Tip Sheet Tuesday: Adoption Has No Age Limits

Think back to when you were 18, 21, 40. Were your parents there for you? Were you able to handle everything you needed when you moved out? Or did you still come home to do laundry, check out the refrigerator and bug your younger siblings? Were your parents at your wedding? Did you make vacation plans around your parents’ holiday celebrations? Did your need for a family ever go away?


In Wisconsin, adoptions can occur at any age. There are many reasons why adoptions are finalized for adults, but one of the primary reasons is that being adopted creates a life-long connection for the adult adoptee.

Dustin Bronsdon, who was adopted as an adult, says “Family has always been important to me, and just because I turned 18, didn’t mean that I don’t still have a big need to belong.”

He laughs and says, “My fiancée wasn’t too thrilled to see that I had found the Bronsdon family crest and had it tattooed on my shoulder. But that’s how much being part of a family means to me.”

He goes on to say that “Being adopted lets you feel part of something—something real. It gives you an identity that was missing before.”

There are generally three main reasons for adult adoptions:

  • Formalizing a child-parent relationship so the family truly feels like they belong together.
  • Inheritance rights—especially in cases of trust funds and beneficiaries where “relatives” or “children” are only mentioned generally—not by a specific name.
  • Perpetual care for someone who has cognitive delays or other disabilities.
  • Continue reading

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