One of the most wonderful, yet complicated experiences a family can go through is the process of adopting a child. When facing an adoption case in Florida, there are very specific procedures and criteria to be followed throughout proceedings and you want to ensure that this gets completed with speed and accuracy so there is no unnecessary delays in the adoption of your child. Attorney Clay Morgan of M&B Family Law & Mediation Services will help you every step of the way by accurately completing all required paperwork and filings from start to finish in order to ensure you are in absolute conformity with Florida law.
At M&B Family Law & Mediation Services in Melbourne, Florida, our highly qualified attorneys are here to assist any individual interested in adopting a child – whether it is a private adoption, dependency adoption, step-parent adoption, or a relative adoption.
From your initial meeting through the completion of the final proceedings, our attorneys will be with you every step of the way to facilitate and help you efficiently and effectively handle all filings, required hearings and any other hurdles you may face in the adoption process. If you or someone you know are considering adoption, call M&B Family Law & Mediation Services to obtain the utmost competent legal assistance you deserve to help you through each step in Florida’s adoption process.
A private adoption takes place between two private individuals. Essentially, the adoption is conducted by the parent or parents of the child subject to the adoption and the soon-to-be adoptive parents. The biological parent, or parents, of a minor child will decide to allow another individual or couple to adopt the child at which point the parties must go through the court system in order to transfer the parental rights from the biological parents to the adoptive parents.
This type of adoption, like most adoption proceedings, requires numerous steps that must be completed before the finalization of an adoption can be entered by the Court. A home study of the adoptive parents is one of the requirements. The process of a home study requires a state qualified and licensed professional or team of professionals to visit the home of the soon-to-be adoptive parents to do certain things required by Florida law. This home study process oftentimes includes meeting with the family of the prospective parents, providing them training in anticipation of becoming new parents, ensuring that there are no criminal records of the individuals living in the home, and gather other required adoption training necessary to complete the process.
The home study component is one of the largest components in an adoption proceeding, whether the adoption is a private adoption or one of the other types of adoptions listed below. It is important to keep in mind that the State of Florida has an enormous obligation to safeguard children and to make certain that the potential placement of a minor child is truly in the child’s best interest. The theme of “best interest of the child” is prevalent in any family law proceeding, and is undoubtedly where the Court’s places its greatest attention in an adoption.
These adoptions, like most adoptions in Florida or elsewhere, become quite complex and require intricate knowledge of Florida’s adoption laws to ensure that all of the statutory requirements are being fully met so that there is no delay in the adoption process. It is important that parents considering adoption have competent legal counsel with them to avoid the many pitfalls private adoptions present.
If you are considering a private adoption, call Attorney Clay Morgan at M&B Family Law & Mediation Services to assist you through this delicate process.
A dependency action is a case brought before the Court based on allegations of abuse, abandonment and/or neglect of a child by a parent or guardian. This usually includes removal of children from their parents’ homes if their parents are unable to take care of the children which then makes the child “dependent” on the Court, or more specifically the State, to ensure the child is provided the necessary services to properly care for the child who is the subject of a pending dependency action.
In the event that the parent or parents who have children subject to a dependency action are not able to meet the requirements of a reunification plan as outlined by the dependency court, the Court may terminate the rights of a child’s biological parents through the dependency proceeding. Upon the termination of parental rights in a dependency action, the child or children become eligible for adoption. Unique to a dependency adoption, because the Court has already terminated the rights of the parents in the dependency action, the prospective parents are able to avoid the necessity of obtaining consent from the biological parents.
If you are interested in a dependency adoption, contact our office at (321) 951-3400 and speak with Attorney Clay Morgan of M&B Family Law & Mediation Services. Clay can provide you with further guidance and information on dependency adoptions.
The law office of M&B Family Law & Mediation Services finds great satisfaction in helping stepparents, grandparents, and other relatives seeking to adopt a child.
A stepparent, grandparent, or other relative adoption allows the prospective parent or parents to take the legal place of the child’s biological parent without having to go through many of the required steps in other types of adoptions in Florida. A stepparent adoption allows the stepparent to take the legal place of one of a child’s natural parents, thereby giving the child two legal parents who are also married to one another.
Although the parental rights of the biological parent or parents still need to be terminated, in a stepparent, grandparent or relative adoption, the process can be simpler than private adoptions. For instance, a home study of the prospective adoptive parent’s home may not be required if the child already resides with the individual seeking to adopt the child and no criminal record search is required like in other types of adoptions.
Ideally, the biological parent or parents do not object to having their parental rights terminated and the process of the adoption can move forward without having to overcome this burden –sometimes there will be one or both parents who object to the termination of his or her parental rights, at which point this matter is placed before the court to decide.
Our lawyers will help you navigate all of your legal responsibilities throughout the adoption process and in the termination of parental rights. Our lawyers will also assist you in having the child’s birth certificate and other legal documentation changed to reflect the adoption.
For many, the adoption process is the only option to experience the wonder of raising a child. Unfortunately, no two adoptions are alike and each individual case brings with it the potential of new challenges to overcome.