Adopting a Child in Florida
When small children are taken into state custody in Florida, there is a preference for finding relative caregivers. Unfortunately, there are times when parents cannot get their lives in order and get their children home. When this happens, adoption is the typical result. If you are a relative with custody of a loved one’s child, you may have high hopes for them to get their child back, but you should also prepare for the potential reality that you may be asked to step up and adopt that child at some point in the future. When you are adopting children in Florida, there are certain big considerations. In particular, you should consider hiring a faith-based adoption firm to work closely with you and your family.
How Does Adoption Work?
Adoption is a formal legal proceeding in which a judge grants all legal rights and responsibilities of parenthood to someone other than a child’s birth parents. In some cases, the court must first terminate the parental rights of those birth parents. Under Section 63.042 of the Florida Revised Statutes, just about anyone can adopt, provided they meet certain basic requirements. This includes:
- Married people
- Unmarried people living together
- Single people
- Physically disabled people
Who Cannot Adopt?
There are, of course, some restrictions on adoption. For instance, the following are disqualifying conditions that will render a person unable to adopt.
- People with certain felony records
- Anyone with a history of abusing or neglecting children
- Individuals on a sex offender registry or with a history of sex crimes
- Individuals with serious domestic violence problems
- Anyone who is not financially capable or who lacks secure housing and income
Why Work With an Attorney?
Technically, you do not have to hire an attorney in order to adopt a child in Florida. However, there are a lot of great reasons why you should. For example, in some cases, a biological parent who has been uninvolved in a child’s life for years will re-enter the picture and try to get their children back. In other cases, a parent may come and go, spending months working hard to correct conditions that led to losing their children (i.e. drug abuse, domestic violence), only to relapse and be out of the picture for months or years. This back and forth can go on for years, leaving a foster parent heartbroken. An attorney can help to protect your rights as well as your foster child’s rights. Ultimately, working with an attorney can help you navigate the complex CPS system and help you get your adoption completed more quickly.
How to Get Help Adopting a Child in Florida
For help in Miami and surrounding areas, you want to work with an attorney who has the experience, love and compassion to carefully work through difficult situations in and out of court. At the Sejour-Gustave Law Firm, PLLC, our team places a sincere priority on our clients and their faith. If you have been called to serve as a foster parent or adopt a child in Florida, call our firm today and get the advice and representation that you deserve.