Adoption is the legal process through which a person- either a minor or adult- gains a parent or parents different from his or her birth parents. Adoption is a permanent, lifelong commitment. Once adopted, an adoptee has the same legal and inheritance rights as naturally born children of the adoptive parents. This is an important and life-changing step for everyone involved. Florida’s current adoption laws balance the interests of all parties which includes the biological parents, the adoptee, and the adoptive parents. The biological parent’s rights are primary until that parent voluntarily surrenders those rights or fails to act to protect those rights under Florida law.
If you are embarking on the adoption process you will want to be sure you have met every requirement to the letter of the law. Just as critical, you will need to have a clear and detailed understanding of your adoptee’s, as well as your own, current and future rights. Glenn & Phanco, P.A. are Wesley Chapel adoption attorneys who know the intricacies of the Florida adoption process and legal issues. We represent those who are working with both private and public agencies on adoption situations, including those with CPS, domestic, interstate, and international involvement.
Requirements for Adoptive Parent(s)
Four types of adoptions exist in Florida- the entity adoption (an agency or intermediary-facilitated adoption), the stepparent adoption, the close relative adoption, and the adult adoption. Each type of adoption has a unique procedure.
When pursuing the entity adoption process, prospective adoptive parents must decide whether to work through an agency, an attorney acting as an adoption entity, or an attorney acting as an intermediary between the prospective parents and the adoption agency.
A court presiding over any Florida adoption must have facts to support the termination of the biological relationship forever. A biological parent may execute consent for adoption and surrender rights to the child. Or, a court must hear proof that the parent has abused, abandoned or neglected the child. The adult adoption is an exception to this rule. The consent of the biological and legal parents is not required to complete an adult adoption, but the petitioner must provide notice to the biological or legal parents. Stepparent adoptions are common when one biological parent is willing to give up parental rights to the stepparent, for the benefit of the minor child. No matter what type of adoption, the court’s priority is always about finding what is in the best interest of the adoptee.
Who Can Adopt
Currently, the Florida adoption laws allow any adult (either single or married) to petition to adopt a child. If the adoptee is 12 years of age or older, their consent is required. The qualifications to adopt will depend on the type of adoption.
Complexities of Adoption
State laws are constantly changing and that is why if you are considering adoption, or considering giving your child for adoption, you owe it to your child and to yourself to involve an adoption lawyer in Wesley Chapel, FL. Whether you are adopting a step-child, family member, or child who was previously unknown to you, you will want to be sure that all agreements are transparent and enforceable, without loopholes. Each situation will present its own legal issues and we will ensure that your adoption process is done correctly. Call the Wesley Chapel adoption lawyers of Glenn & Phanco, P.A. for answers to your questions and legal representation today!