Understanding Adoption in Florida
Whether you’re in Florida or somewhere else, adoption is a legal process. The type of adoption you are looking to pursue will determine whether you need an adoption attorney or if a notary will suffice. In most adoption situations, you want an attorney. They understand the proper procedures which help to avoid disappointment and heartbreak.
Types of Adoption
Florida classifies adoption as falling into one of four categories:
- Adult adoption – The least frequent adoption throughout the country but growing in commonality is adult adoption. In these cases, both adult parties agree to make a parent/child relationship official. This often happens in a step-parent/child relationship, foster parent/child relationship when the child wasn’t officially able to be adopted as a minor. Increasingly, as adopted children find a birth parent, they’re choosing this route. A notary and judge can handle this adoption.
- Step-parent adoption – Blended families are more common today than ever before. In some cases, one parent wishes to adopt the biological child of their spouse. In most cases, the other birth parent must relinquish their rights. Sometimes a judge will terminate parental rights. Of course, if the other parent is deceased, the step-parent may adopt them without issue. Keep in mind that once paternal or maternal ties are cut with a living biological parent, they are no longer obligated to pay child support. For your protection, an adoption attorney is recommended.
- Close relative adoption – The most common situation is when a grandparent adopts their grandchild because the parent isn’t emotionally or financially ready to be a parent. Other close relatives can include siblings, aunts or uncles and first cousins. We recommend an attorney for most close relative adoptions.
- Entity adoptions – When you use an agency for an adoption, it’s called an entity adoption. That means there’s a third party facilitating the adoption process. This is the most common type of adoption and includes closed, open, and foster based adoptions. You always want an attorney familiar with adoption law to facilitate this type of adoption.
Although the term embryo adoption is common, especially in Florida, you can’t actually adopt embryos because legally, they are considered human tissue. However, you will want to formalize the transfer of the ownership of the embryos formally with an attorney.
Adoption is a Process
There are many laws concerning adoption to ensure the safety and rights of parents and children. Depending on the age of the child and situation, there may be a waiting period before the judge makes the adoption official. Working with an adoption attorney to ensure that all the paperwork is complete will help prevent issues in the future.
Wagstaff Law Office can assist with all adoption matters. No matter how simple or complex your adoption situation is, we’re ready to help you grow your family. Call (727) 584-8182 today for more information.