ADOPTION OF A NON-RELATIVE CHILD
To adopt a child in Florida, an adoption agency or attorney can serve an as intermediary or adoption entity to handle the placement of your future child and legal processing for you. If you would like to find a child to adopt, the attorney can assist with matching a couple with a child.
An attorney is needed to handle the filing of all necessary paperwork and guiding adoptive parents through the adoptive process, and if the attorney is also serving as the intermediary, has responsibility to ensure that the child is safe and cared for after placement. When a couple wishes to adopt a child, they must first be approved through the home study process. The attorney can help with finding a social worker to conduct this process.
The attorney will make sure that all required documents are signed and completed by the birth mother and, if applicable, the birth father, prior to the placement. The attorney who is representing the adoptive parents and serving as an intermediary cannot also represent the birth parents, however, the attorney can assist with making sure that the birth parents needs are met if assistance is needed for approved living, medical and legal expenses.
When all of the legal processes are complete, the attorney will assist with obtaining a new birth certificate so that the brand new family becomes official!
RELATIVE and STEPPARENT ADOPTIONS
Step-parent adoption can often be the final step in completing your family. Step-parent and relative adoptions are unique in that they terminate the natural parent’s rights and at the same time complete an adoption by the step-parent. Once a final order of adoption has been ruled by a court of law, the adoptive parent(s) gain the same rights and responsibilities as parents whose children are born to them.
In most U.S. jurisdictions, at the time the adoption is finalized, the adopted child’s name is legally changed and the court orders the issuance of a new amended birth certificate.