Stepparent Adoption in Panama City Beach, FL
Our Panama Beach City Adoption Lawyers Have 80+ Years of Combined Experience
Adoption is a fulfilling legal process that formally brings families together. However, there are many procedural challenges and regulations to overcome before you can legally adopt your stepchild. The best way to secure a positive case result is to retain experienced legal representation as soon as possible. At The Virga Law Firm, P.A., our Panama Beach City adoption lawyers have a comprehensive understanding of the laws and legal barriers commonly associated with the adoption process. Whether you’re a parent or a stepparent, you can rely on our team to protect your interests and guide you through each step of your legal journey.
Contact our Panama Beach City adoption lawyers at (800) 822-5170 to begin the process today.
Adopting a Stepchild in Florida
Unfortunately, adopting your stepchild requires more than a willing heart. While the process itself is fairly straightforward, families usually have unique emotional hurdles and circumstantial complications to surpass before the adoption can be finalized. Florida courts are very strict about the approval process because their singular priority is to protect the child’s best interests.
To adopt your spouse’s child, you’ll need to complete the following:
- Petition for Adoption: Your first task as a “petitioner” is to complete and file a petition (Form 12.981(b)(1) with your county’s circuit court. This petition should include: the child’s name and new name (if applicable), birth date, the length of time you’ve been parenting the child, and more. This petition needs to be signed by a notary or an official who can serve in a similar capacity. If you want to adopt more than one child, you’re going to have to fill out a form for each one.
- Termination of Parental Rights: Legally, a child can only have two parents. For the adoption to proceed, the other biological parent needs to terminate their legal parental rights. For many noncustodial parents, this is the most difficult and emotionally challenging step in the process. However, this scenario may be a nonissue if the birth parent never legally established paternity.
- Proving Abandonment: You don’t need to obtain consent so long as you can prove that the other birth parent abandoned their child and is an unfit parent. In Florida, this means that the parent has not contacted, supported, or maintained a relationship with their child in over a year.
This legal process can be completed in less than two months if the other parent doesn’t contest the adoption. On the other hand, you may be facing a complicated legal battle if the parent is missing, deployed, or willing to fight against the adoption in court. No matter the simplicity of complexity of your case, you can rely on our legal to help you explore your legal options and stand by your side through the duration of your case.
Discuss Your Case with an Adoption Lawyer Today!
The Panama Beach City adoption attorneys at The Virga Law Firm, P.A. understand that this is an exciting and overwhelming time in your life. Our goal is to make this legal process as straightforward as possible so that you can truly enjoy the benefits associated with this fulfilling family transition.
We provide legal services 24/7. Contact The Virga Law Firm, P.A. at (800) 822-5170 to schedule a consultation.