The Adoption Process In Florida

At Brandon Family Law Center in Tampa, Florida, we are here to streamline adoption procedures and help match parents with children who need loving homes. Unlike other states, the adoption process in Florida is designed to be efficient and carry minimal costs for well-meaning families. Here is a glimpse at how it works.

How Long Does It Take?

There are many variables that can shorten or lengthen the amount of time it takes to adopt a child. In most cases, the preparation process takes a few months before a parent is ready to be matched. These preliminary steps include:

• Finding a local adoption professional
• Completing a home study program
• Passing state and federal background checks

Once finished, this information is sent to the adoption entity for final placement approval. Then, adoptive parents are able to look for and be matched with a child. There is no set timeframe to this process. After a child is placed in the parent's home, he or she lives there for four to six months before our attorneys can finalize the adoption.

Domestic Versus International Adoption

There are several distinctions between domestic and international adoption processes, many of which are guided by the laws of different nations. Adopting a child from another country can be a long and difficult ordeal, especially when it comes to clearing consular obstacles and gathering important medical records. Our lawyers work with trusted adoption professionals who are skilled in expediting these proceedings.

How Much Does It Cost?

Costs vary greatly depending on the circumstances of each case; however our firm strives to keep expenses to a minimum and to work efficiently and effectively to keep fees low. For private adoptions, fees are based on hourly billing rates. If a child is adopted from a community-based care agency, no fees related to preparation programs or placement are charged. Additionally, the state may reimburse adoptive parents for expenses such as legal bills, travel costs and birth certificate fees.

Can A Birth Mother Change Her Mind?

When adopting a newborn, the birth mother will sign a consent for adoption either after 48 hours has passed since delivery or when she is discharged from the hospital, whichever comes earlier. Once the consent for adoption has been signed, a birth mother may not change her mind, except in cases where she can prove fraud or duress.

When adopting older children, consents to place for adoption may be revoked for 72 hours after execution or up until the child is placed with prospective parents, whichever is later.

Can A Biological Father Block An Adoption?

In Florida, a biological father must take certain steps to prevent the adoption of a child, including establishing paternity and demonstrating a commitment to caring for the child both during the pregnancy and after birth.

Most importantly, a biological father must register with the State of Florida's Putative Father Registry, accepting responsibility for the child and pledging to financially support the child.

When Is An Adoption Finalized?

An adoption can be finalized once 30 days have passed since the termination of parental rights, or 90 days have passed since a child has been placed in the home, whichever is later.

Moving Forward With Clarity

No matter what brings clients to our firm, we help them take the next steps confidently. Reach us by phone at 813-438-7119 or online to schedule an initial consultation.