Adoption Lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
According to Florida State Policy Advocacy Reform Center, 3,264 children were adopted from foster care in 2012. By 2019, that number was 4,714. Adoption can be a result of fostering a child, through an adoption agency, as a stepparent, or as a close relative. Regardless of the mechanism used to accomplish an adoption, unique opportunities to change a child’s life and enrich the lives of the adoptive parent or family exist through adoption.
When you are considering adoption, having highly experienced adoption attorneys from Lauriston Law Firm can be crucial. You need to feel supported during what can be a challenging time. Our dedicated attorneys and staff will provide the support, knowledge, and experience you need and deserve. We are the solution-focused advocates that will ensure your adoption process goes as smoothly as possible.
What is the Legal Definition of Adoption in Florida and Florida Law Regarding Adoption?
In the state of Florida, the legal definition of adoption is the act of creating the legal relationship between parent and child where it did not exist. In turn, this declares the child to legally be the child of the adoptive parent or parents, entitled to all rights and privileges and all obligations of a child born naturally to the parent or parents.
Both single adults and married couples may adopt in the state of Florida. A married person may adopt individually without their spouse—so long as it is considered by the court to be in the best interests of the child, or if the spouse is the legal parent of the adoptee. Same-sex couples may adopt in the state of Florida. Most potential adoptive parents are required to undergo a home study that includes interviews, home inspections, background checks, and much more. Any child may be adopted in the state of Florida, although children aged 12 and up must consent to the adoption.
What are the Three Types of Adoption?
There are basically three types of adoption. The first is adoption through an entity. This “entity” can be the Child Welfare System (foster care), a private adoption through a private adoption agency, or an adoption through an international adoption agency. Child Welfare System adoption involves adopting children who are under the custody of the state. Many of the children were abused, abandoned, or neglected by their biological parents, thus ending up in foster care. Once the Child Welfare System determines the biological parents are unable—and will not be able—to care for the child, the parental rights are terminated, and the child becomes available for adoption.
International adoption is fairly common and occurs when a couple or single adult seeks to provide opportunities for children of poor families in underdeveloped and developing countries. This can be an expensive and challenging adoption path with one of the largest hurdles involving filing for the child’s citizenship. Private adoption is typically accomplished through an agency, and, as with international adoption, can be quite expensive. In rare cases, there can be a direct legal agreement between the adoptive and birth parents. With the exception of international adoptions, Florida does not impose a maximum or minimum age to adopt in Florida. ….
The second type of adoption is stepparent adoption. Stepparents often build a warm, close relationship with their stepchildren. This relationship can be legally cemented through stepparent adoption. A legally binding agreement provides you with the same rights and responsibilities to your stepchild as you would have with your biological children. Consent from your spouse, as well as from the non-custodial parent is required in a stepparent adoption (unless the non-custodial parent abandoned the child).
The third type of adoption is known as kinship or relative adoption. This means an adult or couple adopts members of their own family. Examples are grandparents who legally adopt their grandchild or aunts or uncles who legally adopt nieces or nephews. This could occur when the child’s parent or parents are unable to care for the child or in the case of the death of a parent or parents. Courts will generally look at this type of adoption first when a child needs a parent to care for them.
Lauriston Law Firm is committed to uniting families and helping those in a quest for adoption. We help stepparents, relatives, or those who want to become parents navigate the Florida adoption process. We fully understand the potential legal hurdles and legal options available for those considering adoption. If your adoption quest includes adoption lawyers who are fierce advocates for their clients while providing honesty, trust, advocacy, and transparency, give Lauriston Law Firm a call.
Is Adoption for Me/Us?
The question of whether adoption is right for you and/or your partner or spouse is a question you need to have entirely settled in your mind prior to becoming an adoptive parent. The process of adoption can be a long, complex, emotional roller coaster with more legal and financial roadblocks than you ever imagined. It can also be one of the most deeply fulfilling journeys of your life. Be clear about your motivations for adoption since the decision you are making lasts a lifetime.
Unless you are adopting a stepchild or children who are related to you, you need to determine whether you want to only parent a newborn or are open to adopting an older child. What about a child with special needs, or a sibling group? Would you be open to a child of another race or background—and, if so, are you willing to educate yourself on the nuances associated with such an adoption? Make sure you have done some honest soul-searching before you embark on the adoption process. Speaking to experienced adoption attorneys at Lauriston Law Firm can help you answer all the important questions that need to be answered.
How Do I Choose the Best Adoption Lawyers for Me?
When you are looking for the best adoption lawyers, you want an attorney who is one-hundred- percent committed to building families and who offers unparalleled legal adoption services. Naturally, you want to ensure your adoption is completed in a legal, ethical manner, along with being as efficient as possible. As premier Florida adoption attorneys, Lauriston Law Firm ensures all those things happen in your adoption. We are highly skilled, highly experienced, and highly respected adoption attorneys in Broward County, and we are waiting to help you make your adoption dreams come true.
Estate Planning and Adoption in Broward County
When you adopt a child—whether a relative, a stepchild, or through an agency—that child, under the law, is entitled to exactly the same care as a biological child. This includes providing for your adopted child in the event of your death in the same way you would your biological child. This may take the form of a trust or will that details your adopted child’s inheritance and care. If your adopted child is under the age of eighteen, you will want to appoint a guardian in your will. The named guardian should be well acquainted with your child, should know all about the adoption, and should be willing to maintain the lifestyle you have created for your adopted child.
How Can Adoption Lawyers from Lauriston Law Firm Help You with Adoption?
If you reside in Fort Lauderdale, FL, or Broward County and are considering adoption, Lauriston Law Firm is ready to take up your quest. We provide effective, quality adoption services that deliver successful outcomes as a result of our zealous representation. You will receive immediate, highly personalized attention when you choose Lauriston Law Firm. We are not your “typical” lawyers; we use our knowledge and our values to benefit each and every client that walks through our doors. If you value honesty, transparency, experience, and advocacy, contact Lauriston Law Firm today so one of our experienced adoption lawyers can assist you with the adoption process.