Can I adopt my friend, i'm 18m she is 15?
When I turn 18 she will be 15, could I adopt her and move her down here with me?
The main thing is that I am a guy so it seems iffy, but she is like a little sister to me.
3 attorney answers
Adoption seems like a permanent solution to a temporary problem. While it may be possible, it is unlikely that the court would approve your adoption at age 18 of a person age 15. There are other alternatives better suited to the situation, including a voluntary transfer of child custody (either formal or informal) from her parents to another adult, perhaps a relative, who can provide for her care and support and is willing to accept responsibility for her..
First of all, assuming she has been in NY for at least 6 months, and depending of NY law, NY is most likely the correct jurisdiction to address her custody. NC is clearly not the proper jurisdiction. To adopt a child, the rights of the custodial parents have to be terminated by the court. That is extremely difficult because you have to prove that both parents are unfit, that they can't improve the situation with additional resources and education (i.e. they will continue to be unfit even with help), AND for you to adopt, the court has to agree that it's in her best interest to live with you as opposed to some other self-supporting adult relative. If she is being abused or neglected, then you can report that to child protective services in NY. Keep in mind that the words 'abuse' and 'neglect 'have specific legal definitions, and what you might think of as abuse or neglect may not meet the level required for the court or child protective services to make a finding or abuse or neglect. You can help her by encouraging her to talk to a school counselor or a doctor or therapist or other supportive adult in NY. And by continuing to be her friend.
It is not likely you could adopt the girl even when you turn 18.
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