Written By: Lenorae C. Atter, Attorney
Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A.
As a Jacksonville, Florida family law attorney one of the more joyous occasions I get to handle are stepparent adoptions.
When a parent marries a someone that is willing to take the place of a missing parent, whether by choice, incarceration, death, etc., Florida allows the process to be completed relatively smoothly. The idea of the court is to make the transition easy for the stepparent as long as the other parent does not contest or object to parental rights being terminated. Often, if the other parent has not been involved with the child’s life, that parent is typically willing to have his/her rights terminated and will consent to the termination of parental rights.
An unmarried father that has not registered with the Putative Father Registry and who has not been married to the mother or in communication with the mother may give up his rights by failure to comply with the establishment of his legal paternity. However, if the mother knows how to find that individual, then there is a presumption that he should be given the opportunity to object to his rights being terminated and notice is given to him of the Petition.
If you are seeking to adopt your stepchild, then you should speak with a family law attorney to make certain that you go through the correct process to make certain the adoption is done correctly.