Adopting an adult?

What’s the deal with adopting an adult? I’m interested in adopting an adult stepchild (over 21). Yes, I suppose the gesture is largely symbolic, though maybe not entirely so. I like the idea of making legally official the role I want to play, and like the idea that this person would have some legal rights and interests as my next of kin.

Is it possible? Difficult? Expensive? What are the consequences? Are there any reasons not to?

I live in Maryland USA.

Remember the case in San Francisco a couple years ago? A couple was convicted (I think) of manslaughter after their dog killed a neighbor? The couple had adopted the prison inmate who sold them the dog.

Recent thread on this same topic.

Yes, mostly it’s used so that caretakers can adopt disabled folks for legal and financial reasons. I guess it would also be useful for adults wanting to adopt stepchildren to protect their interests.

Occassionaly it’s used for stranger and more nefarious reasons, such as in the case KenP cited.

Also used here in Japan to add a lover to your own family register since same-sex marriages aren’t recognised.