Adoption in Florida is governed by the Florida Adoption Act, chapter 63, Florida Statutes. A final judgment of adoption terminates the parental relationship between the child and the birth parents. A new parental relationship is created between the child and the adoptive parents. The child is treated by law as if he or she had been born to the adoptive parents. For most purposes, the adoptee obtains all inheritance rights of a child born to the adoptive parent and loses all inheritance rights from the birth parents.The law offices of West Palm Beach Adoption Attorney, Stephen J. Press, has been handling adoptions in the West Palm Beach are for over forty years and is ready to serve your needs.
Adoption proceedings in Florida are a two-step process: first, the termination of the parental rights of the birth parents, and second, adoption of the child by the adoptive parents. When a stepparent is seeking the adoption the court can terminate parental rights and grant the adoption in the same proceeding. Although adults can be adopted, this article discusses only the adoption of children. Who can adopt? Florida law provides that the following persons may adopt:
- A husband and wife jointly;
- An unmarried adult; or
- A stepparent with the spouse's consent.
Who must consent? The birth mother of the child must consent to the adoption. A birth father must consent to the adoption unless he has abandoned the child. If the child is more than 12 years old the child must consent. The law protects an unmarried biological father's rights. An unmarried biological father is entitled to notice of a birth or an adoption proceeding if he has complied with the adoption statute. To preserve the right to receive notice and consent to an adoption, an unmarried biological father is required to file a notarized claim of paternity form with the Florida Putative Father Registry maintained by the office of Vital Statistics of the Department of Health. It is important to consult with an experienced adoption attorney. West Palm Beach adoption attorney, Stephen J. Press is highly experienced and professional and is familiar with the adoption requirements in Palm Beach County. Our office specializes in handling stepparent adoptions.
It is absolutely crucial that all requirements be followed to the tee. If the procedure is not scrupulously followed, an adoption can be set aside by the court at the request of a biological parent.
Before a minor child can be placed in a prospective adoptive home, a preliminary home study must be conducted by a licensed child placing agency or a licensed professional. This requirement is waived if the adoptive parent is a stepparent. A petition for adoption may not be filed until the final judgment terminating parental rights pending adoption is entered, unless the adoptee is an adult, parental rights were terminated previously or the prospective adoptive parent is a stepparent or a relative. Upon the granting of the adoption by the court the adoptive parents may apply for a new birth record.
Contact a West Palm Beach Adoption Attorney
Please call our office at (561) 833-2772 for a free consultation or contact us online.