Tampa Adoption Lawyer
Adoption gives couples the opportunity to complete their families and provide a loving home to thousands of children. Potential adoptive parents, however, must comply with a series of adoption-related legal procedures before an adoption will be granted. A failure to miss a deadline or provide the court with necessary documentation can delay and even terminate adoption proceedings, so if you are considering adoption, it is critical to speak with an experienced Tampa adoption lawyer who can walk you through this complex process.
A person seeking to adopt a child must provide proof to the court that he or she:
- Is over the age of 18 years old;
- Resides in Florida;
- Does not have a felony criminal record;
- Is of good character; and
- Has the ability to nurture and provide for a child.
In Florida, anyone can be adopted as long as the parental rights of their biological parents have been terminated by consent or court order. However, children over the age of 12 years old must consent to the adoption.
Before a court will finalize an adoption, it requires completion of a home study, which provides an in-depth analysis of prospective parents’ fitness to adopt. All home studies require:
- The parties to provide information about their health;
- The completion of background checks at the local, state, and federal level;
- The collection of references from the prospective parents’ employers as well as character references; and
- A home visit from a licensed counselor.
During home visits, counselors will visit the home of the prospective parent and collect specific information from the prospective parents, including:
- Why they wish to adopt the child;
- A description of their childhood;
- A description of their parenting style;
- A breakdown of their financial situation; and
- Whether they anticipate a change in lifestyle if the adoption were finalized.
For more information on the adoption process, please contact an experienced Tampa adoption attorney today.
One of the most common types of adoption is stepparent adoption. Stepparent adoptions occur when a child’s biological parent remarries and that individual wishes to formally adopt the spouse’s child as his or her own. To finalize the adoption, the child’s other biological parent must consent. If he or she refuses, the court will not grant the adoption unless that parent is declared unfit because he or she deserted or abused the child or failed to register his paternity. However, if the biological parent agrees to relinquish his or her parental rights and consents to the adoption, the adoption can proceed. Finally, if the child is over the age of 12 years old, he or she must also consent to the adoption before it can be finalized.
Call us Today to Speak With an Experienced Tampa Adoption Lawyer
Although adoptions are joyous occasions, they can be difficult to obtain, so if you are a Tampa resident and are considering adoption, please call Bubley & Bubley, P.A. at 813-454-0261 and a member of our dedicated legal team will help you schedule a consultation with an experienced Tampa adoption lawyer who can evaluate your case.