When contemplating growing a family, some of us may choose the route of adoption, which can often be a long and complicated legal journey.
Adoption, which refers to the legal process through which a child becomes a member of a family other than that of their parents, is a important issue, and should not be taken lightly by any party. At it’s most fundamental level, adoption determines the future of a child. It severs previous familial ties and transfers the child to their new family, where they presumably remain permanently.
For the potential parents, the decision is also a lifelong commitment. The adopting parties are responsible for providing all the essential care and guidance to the child, which is a key factor in the kind of person that a child grows up to be.
There are four types of adoption in the state of Florida:
- Entity, or agency or intermediary facilitated, adoption
- Close relative adoption
- Step-parent adoption
- Adult adoption
Many adoptions tend to be closed, meaning that all ties are severed between the birth family and the child. However, there are circumstances where birth parents retain some rights with respect to the child, known as ‘open adoptions’.
In an open adoption, birth parents maintain the right to communicate with the child, but are fully and permanently relieved of any financial or care duties, which are transferred to the adopting parents.
Basic Adoption Requirements
Adoption guidelines vary on a state-by-state basis, but generally, individuals looking to adopt must meet certain criteria in order to be considered. Some requirements for potential adopting parents in Florida include:
- Being an adult with residence in the state
- Demonstrating good character
- Having the ability to provide a loving, nurturing environment
Generally, if an adult meets these criteria and has a history of good legal standing, they may be considered eligible to adopt. Single individuals or married couples may adopt, and an individual can adopt a child after a new marriage, as in the case of a stepparent and stepchild.
As of 2010, homosexuals can adopt children in the state of Florida, after the courts struck down a previous ban that blocked this.
When considering the adoption process, consulting with a family law attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Since adoption laws vary on a state-by-state basis, it is imperative that you have the best understanding possible of your state’s laws and how they affect the outcome of your case.
In Clearwater, Florida and other towns in Pinellas County, The Law Firm for Family Law specializes in family law, including child custody and adoption practices. In order to ensure that each client gets our full and undivided attention, we limit the number of cases that we handle, and we work to win the very best possible results for your case. We can help you in your adoption journey.
To speak with one of our family law experts, we invite you to call us today at (727) 531-8737.