There are many types of domestic adoption; from an agency assisted adoption to adult adoption. Each one differs slightly. If you have decided to pursue a domestic adoption, you will need the help of a family law firm with adoption experience.
In-State VS Interstate Adoption
Most adoptions within the U.S. have similar requirements. However, there are differences in the process and paperwork. Generally, an adoption of a child who was born in Florida or is a legal resident of Florida is less complicated than an interstate adoption. With an interstate adoption, depending on the state, the adoptive family may need to stay in the state of the child’s birth or legal residency for a week or more. Your Florida adoption attorney will need to communicate with the other state’s adoption attorney throughout the process. Of course, if this is a grandparent or other relative adoption, there are different laws that apply.
Adoption Through the Foster System
There are more than 20,000 children in the foster care system in the state of Florida alone. Of those children, about 20% are eligible for adoption each year. Many families choose a process called foster to adopt. However, that is not the only way to adopt a child or sibling group. You can adopt through the foster care system without fostering the children. You will need an attorney to finalize your adoption through foster care whether you choose the foster to adopt or adopt a child from foster care without being their foster parent.
Relative or Kinship Adoption
This is one of the easiest types of adoption. It is less expensive and a faster process than other types, however, you still need an attorney who understands the paperwork and law. Although as a family member you can house, feed and cloth a child for its birth parents, you will not have all the legal rights as a parent until you formalize the adoption.
There are many circumstances where an adult child may want to be adopted by someone who acted as a parent. And there are benefits for both the adoptee and the adopter. However, in order to complete the process, all parties must be informed. This includes the person who will no longer be listed as the legal mother or father. Often these are adoptions involving a stepparent. Although an attorney is not required, they have the experience to get the process completed easily.
Stepparent adoption differs from relative adoption because in relative adoption there must be a blood connection. A stepparent can adopt a minor child with the consent of the parent being removed from the birth certificate. The reasons you may want to consider this is to legalize the parental relationship already assumed when the biological parent is no longer living or in the picture.
Wagstaff & Pitelis Offers Adoption Services
If you are considering a domestic adoption and are looking for legal advice, we are ready to help. Whether you are adopting a family member or found someone out of the state you would like to adopt, call us at (727) 584-8182 to get started on growing your family.