Orlando Adoption Attorney
An adoption attorney is a lawyer that specializes in helping clients formalize a parent-child relationship between two other people. The best adoption attorneys understand the different types of adoption available under Florida law, the changes made to adoption laws every few years, and the most efficient way to complete the adoption process.
Adoptions in Florida are governed by Chapter 63 of the Florida Statutes. The law allows an adult to become the legal parent of another person (usually a minor). Through the adoption, the parental rights of the current legal parent are sometimes terminated. All adoptions must be finalized by a Florida state court.
Gideon Alper is an Orlando adoption attorney that focuses on stepparent adoptions and adoption by relatives.
Types of Adoptions
The type of adoption depends on the person or people adopting, the person being adopted, and the relationship among them. Although he is an attorney located in Orlando, Mr. Alper helps families throughout Florida with most kinds of adoptions.
A stepparent adoption is one where a person adopts the child of his or her spouse. As a result of the stepparent adoption, the stepparent and the spouse become equal parents of the child. It becomes as if the child was born to both of them. The parental rights of the absent parent are terminated through the stepparent adoption.
Florida law allows simplified procedures for stepparent adoptions. You do not need a home study, and no separate termination of parental rights proceeding is required.
In Florida, kinship adoption refers to an adoption by a relative within the third degree of consanguinity to the child. Typically this means a grandparent adoption or adoption by an aunt or uncle.
Recognition of Foreign Adoption (Readoption)
Sometimes Florida residents have previously adopted a child from another country, such as China or Russia. The issue is that the birth certificate is often in a different language and is hard to replace.
A readoption allows the family to obtain a Florida-issued Certificate of Foreign Birth, which functions like and looks very similar to a Florida birth certificate.
A private adoption, also called an adoption without an agency, takes place when prospective parents have matched with a woman who is pregnant and is considering an adoption plan for her child. The private adoption attorney helps the prospective parents and the birth mother complete the adoption without the overhead and fees that an agency charges.
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We take care of the entire adoption process from start to finish for families throughout Florida. Learn more with a phone or Zoom consultation.
An adult adoption is one where one adult adopts another adult. This type of adoption is common in stepparent/stepchild relationships that were not formalized when the stepchild was a minor.
The procedures for an adult adoption are even more streamlined than the procedures for a stepparent adoption.
Adoption for Gay and Lesbian Couples
Gay and lesbian couples have special considerations regarding Florida adoptions. It is important for their adoption attorney to understand their particular needs and the current political landscape.
Under current law, married same-sex couples are both presumed to be the legal parents of a child born to one of them during the marriage. They will both go on the birth certificate.
However, national gay and lesbian rights organizations still recommend that the non-biological parent formally adopt the child of their same-sex spouse in order to solidify the parental rights of the non-biological parent.
What Does an Adoption Attorney Do?
For stepparent, relative, and adult adoptions, Florida law does not require that the adoptive parents hire an adoption attorney. However, an adoption attorney helps families by speeding up the process, making sure that all court documents are prepared correctly, and answering the family’s legal questions about adoption.
The Florida Bar offers an adoption law certification for adoption attorneys in the state. The adoption board sets out several requirements that the attorney must accomplish before becoming certified, including passing a written examination and dedicating at least 40% of their practice to adoption law.