orlando, Florida, we invite you to contact us and welcome your calls at 407-354-5223. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Asker

Posted

I really want her to stay her nd further her education..She is a very bright young girl and have a lot of potential. She is an A student from where she came from and wanted to pursue a degree in chemical engineering..I want to help her but I am totally clueless and just told her I can check other options

Posted

Yes..speak with an immigration attorney. What is the point of adopting her at this time, however?

Please be advised that any answers or information disseminated above do not constitute legal advice and that the attorney responsible for this posting is merely attempting to participate in a Q & A session intended to be helpful but certainly not intended to be legal advice. It is important that you understand that no attorney-client relationship has been formed and that the attorney has no obligation to follow up with you with your legal issue unless you separately contact said attorney and arrange for him to legally represent you.

Posted

As stated by my colleagues, adoption is regulated by State Law. FL Law allows adult adoptions. Florida Statute, 63.042 says that"Who may be adopted; who may adopt.—(1) Any person, a minor or an adult, may be adopted." You may want to contact an attorney for the adoption process.

As far as the immigration process goes if and when the adoption is completed, you would have to discuss with an immigration attorney.

Eunice Gedeon

Eunice Gedeon

Posted

* You should contact both an Immigration and Adoption attorney at the same time.