Adoptions are joyous occasions, and we love celebrating when families can come together. From a legal perspective, it doesn’t have to be long or complicated either.
If your family is in a situation where a second parent wants to legally adopt a step-child, below are some important things to know.
Legal adoptions of step-children can happen when there is no recorded or legal father or when the other parent has passed away. In addition, it may also be done by consent and, at times, litigation when the case is contested. In this post, we focus on adoptions when there is no legal or recorded father.
What to Know About Adopting Step-Children When There is No Legal Father
In order to make the step-child adoption legal, there is a process that needs to be followed. First, a petition is sent to the courts. 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.
If a potential father is found after checking the Putative Father Registry, a search for that person is conducted. This is important because the biological father’s rights will be terminated upon completion of the step-parent adoption.
Once the court is petitioned and the step-parent requests the adoption go through, consent must be obtained. Depending on the child’s age, the child may not have to provide consent, but if the child is 12 years or older, they, along with the other parent, must also sign off on the consent.
After consent is obtained, all documents will go to the courts and a hearing will take place to determine that the original parent’s rights are terminated and authorize the step-parent adoption.
For partners looking to make legal the rights and responsibilities of helping 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.
Get in touch with our experienced team of family lawyers today to learn more.