Stepparent adoption is common in Jacksonville, Florida, where we, Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A. is located. Florida recognizes adoption by a stepparent to be commonplace and tries to make the process easy on all parties. Consent of the nonparticipating parent is the best way to gain adoption rights of the child. However, some situations do not require consent of the parent.
Stepparent adoption is usually achieved when a parent remarries and the other parent has not consistenly participated in the child’s life. Upon the primary parent’s marriage, the new spouse offers to adopt the child so that the child can have an intact and stable environment with a mom and dad. Florida courts, looking at the matter in the best interest of the child, are happy to provide such a family unit to a child.
Typically, a nonparticipating parent is fine giving up their parental rights to the child, because it alleviates the need to pay future child support and they understand that the child has a chance at a two parent home. If the other parent is willing, then it is best to get them to sign a consent terminating their parental rights. This process is the easiest method for all parties.
When a consent to the termination of parental rights is signed, Florida still provides a loophole to the terminating parent. If the child is over 6 months old at the time, then the rights terminating parent has only 3 days to rescind the consent, or until the child is placed in the adopting parent’s home, whichever is later.