There is now a new reason for adult foster children to consider formalizing their relationship via a Florida adoption: health insurance coverage for young adults under the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as ObamaCare.
Though the law has been highly controversial and plagued with technological and political missteps, one portion of the law that has received near-universal praise is the ability for parents to cover their children up to the age of 26. Unfortunately, adult foster children may not be eligible for this benefit. But there is a solution.
Section 63.042(1) of the Florida Statutes permits any person, a minor or an adult, to be adopted. Florida law also has an expedited process so that an adult adoption can be accomplished much more quickly than most adoptions of children.
Further, case law shows that a person may be adopted even if the sole purpose of the adoption is to gain a federal benefit. In one case, In re the Adoption of Holland, 965 So. 2d 1213 (Fla. 5th DCA 2007), a grandfather petitioned to adopt his adult grandchild, and the grandfather stated that the purpose of the adoption was to confer federal financial aid available to the children, but not grandchildren, of disabled veterans.
The trial court denied the adoption, writing that the grandfather simply was attempting to work around the laws of the United States. However, the appellate court reversed, stating that the trial court did not have the discretion to deny an adoption requested for financial reasons where the petitioner had complied with all of the other requirements of Florida’s adoption laws.
The appellate court explained further, “The public policy of Florida expressly permits the adoption of adults. s. 63.042(1), Fla. Stat. (2007). If, as a result, the adoptee becomes entitled to a benefit authorized by law, it cannot be said that the adoption is in violation of public policy.”
Accordingly, Florida law would permit the adoption of a young adult for the purpose of gaining healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
If you have questions regarding whether an adoption is right for your circumstance and you want to speak with a Tampa Bay adoption attorney, schedule a consultation with a The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our contact form.