If you have remarried and there is a child involved, the possibility of a step-parent adoption may eventually come up. There are many reasons for this. It may be that you feel that adoption will give the child more stability. It also may be the child has asked themselves to be adopted by their step-parent. 

Either way, there are many family laws that must be understood to properly pursue a step-parent adoption in Florida.  

Are you eligible to adopt?

There are criteria you must meet to be eligible to adopt. First, you must be the legal step-parent. This means you must actually be married to the child’s parent, not just in a domestic partnership. Secondly, you must be what the state considers as fit to adopt. For example, if you are bedridden and require constant care yourself, then you would not be eligible to adopt.  

What about the other parent?

If the child’s other parent is loving and involved in their life, you are not going to be able to pursue an adoption unless they are willing to sign away their rights to their child. If the other parent had their rights terminated during a court proceeding already, you do not have to get their consent. 

Another reason you may be able to pursue adoption without the other parent’s consent is if the other parent is declared incompetent and there is little chance they will ever become competent. As an example, if someone is in a coma and it is not expected they will ever come out of a coma, a court may rule their consent is not necessary to obtain.

How do you file for adoption?

If you are eligible to adopt and the other parent consents or has had their rights terminated, you must then petition the court for adoption. A petition requires a lot of information, such as your statement as to how you will provide for the needs of the child. You must also include proof the other parent has no claim to the child, why you want to adopt the child, and more. It is best to get an attorney to help you get all the paperwork filed properly.

For step-parent adoption or other custody concern, turn to the family lawyers at SHAMY, EL FADEL & MAHONE.

Navigating the step-parent adoption process can seem overwhelming. Our attorneys have experience dealing with step-parent adoptions and can help make the process easy for you. Call us at 561-939-8042 today for a free consultation about step-parent adoption in Boca Raton.