Step-Parent Adoption in Florida

Step-parent Adoption in Florida

When a single parent remarries, a step-parent takes on the responsibility of raising, caring for, and loving their spouse’s child. In most cases, both the children and step-parents will form a close bond together – much like the bond that biological parents and their children share. However, under Florida family law, step-parents have no legal rights with respect to the child. Therefore, many step-parents will adopt their step-child and form a parent-child relationship in both their eyes and in the eyes of the law.

Step-parent adoption is the most common form of adoption in the United States. It is a way to legally unite a blended family and provide security for everyone. When a step-parent adopts their step-child, they get full legal and physical custody of the child, and they will have the same rights as the birth parent.

Step-parent adoption is one of the easiest types of adoption to complete. However, if all of the necessary requirements and prerequisites are not complied with exactly as the law demands the adoption may be denied. If you are a step-parent considering adopting your spouse’s child, you should contact Florida Law Advisers, P.A., for assistance. We can draft all of the necessary paperwork and navigate your adoption application from start to finish to help ensure a smooth and timely process.

The Adoption Process:

With competent legal representation at your side, the adoption process can be relatively quick and inexpensive. In step-parent adoption cases, Florida family law will not require a report, recommendation, home study, or waiting period. Furthermore, the step-parent will not be required to complete a background check during the adoption process. However, the step-parent will need to either (a) get the consent of the biological parent or (b) get approval from the court.

If the biological parent is willing to consent to the adoption the step-parent should consider this route. Step-parent adoptions are typically more simple and efficient to complete when the biological parent consents to terminating their parental rights. In many cases, biological parents are willing to give consent because it relieves them from having to pay any future child support.

If consent is not a viable option the stepparent will need to petition the court to terminate the biological parent’s rights and approve the adoption. A court will consider a multitude of factors when deciding whether or not to approve the adoption. In most cases, a court will only terminate a biological parent’s rights and approve the adoption if the parent has no or very limited contact with the children.

Speak to a Tampa Family Attorney about an Adoption in Florida

If you are a step-parent who wants to adopt your step-children, the adoption lawyers at Florida Law Advisers, P.A., can help. We understand the delicate nature of adoption cases and are dedicated to ensuring our clients receive the compassionate and skilled legal representation they deserve. For more questions about step-parent adoptions in Florida or to schedule a free consultation with an adoption lawyer at our law firm please call us today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Typically, step-parent adoption is easier than a traditional adoption case. If the biological father consents to the adoption, it can be completed relatively quickly. An uncontested step-parent adoption may be completed in as little as one court hearing.

Generally, a child does not get to decide the result of a step-parent adoption case in Florida. However, the child’s preference can be a factor in the judge’s determination. Also, before a child can testify the judge must first approve the testimony of a minor.

Yes, the biological father does have a right to object to the adoption. In order to complete the step-parent adoption, the biological father’s rights must be terminated. The biological father’s consent is not required, but it can make the process easier.

No, a lawyer is not required for a step-parent adoption in Florida. However, the laws for adoption can be confusing and burdensome. Therefore, it is recommended to seek the aid of an attorney, even though it is not a requirement.