Are You Ready to Adopt?
Adding a child to your family can be thrilling. While the goal of adding a bundle of joy to your life is ever present, the prospect of beginning the adoption process can be daunting.
If you are ready to adopt, the experienced adoption attorneys at our office can help you navigate the sometimes complex system of adoption in Florida.
What are the requirements for adopting a child in Florida?
Most people qualify to adopt a child with few exceptions. The state of Florida imposes no age restrictions on adoption eligibility; a new adoptive parent can be 22 years old or 62 years old. Sometimes, adoption agencies recommend their own age range, but no matter where you are in life, if adoption is right for you, we can help.
Marriage is not a requirement for adoption. However, most adoption agencies will list their preferences for already married couples interested in adopting. For example, a recommendation could be that the couple has been married for at least two years. Fortunately, Florida state law allows any individual ready to become a parent can begin the adoption process.
Florida has moved toward marriage equality in the adoption process. The ban on same-sex couple adoptions was lifted in 2015.
A major exception to adoption eligibility in Florida is having been convicted of a felony. Background checks are usually required for all members of the household when an adoption application is being considered. If anyone that is living in your home has been convicted of domestic violence, child abuse, abandonment, neglect, drug-related offenses or any other violent offenses, you might not be eligible to adopt in Florida.
If you do have a criminal history and would like to adopt, please make an appointment to speak with an attorney today. Many adoption agencies will work with the court to determine if you can be cleared to adopt a child. Usually, this review can include home studies and interviews with social workers, but we can help you through this difficult process.
How can an adoption attorney help?
In addition to the logistics of completing paperwork and properly filing adoption requests, adoption attorneys can help you understand the difference between open and closed adoptions and can help you decide which is right for you.
An attorney can help the adoptive parent understand the rights of the birth mother and father. Discussing this relationship during the adoption process can help adoptive parents shape how they plan to discuss the adoption with their family and in the years following with their child.
Many times, special legal circumstances attach to an adoption. In cases of interstate or international adoptions, having an attorney talk with other state and other county’s officials can be helpful. In other situations, like adoptions of special-needs children, relative children, or adoption by a stepparent, having an attorney understand and communicate to you what documents and filings should be executed can be comforting during an already stressful time.
Reach Out to an Attorney for Help Today
Having a skilled lawyer on your team that understands Florida adoption laws and procedures, and can clearly explain how these rules and regulations apply to your case can make the adoption process easier. The skilled Fort Lauderdale adoption attorneys at the office of Joyce A. Julian, P.A. can help you through the adoption process. Contact us for a consultation today!