It is not uncommon in these troubled times for someone to find themselves caring for children of relatives who, for one reason or another, stopped being reliable parents. Often what starts out to be a temporary arrangement turns into a long-term responsibility.
If biological parents are out of the picture for a long while, maybe permanently, the family member caring for their children can find themselves running into legal problems when trying to get them enrolled in school, see a doctor, and other parenting issues.
When a short-term spell of temporary care turns into long-term custody of a minor relative with no end in sight, you may need the help of a lawyer experienced in Florida family law to help you navigate Florida family adoption laws. Call 407-644-2466 for a free consultation with the Orlando Family Law Attorneys at the Rivas Law Firm.
Relative Adoption in Florida
People who want full legal parental rights for a biologically related child under their care, such as a nephew or niece, sibling, or grandchild, can petition for a relative adoption, sometimes called kinship adoption. Grandparent adoption is the most common type of relative adoption in Florida.
After filing a petition in the local Circuit Court, the persons who wants to adopt generally have to get the biological parent’s permission if required, then file required records and documents, and request a hearing date from the Court. The process can be time-consuming and complex, and frustrating problems often arise. A family adoption lawyer can make things much easier for you.
Step Parent (or Stepparent) Adoption
Stepparent adoption is also common in Florida. The high divorce rate (or the death of a spouse) results in many situations in which a biological parent is no longer inclined or available to undertake parental responsibilities. For example, when a divorced mother remarries, a stepfather often assumes the role of the biological father. For both practical and sentimental reasons, the stepfather may want to formally adopt his stepchildren. It serves to deepen the bond between them and gives the stepfather permanent legal rights necessary for responsible parenting.
A stepparent wishing to adopt needs to meet certain requirements, file a petition with supporting documents, and appear at a final court hearing. If all goes smoothly, the Court may grant a Final Judgment of Stepparent Adoption. From then on, the absent parent loses all legal parental rights, which are transferred to the stepparent, and the stepparent’s name is added to the child’s birth certificate.
Using a Florida Adoption Attorney
The best way to obtain the legal rights required to properly oversee the health and educational needs of a relative’s child or a stepchild is with an experienced Family Law Attorney. An experienced lawyer can help you understand the legal requirements and ensure that all of the paperwork is properly completed and filed on time.
An attorney can also provide advice on what to expect at the hearing and how to be better prepared. Additionally, a knowledgeable family law attorney can help iron out any disagreements that may arise during the adoption process, such as disagreements with the biological parent or other relatives.
An experienced family law attorney can help you accomplish this very worthwhile goal of Family adoption or Stepparent adoption. Adoption can be a joyful and fulfilling experience as well as a practical way to assume full legal parental status.
You can best enjoy the rewarding aspects of adoption by hiring a caring, compassionate, and experienced Orlando adoption lawyer at the Rivas Family Law Firm. We’ll ensure that the Family adoption or Stepparent adoption process goes as smoothly as possible while protecting your rights. Call 407-644-2466 for a free consultation.