Jupiter Stepparent Adoption Lawyer
There are a few different types of adoption in Florida, one of the most common of which is the stepparent adoption. Stepparent adoption gives a stepparent full and equal parental rights over a stepchild. There are, however, specific steps that a family must take before they will qualify for a stepparent adoption, so if you want to legalize your relationship with your stepchild, reach out to a Jupiter stepparent adoption lawyer for help before moving forward.
Parental Consent for Stepparent Adoption in Florida
In Florida, a stepparent can initiate adoption proceedings of a stepchild when the child’s other natural parent, to whom the stepparent is married, consents to the adoption. After filing the petition, the child’s other biological parent will have the chance to contest the request or to give his or her consent to the adoption. Stepparent adoptions tend to be resolved much more quickly when both of a child’s biological parents consent to the adoption.
If, however, the child’s other biological parent doesn’t consent to the stepparent adoption, then the stepparent and his or her spouse will need to initiate the process of terminating the other parent’s parental rights. This is a complicated process and courts will generally only terminate a parent’s rights if doing so is in the child’s best interests. For the most part, courts are wary of doing so unless there are allegations of abandonment or abuse, or if the other parent has no contact with the child.
Stepchild Consent to the Adoption
Even if a parent’s biological parents consent to a stepparent adoption, if the child is over the age of 12 years old, he or she will also need to consent to the adoption. To demonstrate that consent has been given, the child will be required to sign an official affidavit, confirming the desire for the parent-child relationship. For children under the age of 12 years old, this isn’t usually required.
Parental Rights and Obligations
Finalizing a stepparent adoption means that the child’s stepparent will be granted all of the parental rights and obligations of a biological parent. As a result, the stepparent will have the right to visitation and could be obligated to pay child support in the event of divorce. The parent can also participate with the child’s biological parent in making decisions about the child’s healthcare, religion, education, and day-to-day activities. Most importantly, a stepparent can fill the role of a loving parent, providing the child with a stable and healthy environment where he or she feels secure and loved.
Speak with Jupiter Stepparent Adoption Lawyer Caroline Olson, P.A. Today
Stepparent adoptions can bring a family together, ensuring that a child has a healthy and happy home life. Finalizing a stepparent adoption can, however, be complicated, so if you are considering adopting your stepchild and have questions about the process, feel free to contact dedicated Jupiter stepparent adoption lawyer Caroline Olson, P.A. for help. Call us at 561-288-0548 today to learn more about how we can assist you with your case.