Step Parent Adoptions - Florida Adoption Attorney -
When it comes to step parent/stepchild adoptions, our lawyers are experienced and highly qualified to handle this complicated process. We work hard to ensure that the adoption process goes as smoothly and easily as possible. We are one of the few Florida law firms that handles step parent adoptions and we are very familiar with the requirements of adopting a stepchild, which are different from other types of adoption and can be confusing. In the Florida counties of Lee, Collier and Charlotte, our family law our attorneys have the experience to help you navigate the complicated legal landscape of adopting a stepchild.
You can schedule a free consultation regarding stepparent adoption with us to help you get information on this process.
Getting Consent to Adopt Your Stepchild
While other types of adoption must deal with issues like stability of the adopting parents and their home, or health of the child, stepparent adoptions are primarily concerned with consent by the birth parents. In order to adopt your stepchild, the court must have record that your spouse and the non-custodial parent consent to your adoption of the child. Obviously, getting consent from the adopting parent’s spouse is usually not a problem. But getting consent from the non-custodial parent can be challenging sometimes. Parents who are non-communicative or difficult to reach, or who like to make things difficult for their former spouse, present problems in the adoption process. We are experienced in obtaining consent from non-custodial parents in these kinds of circumstances.
If the child you are adopting is 12 years old or older, you’ll also need the child’s consent. You and your spouse should discuss the adoption with your child prior to beginning the paperwork to make sure he or she is amenable to the idea. Usually, the court will not permit the adoption of a non-consenting child age 12 or older unless there is clear and convincing evidence that the adoption is in the child’s best interests. If you’re trying to adopt a non-consenting older child, our experienced adoption lawyers can help you assemble and present evidence and arguments to show why the adoption is in the child’s best interest.
When Consent Is Not Needed
In a few circumstances consent of the non-custodial parent or guardian is not required. If the non-custodial parent is not known or their parental rights have been terminated by court order, then consent is not needed. Consent is also not needed if the non-custodial parent has been declared incompetent and restoration of competency is medically improbable. Failure to pay child support or follow the court-ordered parenting plan is usually not sufficient for the court to override the consent requirement.
Discuss Your Stepchild Adoption Questions for Free
Contact us for a free consultation to talk about your legal needs regarding step parent adoptions — there’s no cost or obligation. Find out what your rights are and why adoption attorneys are needed by anyone considering adoption of their stepchild. If you live in the Florida counties of Lee, Collier and Charlotte, our family law attorneys have the experience you need to understand the adoption process and ensure that your adoption needs are met.
Call our attorneys today at 866-995-0166.