There are different types of stepparent adoptions in Florida, and they are all complex.
Whether it is as a result of divorce or two people getting married and one wishing to adopt a child, there are a variety of reasons for stepparent adoptions in Florida. A stepparent adoption occurs when one person wishes to adopt another person’s child so the two people can raise the child as a couple. The concept is simple, but the process of making the adoption official and legal is not. A Florida family lawyer familiar with the laws involved can be of great help.
Petitioning the Court to Adopt a Child
Florida law outlines the procedure for stepparent adoptions, as well as who can adopt a child as a stepparent. The first step in a stepparent adoption is to determine if a person can legally adopt a child. Generally speaking, as long as the person has the capacity to be an effective parent and is married to one of the biological parents of the child, they are able to adopt the child. When this is the case, the soon-to-be stepparent, and the biological parent then petition the court to grant the adoption.
The court will consider how long the stepparent has lived with the child, the reasons the stepparent wishes to adopt the child, and if consent is required from the other biological parent. In most cases, the other biological parent must consent to the adoption. There are a few scenarios, such as when that biological parent has died or abandoned the child, in which consent may not be necessary. In some cases, such as with abandonment, the other biological parent’s rights may need to be terminated before the adoption can proceed.
LGBTQ Stepparent Adoptions
Stepparent adoptions within the LGBTQ community are different than a same-sex couple wishing to adopt a child together. This is because just like in other types of stepparent adoptions, the child already has two biological parents and each of those parents has parental rights.
Historically, stepparents’ adoptions for LGBTQ couples were not legal because same-sex marriages were not legal. Now that these marriages are legal, same-sex couples can adopt, both through the traditional path and through stepparent adoptions.
When one spouse in a same-sex marriage wishes to adopt their spouse’s child, they can petition the courts and adopt the child. The stepparent will have full legal parental rights after the court approves the adoption. However, unlike other types of stepparent adoptions, both biological parents will retain their own parental rights.
Our Florida Family Lawyer can Help with Your Adoption
Adopting a child is a very exciting time, but it is also a complex process. If you wish to adopt the child of your spouse, call our Daytona Beach family lawyer at The Law Offices of Robert Stepniak. Attorney Stepniak understands the family court system in Florida and will help you navigate through it to give you the best chance of a positive outcome. Call us today to schedule your consultation so we can start reviewing your case.
Call (386) 253-4750 to get started on your case.