Understanding the Process When Adopting in Florida

Written By: Lenorae C. Atter, Attorney at Law

1350860_hand-in-hand.jpgFlorida adoptions fall under Florida Statute Chapter 63, which provides the different grounds for adoption and the process that must be followed in order to pursue an in-state adoption. In addition, the Florida legislature has provided for different forms of adoption, which can be assessed to best fit your needs if you are pursuing to adopt a child in Jacksonville or other Florida cities. There are multiple options for adoption, which consist of the following:

1. Private adoptions
2. Step-parent adoptions
3. Grandparent adoptions
4. Domestic and international adoptions.

Florida law governs the different areas of adoption, as even international adoptions have to be processed through the state in which you reside. When going through an adoption, understanding the process and how to navigate through it can be vital to a successful adoption action. When going through such an important process, it is extremely helpful to work with a professional who has experience in dealing with adoption.

When deciding to adopt, there are many avenues to check into, which include options such as whether you want to pursue an international adoption through an international adoption agency or organization; whether you want to adopt locally through an adoption or government agency; whether the adoption will be private and based on a child that you have found through your own networking; or any other way that you have found may be beneficial to your needs. Depending on your choice, the cost can fluctuate based on agency fees, attorney fees, related costs (i.e. travel expenses), etc. Another factor that may be considered in an adoption price is the complexity of the issues and what issues may arise throughout the process (i.e. issues with terminating parental rights). Agencies can be very helpful and easy to work with, but ultimately understanding the process and what to expect can be much more beneficial than automatically going to an agency.

There are organizations that can help, but ultimately an attorney will need to be involved in the process in order perform the legal adoption of the child with the court. Hiring your own attorney can be beneficial from the beginning since agency’s typically are working for the child and you may need an attorney review the adoption contract, navigate the process for you, or lead you through the process altogether. Taking the right approach can be a delicate process and finding the right attorney to guide you through it all can be vital to your success and experience.

When researching the different forms of adoption, it is important to understand what your needs are and what each area of the adoption will require. In order to best understand your options, you should speak with an experienced family law attorney that can help guide you through the process and provide insight into your multiple options. When it comes to certain adoptions, the criteria can be different and you do not want to take on more if it is not necessary. Ultimately, the adoption process can be quite rewarding and having knowledge can make the experience much easier on you and your family.