Adoption in Florida
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Adoption is the process by which someone other than the biological parent of a child becomes the child’s legal parent.
There are three possible prerequisites which may make a child available for adoption. Adoption is possible when both biological parents are deceased, both biological parents consent, or a parents parental rights have been terminated by a court order or are subject to termination.
However, a child born to a valid marriage is considered a child of the marriage whether or not the husband is the biological father unless the non-biological father (husband) objects in a timely manner.
Adoption of a child generally requires:
- Consent of both the mother and the father when the child was conceived or born of marriage;
- The child was previously adopted by a mother and father;
- The child has been adjudicated the child of the father;
- An affidavit of paternity has been filed by the father
- The child’s birth certificate listed the father; or
- The unmarried father filed on the paternity registry.
However, if an unmarried mother and father disagree on consent to an adoption and it is the biological father who objects to an adoption, there are two scenarios which must be considered. Which to apply is dependent upon the age of the child.
- If the child is less than six 6 months old, a biological father who objects must take action before the mother executes her consent by filing a notarized claim for adoption, and show the court that he has contributed to the expenses of the pregnancy, is able to take responsibility, and care for the child.
- In the event that the child is more than six (6) months old the consent of the unmarried biological father is only required if he has developed a relationship with the child, has taken measures of responsibility for the child, and given financial support or the father has had regular contact with the child.
In either of the above cases if the father can not make the required showing then the father’s consent to the adoption is not mandatory.
Parents whom are hoping to adopt a child must undergo a home study. The home study determines the suitability of the intended adoptive parents.
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