Adoption & Termination of Parental Rights
How to Adopt an Adult
An adult may adopt another adult as long as:
- The person adopting is older than the person being adopted; AND
- One of the adults lives in Clark County, NV; AND
- If either of the adults is married, their spouses will sign and notarize a consent.
Both of the adults must sign and file some paperwork, and then go to a hearing where a judge can ask some questions. The biological parents do not have to consent, but the judge may require them (or anyone else) to be notified of the hearing date.
To file for an adoption, complete the following steps.
Step 1. Fill out the Paperwork
Family Court Cover Sheet
This form is REQUIRED. This form asks for basic information about the parties. The Clerk of Court uses this information to open your case.
Petition for Adoption
This form is REQUIRED. This form tells the judge about the adoptive parent(s) and the person to be adopted. The adult can request a name change if desired (if you do, a notice of the name change will have to be published in the newspaper one time). The adoptive parent(s) and the person to be adopted all have to sign this form.
One or two people can ask to adopt the adult. If two people want to adopt the person, they must be married or registered domestic partners.
The person being adopted can ask for a name change. However, if the adoptee has a different name than his or her birth name (due to marriage, divorce, etc.), you may want to avoid changing your name on the birth certificate. This is because you may have to prove every version of your name (especially at the DMV when renewing your driver's license) and may have a hard time doing so if the name on your birth certificate changes. Since your new birth certificate will be the starting point (not the end point) for your name change, it may be difficult to show how your name changed over the years.
Spouse Consents (if applicable)
If the adoptive parent or adoptee is married, their spouse(s) must sign and notarize a consent agreeing to the adoption.
This form is REQUIRED. This form sets a court date for you to appear in court. The Clerk of Court will fill in a hearing date when you file this form. If the adoptee wants to change his/her name, make sure to ask for a court date that is at least 30 days away so that all of the name change steps can be completed in time for the hearing.
Notice of Petition for Change of Name
If the adoptee wants to change his/her name, fill out this form. This form will need to be published in a newspaper one time before the court date (this is explained further in Step 3 below).
Step 2. File the Paperwork
The court charges $238 to file the papers. You can pay by cash, money order, or most major credit/debit cards. If you cannot afford the fee, please see Filing Fees and Waivers to find out how to ask the court to waive the fee.
You can file your papers one of three ways:
In Person: Bring your filing fee and the forms to the Family Courts and Services Center and file your papers in person at the Clerk’s Office. The Clerk’s Office is open Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m, but you must arrive by 3:40 p.m. to see a Clerk before closing. Be sure to arrive before then.
By Mail: If you cannot come to the court during business hours, you can mail your forms and the filing fee to:
Family Courts and Services Center
Attn: Clerk of Court
601 North Pecos Road
Las Vegas, NV 89101
- Online: Many documents can be filed online through the court's e-filing system, eFileNV (although some documents must be filed in person). There is a fee of $3.50 to upload your documents, in addition to the regular filing fee. You must register for an account, you must provide a valid email address, and you must be able to scan and upload your documents.
Step 3. Publish the Notice of Name Change (if requested)
If the adoptee wants to change his/her name, the Notice of Petition of Name Change will have to be published in the newspaper one time. The judge cannot approve the name change if this is not done.
Contact a newspaper to arrange for publication. The popular newspapers who can publish the notice are:
After publication is complete, the newspaper will prepare an "Affidavit of Publication." This document must be filed with the court as proof that publication was completed. Usually, the newspaper sends this document directly to the court for filing. If the newspaper does not, contact the newspaper to obtain the affidavit and file it yourself.
The notice must be published at least 10 days before your court hearing.
Step 4. Plan for and Go to the Hearing
Before the Hearing
Plan for all parties and their spouses to attend the hearing. This is a special occasion and any other friends or family are welcome to attend too!
Arrive at the courthouse at least 20 minutes before the hearing so you have enough time to get through security and find the courtroom.
Fill out the Decree of Adoption and bring it with you. The judge can sign it right away if the adoption is approved.
What to Expect at the Hearing
The judge will ask some questions to make sure all the requirements for an adoption are met. The hearing is usually short, lasting no more than 10 minutes.
At the end of the hearing, the judge will be able to sign the Decree of Adoption. Make sure to let the judge know that you brought the Decree with you so the judge can sign it right there for you.
Contact Vital Statistics
Contact the Vital Statistics Office in the state where the adoptee was born to find out how to get the birth certificate changed.
If the child was born in Nevada, do the following:
- Visit the Nevada Vital Records forms page and download the "Report of Adoption."
- Fill out part I and part II and the second page of the form. Bring the form to the family courthouse and ask to see the Clerk's Office. The clerk will fill out part III.
- Ask the clerk for certified copies of the Decree of Adoption. This will cost $3 for each certified copy (you may need several).
Make copies of the Decree of Adoption NOW and keep them in a safe place! If you lose your Decree of Adoption (or give them all away to agencies), the court will not let you have any more copies without a specific written order from the judge. This can be difficult and time-consuming, and you may have to pay another $270 to get copies later.
Get as many regular and certified copies that you think you will ever need. You may want to get 5-10 copies just to be sure you always have some if needed. Put them in a safe place where you can access them years later!
- Mail the Report of Adoption and a certified copy of the Decree of Adoption to Vital Statistics. Include a $40 filing fee, plus $20 for any additional copies you want. Mail the documents to:
Office of Vital Records
4150 Technology Way, Suite 104
Carson City, NV 89706
You should receive the new birth certificate in the mail in about 4-6 weeks.
If the adoptee is changing his or her name, you will need to provide a certified copy of the Decree of Adoption and the new birth certificate to the Social Security Office. After that, the DMV and any other agencies can change the person's name.