Under Florida law, stepparents are permitted to adopt their stepchildren, provided that the proper procedures are followed. A stepparent adoption allows the stepparent to assume the same legal responsibilities and rights as a birth parent. The child’s birth certificate is amended to reflect the names of the stepparent and the natural parent. While stepparent adoptions are generally less complicated than private placement or agency adoptions, it is crucial to have the advice and guidance of an experienced family law attorney.
Stepparent adoptions are common when one biological parent is absent and the custodial parent remarries. To be eligible to adopt a stepchild in Florida, the prospective parent must be (1) married to legal parent of the child and (2) physically capable of caring for the child. In most circumstances the stepparent must have the consent of the biological parent whose rights are being terminated. However, the need for the consent may be waived in some situations where that person cannot be found or has abandoned the child or presents a hazard to the child.
Our dedicated team is prepared to handle stepparent adoptions for families in Central Florida. If you are considering adopting your spouse’s child, we will help you understand the legal implications and guide you through the stepparent adoption process, from filing the necessary court documents to representing you at the adoption hearing to formalizing the adoption. We will advocate for your interests every step of the way.