Here is a question posed to me recently, and the answer I provided:

Question:  My mom passed away over 30 years ago and I have 1 sister and 1 brother and a half sister. My stepmom all of a sudden is in a hurry to adopt when we have lived with her over 30 years. Is there something I should be concerned with? My dad is ill at this time and it seems an odd request from my stepmom.

 My Answer:  I do adult adoptions from time to time. Typically, these are done for one or more of the following reasons:

(1) to ensure that, when step-mom passes away her step-children are not unintentionally disinherited;

(2) to cement bonds between the surviving step-parent and her step-children, or between the siblings;

(3) to provide a legal relationship to step-grandchildren (remember, your kids won’t have a legal relationship to your step-mom if your dad passes away); or

(4) to provide mutual assurances of care (we are required to a certain extent to care for our children and parents if they become incapacitated).

I don’t know your step-mother’s reasons, but keep in mind she might not be clear herself. As a parent ages they become less sure of themselves and the world around them. Since her husband is ill she may feel she needs the assurance that comes with a legally binding relationship.

I don’t see how this could impact you in a negative way. It won’t obligate you in any significant way – I’d chat with her and sound out her motivations.