Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Adoption

Adoption is a wonderful option for families looking to expand. There are generally two types of Florida adoptions: those involving relatives and those involving non-relatives wanting to adopt a child. The process for each differs in significant ways.

Generally, Florida adoptions can be categorized as follows:  

Relative Adoptions: These involve stepparents and blood relatives wishing to adopt a child. The process in these cases involves filing one petition to terminate the parental rights of one or both of the biological parents and to approve the adoption of the child by the relative.  If the biological parents consent to the adoption, the process can be finalized fairly quickly. If one or both biological parents do not consent, a trial will be held for the adopting parent to prove that the biological parent(s) abandoned, abused and/or neglected the child. 

Non-relative Adoptions:  These involve potential parents who are not already related to the child to be adopted. Unlike a relative adoption, the case is a two-step process involving the filing of two petitions - one to terminate the parental rights of the biological parents and a separate one to adopt once the termination is approved. Also in contrast to a relative adoption, this type requires that home studies be completed regarding the potential parents. 

In both types of cases, the court must make a determination that adoption is in the best interest of the child. If the child is at least 12 years old, the child must appear at the hearing to finalize the adoption unless the court excuses the child’s appearance. It is also possible to adopt an adult and the process is similar to that of a relative adoption. 

If you are considering adoption, you should consult with a Miami adoption lawyer to understand the process. A lawyer can help you decide the best way to approach the process of expanding your family through a Florida adoption.