In the State of Florida a step-parent adoption takes place when a married step-parent adopts the children of his or her spouse. The children can be from a marriage or a previous relationship. The decision to adopt a step-child is personal and significant. There are many factors to consider and legal requirements that must be satisfied. Laura Callahan, P.A., is skilled in helping step-parents and their spouses determine whether or not adopting a step-child is right for their family.
There are many reasons to pursue a step-parent adoption. They may include but are not limited to the following:
- To provide biological children and adopted children the same legal status with regard to consent, surnames, child support, custody, inheritance and property laws;
- To resolve guardianship and medical release issues;
- To provide emotional security to the children by showing commitment; and
- To give the adopted children status and rights that are no different from your biological children.
Laura Callahan, P.A.: Step-Parent Adoption Law
Laura Callahan, P.A., will guide you through the usually quick and simple process of step-parent adoption. First, the couple files a Joint Petition for Step-Parent Adoption with a Florida Circuit Court. The other biological parent of the children then has the opportunity to oppose the adoption or to consent to it. In addition, any children 12 years of age and older must be interviewed and then must consent to the adoption. If there is no disagreement and required consents are given the Court considers whether or not the adoption is in the best interest of the children. If the Courts finds that it is, then the Joint Petition is granted. After a new birth certificate showing the new name and new parent is issued, a new Social Security number can be issued. There are no home study, or report and recommendation requirements.
Upon finalization of the step-parent adoption all legal ties between the biological parents (as well as extended family members) and the adopted children are severed. The step-parent becomes a legal parent of the children and assumes all rights and responsibilities that come with that designation. He or she will be accountable for providing emotional and financial support for the children. Should the step-parent divorce the biological parent she or he could be ordered to pay child support.
If you are a step-parent contemplating adopting your step-child, Laura Callahan P.A. will evaluate your situation and explain your options.
Laura Callahan, P.A., will provide the legal assistance you need to pursue this journey.