Stepparent Adoption Legal Services
In the state of Florida, stepparent adoption occurs when the married stepparent adopts his or her spouse’s child.
Who is Eligible?
I work with stepparents, including those in same-sex marriages, throughout the state of Florida. Having an experienced adoption attorney is helpful to guide you through the process, which requires the filing of a petition with the court and the court making specific findings.
Benefits and Rights
Adoption provides a stepparent with full, legal parental rights of the child, including:
- The right to pass on a surname to the child.
- The ability to work directly with the child’s school and health care providers.
- The right to a voice in major decisions concerning the minor child, including what happens if the other parent dies or becomes unable to make decisions for the child.
- The right to be listed as the child’s parent on an amended birth certificate.
Consent and Termination
The stepparent adoption process goes more smoothly when the other parent is easily accessible and willing to consent to the termination of his or her rights. Unfortunately, there are situations where a parent is unwilling to consent or cannot be located. In those cases, termination of parental rights can be more complicated. I have the legal experience and expertise to represent stepparents in these situations.
If the court approves the adoption, the parent not married to the stepparent will have his or her parental rights terminated. This also terminates any child support orders and legal rights to visitation and parenting decisions.
How Much Does an Adoption Attorney Cost?
I work to make stepparent adoptions affordable and charge flat fees for adoptions when they are uncontested. I also accept credit cards for legal fees and am willing to work out payment plans when necessary.