What are Open Adoptions? Open adoptions provide the birth mother, child, and adoptive family with open communication. They can create the type of relationship, openly, with all parties that works for them and the child.
What are Closed Adoptions? This occurs when the birth parents have no contact with once the child has been adopted.
What are Step-Parent Adoptions? They are exactly how it sounds. A step-parent seeks to adopt his or her partner’s child due to a strong and loving bond with a child. Adoption provides the step-parent with legal rights to the child. Meaning, the step-parent will have the following rights:
- To make major decisions regarding the child (including medical and school decision)
- Assume legal responsibility for the child.
- Be named as the child’s parent on the child’s birth certificate.
- provide health insurance to the child based upon your employment
- enroll the child in school
Most stepparent adoptions occur when a divorced parent get married again and their new spouse adopts wishes to adopt their child or children.
What are Grandparent and Relative Adoptions? These proceedings occur when a grandparent or relative, or even a close family friend, wishes to adopt a child. The most common reasons for a grandparent adoption includes:
- When the parents are unable to care for the child (abuse, neglect or abandonment)
- Mental health or medical problems
- Alcohol or drug related issues in the home of the child
- Death of a parent
- Teenage pregnancy
- Financial issues
Grandparent adoptions usually occur when the biological or legal parents rights have been terminated or when the biological or legal parents’ consent to the adoption.
Types of Adoption
Chapter 63 of the Florida Statutes governs adoption in Florida. (Fla. Stat. 63.042).
There are four types of adoption in Florida,
(1) entity adoption (adoption agency),
(2) stepparent adoption,
(3) close relative adoption, and
(4) adult adoption.
Children born out of wedlock (paternity cases)
Did you know, if you have a child in the state of Florida, out of wed lock, you are required to register with the Florida Putative Father Registry. If you do not do this, an adoption proceeding of your child may take place without your knowledge or consent.
How do I consent to Adoption?
In order for a parents consent to adoption to be valid, there are many rules that must be complied with.
- The biological mother may not sign her consent for adoption until 48 hours after the child’s birth or on her date of discharge from the hospital or birth center, whichever time is earlier. Fla. Stat. 63.085.
- When a child younger than the age of 6 months is placed for adoption, a birth father may sign a consent for adoption at any time after the child’s birth.
- Additionally, a legal or biological father may sign an irrevocable Affidavit of Non-paternity at any time, before or after the child’s birth, relinquishing parental rights.
- When a child is 6 months of age or older, the mother and father may sign the consent at any time, and their consent is subject to a revocation period of three business days.
- In either case, the consents must be signed in the presence of two witnesses and be acknowledged before a notary who is not signing as a witness.
- If the child is 6 months or older, the revocation period must have passed.
Only the court presiding over the adoption can overturn the consents upon a finding that the consents were taken by fraud or duress.
What is the Adoption Procedure of a child?
The procedure to adopt a child starts with the termination of parental rights of the biological parents. A Petition to Terminate Parental Rights must be filed in the county where the child resides or the county where the adoption entity is located. Fla. Stat. 63.087(a). Once an order terminating the parental rights of the biological parent is entered, then a petition to adopt can be filed. Generally, a Petition for Adoption is filed in the county in which the parental rights were terminated. The petition must be filed within 60 days of the termination of parental rights judgment. The hearing on the petition may not be held sooner than 30 days after the date of the termination of parental rights judgment or sooner than 90 days after the child was placed with the adoptive family. The 90-day rule does not apply for relative and stepparent adoptions if all required consents are filed with the court before the hearing. (Fla. Stat. 63.102).
The rules are very complex. It is imperative that you retain competent legal counsel to represent you. This is why you should contact the Horton Law Group, P.A. to schedule your free consultation.
How long does the adoption process take and what is the cost?
Depending on the process and the type of adoption – the cost of litigation can vary. Adoptions can usually be established through final judgment within 12 months. The cost of an adoption is significantly increased if the adoption is not objected to by the parents or other third parties.
If you are looking to adopt or to terminate your parental rights, you will need an experienced attorney to navigate you through the complexities of Florida Adoption law. The Horton Law Group, P.A. has vast experience in adoption and family law litigation.
Why Hire the Horton Law Group, P.A?
The outcome of your case ultimately depends on who you chose to represent you. The principal partner at the Horton Law Group, P.A., Attorney Sommer C. Horton, is an experienced and aggressive litigator. She is highly regarded for her creativeness, strategic judgment, and her uncanny ability to deliver persuasive legal arguments in the courtroom. She has a tremendous skill for being an aggressive advocate for her clients, while being one who understands and appreciates how trying litigation can be, thus, she is extremely sensitive to her clients’ needs. Ms. Horton is passionate about the law and believes in seeking justice for her clients in an ethical and economic manner. Ms. Horton fights for each one of her clients, every step of the way. If the case cannot be settled out of court, Ms. Horton will be litigating your case at trial. The Horton Law Group, P.A. is a boutique civil litigation law firm that only takes on a limited number of cases so that personal attention can be given to every client. Make the right call – schedule a free 30-minute consultation with Ms. Horton. You can make an appointment by calling 561-299-0018 or emailing email@example.com.