Each November, communities across the nation celebrate National Adoption Month. It’s an opportunity to raise awareness about adoption-related issues.
For Duval County, National Adoption Month unofficially kicked off on October 31st. This past Halloween, 18 kids officially got new families during a Jacksonville adoption ceremony at the Duval County courthouse.
We can just imagine the festivities and delight experienced by both the children and their new parents this holiday season.
Adoption can be a joyous occasion and it’s an event the family law team of Fusco Law Group loves helping to make a reality for Florida families.
We’ve helped successfully guide many types of adoptions, including:
- Extended family members
- Infant, child and adults
If you’re considering adopting a child call us at (904) 567-3113. We’re always happy to discuss the adoption process.
Why Hire an Attorney to Adopt a Child?
Adopting a child is a big decision and the legal process can be complex. Our job as family law attorneys is to make sure you understand your rights and obligations before the adoption process begins.
With our understanding of state and national adoption laws, we can prepare and guide you through the process. If your adoption requires a court hearing, we can represent you, which can be important if there are legal complications.
What You Should Know About Adoptions
Florida law covers two categories of adoptions:
Open Adoption: Where adoptive parents and birth mothers or fathers are familiar with each other.
Closed Adoptions: When there is no contact between birth and adoptive parents.
Subtypes of adoptions exist in these two categories, each with their own legal concerns.
This occurs when the birth parent chooses the adoptive parent and directly places the child in their care. Often these arrangements are made through an attorney. Legal concerns could include one of the birth parents choosing not to go through with the adoption later in the process.
Adoptions through an agency can be private or public. Choosing an agency is an important and complicated decision. Each agency sets their own criteria in choosing adoptive parents and often require an extensive application. Additionally, wait times can be long while the agency matches you with a child.
An experienced family law attorney can be a good guide to choosing reputable adoption agencies.
Stepparent or Close Relative Adoption
Sometimes, birth parents aren’t suited to be parents. That’s when a relative (often a grandparent) steps in to adopt a child.
When someone marries a parent of a child, they might decide adoption to be in the best interest of the child. This could occur due to a death of one of the birth parents or they are not suited to be a parent.
Both cases could be fraught with legal issues. If the birth parent decides to fight for custody or to prevent the adoption, the legal complications can be overwhelming.
Florida recognizes foreign adoptions in compliance with laws in both the United States and country granting the adoption. The process of international adoptions can be legally complicated and bureaucratic.
Adoptions in Florida
Qualifications to adopt a child in Florida can be very open. For example:
- An unmarried adult can adopt a child
- Married couples can jointly adopt a child
- A married person can adopt a child without his or her spouse
Adoptive parents must undergo a process that helps the State determine their suitability to adopt a child. The process can include:
- Orientation and interviews by adoption officials
- Preparation course and training
- Criminal background checks
- Home visits by officials
- Reference check
Fusco Law Group takes pride in helping families through the adoption process. There’s great reward in knowing we officially helped build a family. Call the Fusco Law Group, (904) 567-3113, for a free consultation.