Practicing Family Law isn’t always sunshine and roses. When it comes to adoptions it is about ensuring children are not only loved and cared for, but a legal means for completing families, which is a tremendously joyful milestone. Here at the law firm of Alba & Straile this is one of our favorite areas of practice because we get to be a part of helping parents legally adopt a child, regardless of age. Yes, even adults can be adopted! Courts even accommodate by performing the final adoption hearing in person because adoptions are such happy events to witness and participate.
The state defines “adoption” as creating the legal relationship between parent and child. The child is declared legally the
ir heir and entitled to all the rights and privileges to all the obligations of a child born to the adoptive parents. Adoption gives children permanence and stability. An adult adoption can formalize a relationship that has existed for years.
Eligibility to Adopt
The court’s objective is to preserve what is in the child’s best interest, for this reason there are strict procedures and timelines for adoption. Florida allows a husband and wife, an unmarried adult and even a married adult without their spouse to adopt. Unless you are a step-parent, there are four fundamental requirements to adopt in Florida;
- Be an adult, 21 years or older
- Complete a background check and fingerprinting
- Complete the Florida Adoption Home Study
- Attend Adoption Education Classes
Stepparents do not obtain parental rights upon marriage. There are some legal challenges our experienced attorneys can help you navigate. For one, the non-custodial parent has parental rights. In addition, you must also illustrate to the court that it is in the child’s best interest to be adopted by the stepparent or the biological parent may consent or fail to answer upon being served an adoption. Under the right conditions, Florida has created a legal pathway for stepparents and others to adopt. To see how we can help your family, schedule a consultation today.
Unmarried Biological Father’s Rights
Dads, to preserve your parental rights, you must show that you have taken actions to be a father and establish a ‘substantial’ relationship with your child. Your ‘parental interest’ may be diminished or lost entirely if you do not. The sad reality is that the Florida legislature finds, that the interest of the state, the mother, the child, and the adoptive parents outweigh the interest of the unmarried biological father who does not establish or demonstrate a relationship with his child. You are not without rights; however, you are working within very definitive timelines and must prove certain elements.
Under certain circumstances, both a termination of parental rights and an adoption are voidable if the court finds a person knowingly gave false information. In most cases, one or both parents have signed a waiver consenting to an adoption and termination of their parental rights.
Alba & Straile
Adoption Law can be complex and adheres to strict timelines and procedures. Our attorneys can do all the legal work required to finalize this life-changing milestone for your family and remove the stress associated with the many obligations the state requires. By making us a part of your adoption journey you have advocates protecting your rights and peace of mind that everything is done legally and correctly. We represent clients in Gainesville, Ocala, Starke, and all of North Central Florida. Fill out the form, click or call 352-371-9141. A flexible appointment schedule is maintained. Abogados Alba & Straile Habla Español.