NEED A FLORIDA ADOPTION LAWYER?
LET PAZOS LAW GROUP HELP YOU BUILD YOUR DREAMS OF A FAMILY
Adopting a child is an incredible step in making your dreams as a family come true. The legal details of an adoption in Florida can seem too complicated and even overwhelming for most families. That’s exactly why you need the team of Florida adoption lawyers at Pazos Law Group. Our knowledge of Florida family law, especially adoption procedure, will allow you to spend your time and effort bringing your family together while we handle the forms, petitions, and documents. Let us put our knowledge and experience to work for a smooth, successful adoption.
TYPES OF ADOPTIONS IN FLORIDA
Adoption is the legal process through which a child becomes a part of a family other than that child’s birth family through an order of the court.
Any minor child (who is less than 18 years old) can be adopted, but kids over the age of 12 have to consent to their adoption. Groups of siblings can also be adopted together.
Adoptions can be either closed or open, depending on the wishes of the birth and adoptive families. Closed adoptions mean that the birth family gives up all rights to the child and will have no contact with the new adoptive family at all. Open adoptions offer the birth family some contact with the child, to communicate and visit with the agreement and support of the adoptive family.
HOW DOES ADOPTION WORK IN FLORIDA?
In Florida, adoption is open to adults who live and work in Florida, who have good character, and who have the ability to love and provide for a child. Florida adoptions fall into four different categories: entity, stepparent, close relative, and adult adoptions.
Pazos Law Group has experience working for families who are in the process of:
- Stepparent adoption
- Grandparent adoption
- Same-sex adoption
- Foster care adoption
In all cases of adoption, the court first has to terminate the parental rights of the birth parents. That, obviously, can happen easily if the birth parent(s) in question voluntarily surrender their rights and consent to the adoption. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case in stepparent adoption, grandparent adoption, or foster care adoption. In those cases, you’ll have to petition the court to terminate those rights before any adoption can be finalized. You’ll need a Florida adoption lawyer to help you navigate that process, which can be incredibly emotional.
CAN I FIGHT AN ADOPTION?
What if you’re on the other side of an adoption, as a biological parent that doesn’t want the adoption to go through? If that’s the case, Pazos Law Group can help you as well. Florida adoption law gives equal weight to all of the people involved in the adoption process: the biological parents, the adoptee, and the adoptive parents. But until your parental rights have been terminated, either by you voluntarily or by the court, your rights come first.
In order to terminate your parental rights, the court has to have proof that you either consented to the adoption, that you have abused, neglected, or abandoned your child or children, or that you have not protected your parental rights.
If you still have your parental rights, you can challenge an adoption. We can help with that process, which may involve establishing paternity or filing other paperwork with the court. We can help make sure that you don’t miss any opportunity to defend your rights in court.
CAN AN ADOPTION BE REVERSED IN FLORIDA?
An adoption can really only be revoked during a certain window that the law offers biological parents to change their minds. In Florida, that consent window is only three days, to give adoptive parents the peace of mind that the adoption can move forward.
After that period of time, an adoption can only be revoked if the biological parents can prove that the adoption involved duress (defined as threats, violence, or other action that forces someone to do something against their will) or fraud (deception that results in personal gain).
It’s very difficult to prove a claim of duress or fraud, or to revoke an adoption after it is finalized. That’s especially true when you’re working with a Florida adoption lawyer, who can confirm that all legal steps are taken during the entire process.
WHY DO YOU NEED A LAWYER IN AN ADOPTION CASE?
Florida adoption lawyers can serve a number of roles in the adoption process, including as an adoption agent or as an representative for prospective adoptive parents. Of course, if you’re trying to fight an adoption proceeding, an adoption attorney can also help you through that process and advise you of your legal rights.
Starting the adoption process in Florida can be very complicated, so having an experienced team on your side is important.
Florida adoption lawyers can:
- Order home studies
- Obtain consent to the adoption for those involved
- Serve biological parents with notice of adoption
- Guide adoptive parents through potential problems
- File adoption paperwork with the Florida courts
- Prepare and finalize paperwork