Adoptions can be filed by private petition or can stem from the Court entering an Order terminating a parent’s rights. Many children from dependency cases are left to be cared for in foster homes and remain in these homes until a local agency can find proper placement for the children.
At the Law Offices of Alyssa D. Honickman, we encourage the adoptions of the children left in foster homes by private individuals who wish to add a child to their existing family. The rules and procedures of adoption law are outlined in Florida Statute § 63.
The requirements to file a Petition for Adoption are outlined under Chapter § 63.112 Florida Statutes. The Petition must be signed and verified by the petitioner wishing to adopt the child or adult. A Relative or Non-relative may adopt another individual. If a non relative is adopting a child, a positive home study is required by a licensed child –placing agency. These are agencies licensed by the Department of Children and Families.
1. Any person, a minor or an adult, may be adopted.
2. The following persons may adopt:
(A) A husband and wife jointly;
(B) An unmarried adult; or
(C) A married person without the other spouse joining as a petitioner, if the person to be adopted is not his or her spouse, and if:
i. The other spouse is a parent of the person to be adopted and consents to the adoption; or
ii. The failure of the other spouse to join in the petition or to consent to the adoption is excused by the court for good cause shown or in the best interest of the child.
3. No person eligible under this section shall be prohibited from adopting solely because such person possesses a physical disability or handicap, unless it is determined by the court or adoption entity that such disability or handicap renders such person incapable of serving as an effective parent
4. No person eligible under this section shall be prohibited from adopting solely because he or she desires to educate the adopted child at home.
A petition to terminate parental rights pending adoption may be granted only if written consent has been executed as provided in F.S. 63.082 after the birth of the minor child, or notice has been served under F.S. 63.088 to:
A) The mother of the minor
B) The father of the minor, if:
(1) The minor was conceived or born while the father was married to the mother.
(2) The minor is his child by adoption.
(3) The minor has been adjudicated by court to be his child before the date a petition for terminate of parental rights is filed;
(4) He has filed an affidavit of paternity or his is listed on the child’s birth certificate before the petition for termination of parental rights is filed; or
(5) In the case of an unmarried biological father, he has acknowledged in writing, signed in the presence of a competent witness, that he is the father of the minor, and has filed such acknowledgment with the Office of Vital Statistics of the Department of Health within the required timeframes and has complied with Section 2 of the statute. The status of the father shall be determined at the time of filing of the petition to terminate parental rights and may not be modified except under certain circumstances.
C) The minor, if twelve (12) years or older unless the court in the bets inert of the minor child dispenses with the minor’s consent.
D) Any person lawfully entitled to custody of the minor, if required by the court
E) The court having jurisdiction to determine custody of the minor, if the person having physical custody of the minor does not have authority to consent to the adoption.
If parental rights to the minor have previously been terminated, the adoption entity with which the minor has been placed for subsequent adoption may provide consent to the adoption. In that case, no other consent is required. A petition to adopt an adult may be granted if written consent to adoption has been executed by the adult and the adult’s spouse, if any.
Once a child is adopted, the adoptive parents often want to change the child’s name. This name change can be completed within the Petition for Adoption. The adoptive parents will gain the same rights as the biological parents of the child and will become the legal parents once the final judgment is entered for the Petition for Adoption. The adoptive parents will need to obtain a new birth certificate for the adoptive child and this information can be obtained at the Clerk’s Office.
If you are interested in adopting a child or an adult, please call our law offices. This process is handled very specific by the Courts and is sealed from public record. At the Law Offices of Alyssa D. Honickman, we strive to help families bring children into their lives by adoption. Adoption law can be complicated and confusing but we take pride in helping families successfully close out adoption cases and grow their families. These cases are sensitive in nature and are handled as a top priority in our law practice.