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Step-parent Adoptions: What to Expect

Bringing families together is one of the happiest and most significant milestones a family can experience together. In step-parent adoptions, or second-parent adoptions, the spouse of the biological parent commits to being more than just an important figure in the child’s life – they also agree to take on the full legal and financial responsibilities for the child, as if they were the biological parent.

As your family prepares for the process of a step-parent adoption in Florida, here is some of what you can expect and how to prepare:

  • Understand and address the emotional needs of the children – At the core of a step-parent adoption is the children’s well-being. It is a significant life event for them and one they will process it differently depending on their age and developmental stage. Be sure to read our guest post by Rebecca Amster Cantor, a family law attorney and marriage and family therapist. She offers concrete recommendations for families as they help their children prepare for and process this important occasion.
  • Gather important documents and file with the court – Numerous documents are required during the process of a step-parent adoption, including copies of birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce decrees and others. Background checks and home studies may also be required.
  • Obtain consent – To proceed with a second-parent adoption in Florida, both of the child’s biological parents must give consent. If there is no legal father on record, then a search is done to see if the father registered himself with the Florida Putative Father Registry. Florida Statute 63.054 permits a man alleging to be the unmarried biological father of a child to preserve his rights to notice and consent in the event of an adoption. Depending on the age of the child, he or she may also have to consent to the adoption.
  • Prepare for the court hearing – With your attorney, you will present evidence in court demonstrating that the adoption is in the best interest of the child, and the hearing will determine that the original parent’s rights are terminated and that the step-parent adoption is authorized.

If your family is ready to make legal the rights and responsibilities of jointly raise a child, then step-parent adoption may be an option you want to seek. At Vasquez de Lara Law Group, we can help you understand your legal rights and options for adoption as well as terminating another parent’s rights.

Contact our experienced team of family lawyers today at 305-916-4092 to learn more.

Author Bio

Vanessa Vasquez de Lara is the founder and owner of Vasquez de Lara Law Group, a Miami family law firm. With over 20 years of experience in family law, she has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including divorces, child support, child custody, alimony, and other family law cases.

Vanessa received her Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law in 2002 and is a member of the Florida Bar Association. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named to the 2015 Super Lawyers Rising Stars and the 2016-2023 Super Lawyers list.

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