In Pennsylvania any individual may be adopted regardless of their age or residence. This means even an adult can be adopted. An adult adoptee must consent to their adoption by prospective parents. They do not need to have the rights of their natural parents terminated first. Additionally, the prospective parents do not have to include background checks along with their petition. If looking to change your name as an adult pursuant to an adoption, you must also follow the steps for a civil name change.

First, adult adoptees will need to submit a copy of your fingerprints with the adoption petition. Fingerprints can be obtained from your local police department. Adult adoptees also need to supply record checks from the Prothonotary, Clerk of Court, and Recorder of Deeds for each county of residence for five (5) years prior to your filing. Finally, notice of the adoption hearing date must be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the county as well as the local Law Reporter regarding the proposed name change. Proof of the record checks and publication should be offered as evidence at the adoption hearing. Name changes are not permitted for adults in the event of certain criminal convictions.  By April M. Townsend