The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 5-101. Who may adopt adult or emancipated minor
An adult may adopt another adult or an emancipated minor pursuant to this article, but an adult may not adopt his or her spouse. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)
§ 5-102. Legal consequences of adoption
The legal consequences of an adoption of an adult or emancipated minor are the same as under sections 1-103 through 1-106 of this title, but the legal consequences of adoption of an adult stepchild by an adult stepparent are the same as under section 4-102 of this title. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)
§ 5-103. Consent by spouse
(a) Consent to the adoption of an adult or emancipated minor is required only of the spouse of the prospective adoptive parent, unless they are legally separated, or the court finds that the spouse is not capable of giving consent or is withholding consent contrary to the best interests of the adoptee and the prospective adoptive parent.
(b) The consent of the spouse of the prospective adoptive parent:
(1) shall be in writing and be signed or confirmed in the presence of the court or a person authorized to take acknowledgments;
(2) shall state that the spouse:
(A) consents to the proposed adoption; and
(B) understands the consequences the adoption may have for any right of inheritance, property, or support the spouse has; and
(3) may contain a waiver of any proceedings for adoption. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)
§ 5-104. Jurisdiction and venue
(a) The Probate Division of the Superior Court has jurisdiction over a proceeding for the adoption of an adult or emancipated minor under this article if a petitioner lived in this State for at least 90 days immediately preceding the filing of a petition for adoption.
(b) A petition for adoption may be filed in the Probate Division of the Superior Court in the district in which a petitioner lives. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238a, eff. Feb. 1, 2011.)
§ 5-105. Petition for adoption
(a) A prospective adoptive parent and an adoptee under this article shall jointly file a petition for adoption.
(b) The petition shall be signed and verified by each petitioner and state:
(1) the full name, date of birth, and place and duration of residence of each petitioner;
(2) the current marital status of each petitioner, including the date and place of marriage, if married;
(3) the full name by which the adoptee is to be known if the petition is granted;
(4) the duration and nature of the relationship between the prospective adoptive parent and the adoptee;
(5) that the prospective adoptive parent and the adoptee desire to assume the legal relationship of parent and child and to have all of the rights and be subject to all of the duties of that relationship;
(6) that the adoptee understands that a consequence of the adoption will be to terminate the adoptee's relationship as the child of an existing parent, but if the adoptive parent is the adoptee's stepparent, the adoption will not affect the adoptee's relationship with a parent who is the stepparent's spouse, but will terminate the adoptee's relationship to the adoptee's other parent, except for the right to inherit from or through that parent;
(7) that the adoptee and the prospective adoptive parent understand the consequences the adoption may have for any right of inheritance, property, or support each person has;
(8) the name and last known address of any other person whose consent is required;
(9) the name, age, and last known address of any child of the prospective adoptive parent, including a child previously adopted by the prospective adoptive parent or his or her spouse, and the date and place of the adoption; and
(10) the name, age, and last known address of any living parent or child of the adoptee.
(c) The petitioners shall attach to the petition:
(1) a certified copy of the birth certificate or other evidence of the date and place of birth of the adoptee and the prospective adoptive parent, if available; and
(2) any required consent that has been executed. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2009, No. 3, § 12a, eff. Sept. 1, 2009.)
§ 5-106. Notice and time of hearing
(a) Within 30 days after a petition for adoption is filed, the court shall serve notice of hearing the petition upon any person whose consent to the adoption is required under section 5-103 of this title, and who has not waived notice, by sending a copy of the petition and notice of hearing to the person at the address stated in the petition, or according to the manner of service provided in section 3-403 of this title.
(b) The court shall set a date and time for hearing the petition, which shall be at least 30 days after the notice is served. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)
§ 5-107. Dispositional hearing
(a) Both petitioners shall appear in person at the hearing unless an appearance is excused for good cause shown. In the latter event an appearance may be made for either or both of them by an attorney authorized in writing to make the appearance, or a hearing may be conducted by telephone or other electronic medium.
(b) The court shall examine the petitioners, or the attorney for a petitioner not present in person, and shall grant the petition for adoption if it determines that:
(1) at least 30 days have elapsed since the service of notice of hearing the petition for adoption;
(2) notice has been served, or dispensed with, as to any person whose consent is required under section 5-103 of this title;
(3) every necessary consent, waiver, document, or judicial order has been obtained and filed with the court;
(4) the adoption is for the purpose of creating the relationship of parent and child between the petitioners and the petitioners understand the consequences of the relationship; and
(5) there has been substantial compliance with this title. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)
§ 5-108. Decree of adoption
(a) A decree of adoption issued under this article shall substantially conform to the relevant requirements of section 3-705 of this title and appeals from a decree, or challenges to it, are governed by section 3-707 of this title.
(b) The court shall send a copy of the decree to each person named in the petition at the address stated in the petition.
(c) Within 30 days after a decree of adoption becomes final, the clerk of the court shall prepare a report of the adoption for the State Registrar of Vital Records, and, if the petitioners have requested it, the report shall instruct the State Registrar to issue a new birth certificate to the adoptee, as provided in Article 3, Part 8 of this title. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2017, No. 46, § 58, eff. July 1, 2019.)
§ 5-109. Adoption of an adult who is incompetent
If the adult who is being adopted has been found by a court to be incompetent:
(1) the legal guardian shall join in the petition for adoption;
(2) the court may, upon recommendation of the legal guardian:
(A) waive the requirement that the adoptee join in the petition;
(B) waive the requirements of subdivisions 5-105(b)(6) and (7) of this title with respect to the adoptee; and
(C) order an evaluation as provided in subdivisions 4-110(a)-(f) of this title; and
(3) the court shall:
(A) determine whether the adoptee has expressed an opinion about the granting of the petition;
(B) ensure that the adoptee has not been coerced or subjected to duress, exploitation, or undue influence; and
(C) not grant the petition unless the adoption is in the best interests of the adoptee. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 76.)