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Interesting Facts About Adoption in Florida

Who Must Consent to an Adult Adoption?

In an adult adoption, the Court legally establishes a parent-child relationship between two adults. Both the adopting parent and the adoptee must consent to this adoption.  Even though their parental rights are being terminated, the consent of the adoptee’s biological parents is not required. The biological parents must be provided notice of the final hearing of adoption, but even if they object to the adoption, it will not stop the process. Interestingly, the only other person who must consent to an adult adoption is the spouse of the adoptee.   If the adoptee’s spouse does not consent, the Court may waive that consent for good cause.

Here are a few facts about adoption in Florida you should keep in mind:

When Can Biological Parents Consent to Adoption of a Newborn?

Biological parents cannot consent to the adoption of their child until after the child has been born.  An adoption attorney may obtain the consent of a biological father at any time after the child’s birth.  The birth mother may not give her consent to the adoption of the child until either 48 hours have passed since she gave birth or she is notified in writing by the hospital or birthing center that she is fit to be released.   The only exception to this requirement is when the biological parents and adoptive parents have engaged in a preplanned adoption involving some type of surrogacy under Florida statute 63.213.

Can Biological Parents Change Their Minds?

Choosing to put a child up for adoption is one of the hardest decisions a person can make.   Biological parents are often under tremendous emotional, social and economic pressure to either place the child for adoption or keep the baby or both at the same time.  For this reason, adoption lawyers may not take the consent of birth parents until after the child is born.   If the baby is under the age of six months when the decision to place the child is made and the parents sign their consent, their consent is binding from the time that it is signed.   If the child to be adopted is more than six months old at the time that the adoption attorney takes their consent, then the consent is valid upon execution but the biological parents have three business days to change their minds.  If they revoke their consent during this brief time period, they may do so for any reason.

Once the revocation period has passed, the consent is binding.  The only way that the biological parent’s consent can be rescinded after this point is if they can prove in a court of law that their consent was obtained through fraud or duress.  Proving fraud or duress is extremely difficult.  Adoptive parents can minimize the chances of there being a problem with consent by utilizing the services of an experienced adoption attorney.

What Happens When the Parents Divorce After a Stepparent Adoption?

In a stepparent adoption in Florida, the stepparent and his or her spouse, one of the child’s biological parents, file a joint petition with the Court asking the court to legalize the parent-child relationship already in place. This is a joyous time for the family. Hopefully, after the adoption is finalized everyone will live happily ever after.

However, this is not always the case.  If there has been a stepparent adoption and the parents later divorce, Florida family law will control. The parents are on equal footing when it comes to the creation of a parenting plan, including the establishment of a timesharing schedule.  The divorce court will evaluate all factors related to child custody and child support prior to entering a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage. While each family is different and the Court will make a determination based upon the facts of the case, it is entirely possible that the child’s adoptive parent will have the majority of timesharing with the minor child and the child’s biological parent may be ordered to pay child support. This is vital adoption information for any family.

Contact Julie Beth Jouben P.A. for more Facts about Adoption in Florida

Now that we’ve covered some facts about adoption in Florida, you should have a better understanding of the process. If you have further questions or need legal assistance with adoption in Florida, contact Julie Beth Jouben P.A. today at 727-449-9929 to schedule a no-cost legal consultation and for more adoption information.

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