A U.S. Marine home on leave has been formally adopted by his stepfather in a Christmas Eve adoption ceremony held in a Long Island courtroom.
Lance Cpl. Christopher Mohedano Hernandez is the latest in what experts call a growing trend of adult adoptions.
Experts say the adoptees are usually children brought into subsequent marriages of birth parents and their new spouses. As in the Marine's case, they seek to have courts legally declare that person who raised them as their legal parent.
The 19-year-old Mohedano-Hernandez says having the adoption ceremony held on Christmas Eve gives special meaning for him and his Roman Catholic family. They see parallels to the story of Jesus being raised by Joseph, whom the Bible says was not his biological father.