What Types of Adoptions are Available in Florida?

A young girl sits in the grass with one knee in her hand, looking uncertainly to her right.

If you are wishing to become a parent through the process of adoption, it is important to know the legal options available to you. In Florida there are four types of adoption: stepparent adoption, adult adoption, relative adoption, and entity adoption. With adoption being such a heavy matter, it is in your best interest to obtain the advice and counsel of an experienced Florida Adoption Attorney. They will be able to explain the different types of adoption available to you and the legal process and requirements of each. Together, you may be able to find an avenue of adoption to proceed with, and your Florida Adoption Attorney will be able to ensure your rights are protected during the entire process.

The most common form of adoption is step parent adoption. In these cases, a legal parent brings a child into a new marriage and the new spouse, or stepparent, wishes to retain legal parental rights to the child. In order to obtain a stepparent adoption, you must first be legally married to a legal parent of the child and second, termination of the parental rights of the second legal parent must occur. This termination may be done by waiver and consent by the parent or through formal court proceedings. After termination of parental rights, you may then petition the court for stepparent adoption noting the relationship between you and the child, the termination of parental rights, and your desire and ability to care for the child. Upon finding the adoption is in the best interest of the child the court will grant the adoption, and you will retain all rights and responsibilities to the child, as if you were the biological parent.

Although, adoption is mainly surrounding the custody of minor children, adults may also be adopted. In most cases, adult adoptions occur for the purpose of inheritance or to ensure the care of an adult who is physically or mentally disabled. Adult adoption is a much simpler process as parental rights do not need to be terminated of the legal parents, and parental consent to the adoption is unnecessary. However, you will need to provide notice to the legal parents of the adoption.

Relative adoptions are similar to stepparent adoptions in many ways. For instance, there are limits to the individuals who are eligible to adopt the child, as they must be close relatives. This includes: siblings, aunts, uncles, or grandparents. Further, the parents must consent to the adoption, or the court may terminate the parental rights of the child in order to facilitate the adoption. After termination or consent, the family member may petition the court to adopt the child and state their reasoning behind this request. Upon consideration of the best interest of the child, the court may grant the adoption, and the relative will retain all parental rights to the child.

The final type of adoption available in Florida is an entity adoption. In this type of an adoption, an agency will facilitate the adoption process. These types of adoptions can include: international adoptions, foster care adoptions, or private domestic adoptions. However, the legal requirements of an entity adoption are much more in depth and expansive than any of the other types of adoptions available. Along with the termination or waiver of parental rights by the biological parents, typical of the other types of adoptions, the agencies will need to take further steps to facilitate a legal adoption.  In an entity adoption, an adoptive parent is typically required to attend parenting courses, fill out expansive forms detailing personal information and engage in a home study. Further, the Adoption agency must also conform to statute requirements by properly disclosing information to both the birth parents and adoptive parents. This information may include background information of the child and the action for adoption. This process requires the entities to determine good matches for the child and the parents in order to facilitate an adoption that will be in the best interest of the child.

Whether you are seeking any type of adoption, contact a Florida Adoption Attorney. We will be able to explain in detail each type of adoption and evaluate your specific needs and circumstances to best aid your growing family.

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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