North Fort Myers Adoption Attorney
Learn the Adoption Process in Florida
Adoption is an exciting adventure. Bringing another member into your family is a joyous experience, and with the right legal representation on your side, you’ll have the insights and knowledge to make the change as smoothly as possibly. At Daniels Law, P.A., our North Fort Myers divorce and family law attorney understands all the laws and complications that accompany this process. We are here to help you get the help you need.
Types of Adoption
Adoption is the legal process that grants legal responsibility for a minor child to an adult who is not the biological parent of the child.
There are two primary types of adoption:
- Step-parent adoption: This is when a parent remarries and the new spouse wishes to adopt an existing child as their own dependent.
- Third-party adoption: The more traditional adoption process, this occurs when a child is brought into a new home without any known parents.
An adoption can be considered contested or uncontested. A contested adoption occurs when a biological parent or other legal caregiver objects to the court granting the adoption. An uncontested adoption means that no parent or legal caregiver opposes the adoption taking place.
What is the Stepparent Adoption Process in Florida?
Every adoption in Florida has a process that it must follow. There are typically five steps:
- Consent - The noncustodial parent must give consent as the first step in the adoption process. For example, if the biological mother wishes for her husband or wife to adopt through a stepparent adoption, then the biological father must consent to the adoption.
- File & Complete Adoption Petition - This is generally a formal request to the court, asking them to award parental rights to the stepparent. The filing of this petition is usually what begins the case.
- Schedule the Hearing - This is simply coordinating a time with a judge to hear your case. As your attorney, we will be right by your side.
- Hearing - The hearing is a formal, yet short process that entails the judge asking a few questions. If all goes well, then we go to the final step.
- Birth Certificates - The court may choose to award and finalize the adoption, or not, based on what the circumstances are. If granted the rights, you may ask for amended birth certificates.
Can an Adoption Be Reversed in Florida?
Typically, an adoption can only be reversed within one year of the Final Order for Adoption. However, the best interests of the child are the priority, and the court will decide if those best interests are being put at risk.
Do You Need a Lawyer to Adopt a Child?
Contrary to belief, all adoptions must be completed by the legal services of an attorney. If you choose to work with an agency instead, they will coordinate with an attorney for you. Hiring a lawyer for yourself is recommended, as they are more likely to become invested in your best interests.
What Paperwork is Needed For Adoption?
There are quite a few documents needed to successfully complete the adoption process:
- Home Study - this is where a social worker will interview you and your spouse to document what you do, who you are, and why you would be a good fit as parents.
- Birth Certificates - Both you and your spouse must present certified birth certificates from the state capital of your birth.
- Marriage Certificate/Divorce Decrees - both of these are requested only if applicable.
- Medical Letters - This will come from your doctor after having a basic physical performed.
- Police Reports - If applicable, these must be presented so that your social worker knows you aren't a criminal.
Let Our Team Help
When it comes to the legal complications of bringing a new family together, consulting with a lawyer is the first step to completing your family. Daniels Law, P.A. has helped many families to ensure their adoption processes are handled smoothly and legally. Attorney Theresa Daniels has a 10.0 Superb Avvo Rating and an AV Preeminent® Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®. She understands how to handle these matters. Planning your case takes time, so call our firm today to get started.
Call Daniels Law, P.A. today at (239) 217-9007. We are here to help you because your family matters to us.