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  1. #1

    Default Can a 17 Year Old Adopt His 15 Year Old Sister

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Maine

    I'm writing a book based around 1980, so this is not about a living child or children. I apologize if I offend anyone, but I can't find the information anywhere and was hoping someone here might have insight.

    In the story, the father has 2 children and he is dying from cancer. The mother has already passed and they have no remaining family. If his son is 17 when his father passes, could he get custody of his 15 year old sister? He's willing to take this responsibility and is financially stable enough to support the household bills. Is there paperwork that could be filled out to help with this process, possibly before the father passes? Would the time period change anything? If he cannot get custody of his sister, what would happen to her until he turned 18? If it's only a matter of months before his birthday, would they take her from him?

    Thank you so much for your time!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    Default Re: Can a 17 Year Old Adopt His 15 Year Old Sister

    No court in the country would allow one child to adopt another child. Even if the older sibling were an adult, there's no way an adoption would be allowed for siblings so close in age.

    Custody and guardianship, on the other hand, are very different things, but neither would be possible where the older child is still a minor.

    Both children would likely be made wards of the state until they turn 18.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: Can a 17 Year Old Adopt His 15 Year Old Sister

    In what fictional universe is a 17 year old financially stable enough to support himself and a teen age dependent?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Can a 17 Year Old Adopt His 15 Year Old Sister

    Lol, science fiction. Hes an android. Hes been working 3 jobs to pay the bills since his dad got sick. I guess I was missing the fact that hes still a child at 17, even if it's only a few months.

    Thanks for indulging me!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can a 17 Year Old Adopt His 15 Year Old Sister

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    In what fictional universe is a 17 year old financially stable enough to support himself and a teen age dependent?
    It hardly takes a fictional universe to imagine a 17 (and nearly 18) year old inheriting millions of dollars from a deceased parent.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Can a 17 Year Old Adopt His 15 Year Old Sister

    That's very true too. Not the case here, but I was just trying to keep the siblings together. I mean, it's my book so i could do that by just having the brother turn 18 before the dad dies, but that's boring.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: Can a 17 Year Old Adopt His 15 Year Old Sister

    Quote Quoting pg1067
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    Custody and guardianship, on the other hand, are very different things, but neither would be possible where the older child is still a minor.
    I wouldn't rule out the possibility that if the 17 year-old were emancipated that the court may grant guardianship to him where both parents are deceased.

    Quote Quoting pg1067
    View Post
    Both children would likely be made wards of the state until they turn 18.
    Assuming, of course, that neither child is already emancipated.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Can a 17 Year Old Adopt His 15 Year Old Sister

    As another writer, I would strongly recommend to the OP that he do some research as to how often a minor in Maine is actually emancipated, if he wants to go that route.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    16,185

    Default Re: Can a 17 Year Old Adopt His 15 Year Old Sister

    Quote Quoting WannaBInTheKnow
    View Post
    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Maine

    I'm writing a book based around 1980, so this is not about a living child or children. I apologize if I offend anyone, but I can't find the information anywhere and was hoping someone here might have insight.

    In the story, the father has 2 children and he is dying from cancer. The mother has already passed and they have no remaining family. If his son is 17 when his father passes, could he get custody of his 15 year old sister? He's willing to take this responsibility and is financially stable enough to support the household bills. Is there paperwork that could be filled out to help with this process, possibly before the father passes? Would the time period change anything? If he cannot get custody of his sister, what would happen to her until he turned 18? If it's only a matter of months before his birthday, would they take her from him?

    Thank you so much for your time!
    Ok, the title to your thread took me aback. Adoption and custody are two totally separate things. No, it would not be possible for a minor to take custody of another minor. (or adopt another minor either) However, if they laid low and took care of things properly until the older sibling turned 18, then people would likely leave them alone. However, its not guaranteed that a court would give legal custody of a 15 year old to an 18 year old either. It's not impossible, but it's also not guaranteed.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Can a 17 Year Old Adopt His 15 Year Old Sister

    Quote Quoting llworking
    View Post
    Ok, the title to your thread took me aback. Adoption and custody are two totally separate things. No, it would not be possible for a minor to take custody of another minor. (or adopt another minor either) However, if they laid low and took care of things properly until the older sibling turned 18, then people would likely leave them alone. However, its not guaranteed that a court would give legal custody of a 15 year old to an 18 year old either. It's not impossible, but it's also not guaranteed.
    Clearly I have no idea what I'm talking about 🤣 laying low was something I had thought about happening. I just wasnt sure how quickly they jump on that. I guess no one keeps track of whether or not deceased people have kids. The father was a teacher at their high school, so I'm not sure if the school system would report it.

    Quote Quoting cbg
    View Post
    As another writer, I would strongly recommend to the OP that he do some research as to how often a minor in Maine is actually emancipated, if he wants to go that route.
    Quote Quoting llworking
    View Post
    Ok, the title to your thread took me aback. Adoption and custody are two totally separate things. No, it would not be possible for a minor to take custody of another minor. (or adopt another minor either) However, if they laid low and took care of things properly until the older sibling turned 18, then people would likely leave them alone. However, its not guaranteed that a court would give legal custody of a 15 year old to an 18 year old either. It's not impossible, but it's also not guaranteed.
    Huh... emancipated. I've heard of that. He would probably have his father's support (that sounds strange) if it meant he was legally considered an adult. Would the courts approve it of the father agreed? Does there need to be abuse, etc? Could it be done after the father dies?

    The little sister has been doing some research since her brother's a bit taxed working so much. I just didn't have a clue what she might've turned up. I have some ideas now though.

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