Adopting a child is a wonderful life-changing experience for everyone involved. Having the opportunity to alter a young person’s life in such a profound way can provide hope for the child, and unparalleled unique love for the adopting parent(s). You will forever have a special bond with your adopted child, one that words can’t quite describe. But just like most wonderful things in life, adoption is a lengthy and sometimes difficult process, but oftentimes for good reason. It’s critical that the child is put in a home that will provide the care he/she deserves and needs. In this blog, we’ll discuss some of the things you can expect during the adoption process in Florida and how Daniels Law can help!
Who can Adopt in the State of Florida?
The adoption qualifications in the state of Florida are comparable to many other states. You may adopt if you are a:
– Husband and wife adopting jointly
– Stepparent adopting your spouse’s child
– Unmarried adult
Marriage is not a requirement in the state of Florida, however unmarried same-sex couples cannot adopt together. In these cases, one parent adopts and then we file a “second parent” adoption. It is much like a stepparent adoption, however, a home study is required.
Also, a person cannot be prohibited from adopting solely because of a physical disability unless it is determined the disability renders them incapable of being an effective guardian of the child.
Home Study Process
If you’re looking to adopt, whether through a private agency, an attorney, or foster care, a home study is mandatory unless you are a relative or stepparent. Florida requires that all residents of the house (including children) will be interviewed. This can give the potential adoptive parents some anxiety about portraying the “perfect home” image, and if they don’t give off this perception, it will disqualify them from adopting. This isn’t the case. The purpose of the home study is to ensure the home is safe for children and allow the social worker to learn more about your family.
During the adoption interviews, it’s important to be yourself. Don’t try and be someone you’re not. Prepare to be honest about questions such as your education, finances, health, religion, etc. Whatever your unique family dynamic might be, you will be able to find an adoption professional to suit your needs. Don’t always immediately go with an adoption agency or attorney a friend recommended. Do some research and find one that accommodates your adoption needs and family dynamic.
Can the Mother of the Child Change Her Mind about Adoption?
If at any point during the pregnancy the mother decides she doesn’t want to give her child up for adoption, she has that right. After the child’s birth, the mother may sign a consent either 48 hours after the baby has been born, or the day the birth mother has been notified in writing that she is fit to leave the hospital or birth center, whichever comes first. The birth father may consent at any time after the birth of the child. Once signed, a consent may only be revoked if a court finds it was obtained by fraud or duress. However, if a child is older than 6 months of age at the time of consent, a consent may be revoked within 3 business days.
For many individuals and couples, adoption is a great way to start a family. The moment you decide to adopt another member into your family is extremely special, and with the right legal representation empowering and informing you every step of the way, the journey can be a smooth one. At Daniels Law, P.A., we have the knowledge and insights to help you through all of the clutter during this process. If you have any questions about adoption in the state of Florida, give us a call and we would be happy to assist you.