Adoption in Florida is a complex process. It is important for prospective parents to thoroughly research and educate themselves on all legal requirements including representation.
Michelle Hausmann and Amy Hickman are Florida Bar certified adoption lawyers that specialize in adoption and reproductive law.
Who Can Adopt In Florida
Florida law authorizes both instate and nonresidents to adopt, and does not discriminate against age, sex, marital status, or sexual orientation.
Types Of Adoption Options In Florida
- Entity adoption through an adoption agency or adoption lawyers
- Step-parent adoption
- Close relative adoption
- Adult adoption
- Second parent adoption
Adoption Process In Florida
Before an adoption can take place in the state of Florida, the court must receive consent from the biological parents of the child that they understand and accept that they are forever relinquishing their parental rights. In Florida, there are certain requirements for valid consent.
For children 6 months old or younger:
- The biological mother cannot sign consent until 48 hours after birth or on her discharge day from the hospital. Once consent is signed, it cannot be revoked unless the birth parents can show proof of fraud or duress at the time of consent.
- The biological father can sign consent any time after the birth or an irrevocable affidavit of non-paternity at any time before or after the birth.
For children older than 6 months:
- The biological mother and father can sign consent at any time.
- There is a revocation period of three days where either party is allowed to change his or her mind.
After consent has been received and signed in front of a notary, the judge can then terminate the parental rights of the birth parents. Once a judgment has been made, the adoptive parents can file a petition for adoption. Parents cannot file until 30 days after the judgment to terminate parental rights or 90 days after placement of the child within their home. After this time, there will be a final hearing to finalize the adoption.
If you are a birth family facing an unplanned pregnancy or prospective adoptive parents wanting to start a family then the adoption lawyers at Hausmann and Hickman can help. We specialize in adoption in Florida, as well as surrogacy options. For more information and resources about adoption law in Florida, give us a call at (561) 732-7030.