Adoption

BESIDES WEDDINGS, ADOPTIONS ARE ONE OF THE FEW JOYFUL THINGS THAT HAPPEN AT THE COURTHOUSE.

It is said that an adoption is like grafting a new branch onto a family tree. Every adoption changes history by creating new family relationships. Integrity Law assists with several varieties of adoption in Florida.

Private Adoptions are usually done by consent of one or both birth parents. In this type of adoption, the birth parent(s) selects the person or couple to adopt the child. The selected adoptive parent(s) will need to have a home study conducted to determine their fitness and ability to care for the child. Private adoptions are a two-step process. First the birth parents’ rights to the child are extinguished in one judicial proceeding. Next, the adoptive parent(s) petitions the court to adopt the child. Financial assistance is sometimes provided by the adoptive parent(s) to the birth parent(s).

Stepparent and Relative adoptions follow a different procedure. These adoptions are an expedited process whereby a stepparent or relative within the third degree of relation to the child petitions the court to adopt. It is a one-step process. The birth parents’ rights are extinguished and the adoption is granted in a single judicial proceeding. Also, the requirement for a home study is usually waived. Sometimes the adoption is contested by one or both birth parents and the adoptive parent must prove to the court that the child should be freed for adoption.

Some children become available to adopt after the State of Florida has stepped in to protect the child from abuse, abandonment or neglect. After the child is freed for adoption by the State, anyone may apply to adopt the child. Besides providing a forever home to a child, there are additional benefits that come with adoption through the dependency and foster care system. These benefits may include health insurance for the child, free public college tuition and monthly stipends. The State also covers the cost of filing and attorney’s fees for the adoptive parents.

Families come in all varieties and we pride ourselves in helping families secure permanent and legal relationships. Adoptions can be by consent or contested. There are all kinds of adoptions—single parent, second parent (same sex), step-parent, relative, post-dependency TPR, entity adoptions and even adult adoptions. Whatever your family looks like, we would be honored to help you finalize your adoption and reshape your family tree. Call us for a consultation today.