Adoption in Florida

There are many reasons why some parents choose adoption when they wish to start or expand their family. This process can be an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. The legal aspects of adoption can be overwhelming to someone with no experience with the adoption system. An adoption attorney at the Coye Law Firm wants to help eliminate or reduce the stress associated with the legal side of adoption. Call our offices today to speak with a knowledgeable member of our staff for an evaluation of your situation. 
 

Reasons for Adoption

A family may decide on adoption for many reasons. Parents may pursue adopting a child because they:
  • are unable to have children due to infertility
  • have personal experience with adoption
  • want to provide a safe and stable home for children in need
  • want the ability to make legal decisions on behalf of a spouse's child
  • prefer not to have a traditional pregnancy
There are many more reasons that couple choose to adopt, most of which are personal. No matter the reasons for choosing adoption, it is a big step and requires careful consideration. 
 

Types of Adoption

A birth parent's relationship with the child they put up for adoption defines the type of adoption. A closed adoption is when information about the child's adoptive family is not available to the birth parents, which usually also results in the birth parent having little to no contact with the child. Open adoption, on the other hand, allows the adoptive and biological parents to have contact with each other and communicate on a regular basis in regards to the child. The terms of an adoption can be written or informal depending on the wishes of the biological parents and the adoptive parents. If you are a biological parent that wants to maintain a relationship with the child you have given up for adoption, or you want your adopted child to have no contact with their birth parents, it may be best to have an adoption contract. A contract can specifically outline the terms of an adoption and be legally binding. Having a written document stating an adoption arrangement can help protect your child's rights and your rights as a parent. 
 

Adoption Process

Adoption processes may vary from state to state, but Florida's requirements and recommendations are outlined at AdoptFlorida.org . There are a few standard steps in the process of adopting a child, including:
  • Orientation to learn from adoptive parents and counselors.
  • In-depth training about adoption. In Florida, this is called the Model Approach to Partnership in Parenting (MAPP).
  • Home study. This stage of the process determines whether or not a home is safe for a child. All adults living in the household must go through background checks, supply a list of references, and have an honest and detailed discussion with a counselor.
  • Finding a match. After you're approved, you will want to find a child that is right for your family. There are many resources for parents looking to adopt, including support group meetings or Internet listings.

Who Can Adopt a Child in Florida?

In general, an adult who lives and works in Florida, has displayed good character, and is able to care for and nurture a child is able to adopt in the state. Single adults, married couples, and stepparents may adopt children. Under current Florida law, homosexuals are not able to adopt children. However, this law has been challenged by recent court cases and judicial decision. Disabled individuals can adopt children if their physical disability does not interfere with their ability to be a good parent. 
 

Protecting Legal Rights for a Successful Adoption

Adoption is exciting and joyful for parents and the adopted child. If your family is considering adopting a child, or has already completed the adoption process, our firm wants to help you protect your rights. The adoption lawyers at the Coye Law Firm may be able to consult you on your rights and draft documents to help make your family's adoption a smooth transition. Call our offices today.