Do I Need an Attorney for an Adoption?

Child visitation

Whether you are utilizing an adoption agency to facilitate an adoption or you are independently pursuing adoption; legal services are required. Adoptions require many legal documents, waivers, and hearings, involving extremely sensitive material. Therefore, it is important to employ a knowledgeable Florida Adoption Attorney to make this process of formulating a family as smooth as possible.

Whether you are going through the process of a step parent adoption or independent adoption, there are many legally significant steps you must take in order for an adoption to be valid. A Florida Adoption Attorney will be able to lay out these steps and explain the details surrounding each legal document. For instance, in a step parent adoption you must file several legal documents prior to a hearing or an adjudication of a legal adoption. These documents include:

  • Petition for Adoption by Step parent
  • Consent and Waiver for Stepparent Adoption
  • Motion for Search of the Putative Father Registry
  • Order Granting Motion for Search of Putative Father Registry
  • Affidavit of Service to the Legal Parents of the Child, or an Affidavit of Diligent Search
  • Indian Child Welfare Act Affidavit
  • Consent of Adoptee, if over the age of 12
  • Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act Affidavit.
  • Final Judgment of Stepparent Adoption

However, if a second parent does not consent to this adoption you will need to proceed through the termination of parental rights in order to allow a stepparent to adopt the child. This includes a great deal of legal evidence and hearings as the court is reluctant to terminate a parent’s rights to a child without clear evidence that the parent is unable to care for that child, or has abandoned the child. This termination of parental rights could include a great deal of litigation if the second parent wishes to retain their parental rights. Therefore, you will need an experienced legal expert during this matter and should contact a Florida Adoption Attorney today.

Further, if you are wishing to adopt a child independently, who is not related to you, you will need to retain the assistance of an adoption agency. In Florida, statute requires the involvement of an adoption entity regarding the adoption of any minor who is to be adopted by any nonrelative or stepparent. However, you still may also retain legal advice from a Florida Adoption Attorney to assist in the legal documents of the adoption. Discuss this with your adoption entity as well as your Florida Adoption Attorney.

Whether you are adopting a step child or as an independent parent or as a couple, seek out legal advice during this time. Our Florida Adoption Attorneys at the Virga Law Firm can assist you in this joyous matter and ensure all legal documents are in order and executed properly to complete your family arrangement.

Speaking to an attorney at our Florida office is free of charge, and we accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us at 850-307-5211 or complete an online contact form to get in touch with a member of our team today.

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