Stepparent Adoption in Florida

With blended families becoming an increasingly common thread of today’s society, many families want to make their parent-child relationships permanent, official, and most importantly, legal. If this describes you, Bryan McLachlan can help you take this important next step in your family’s lives.

You may be wondering why it’s important to adopt a stepchild: Isn’t the bond you have with your spouse’s child enough?

Under Florida law, stepparent adoption is required if you want your child to:

  • receive insurance benefits
  • be the beneficiary of your inheritance
  • be considered a dependant for tax benefits
  • give a child equal status with his or her siblings

Furthermore, there are other instances where adopting a stepchild is beneficial, such as:

  • picking your child up from school
  • getting your child a passport
  • taking your child to the doctor
  • requesting medical records
  • and many other scenarios

How Does Stepparent Adoption Work?

There are two different scenarios in which a stepparent adoption can be legally completed.

Scenario 1 – Child’s Biological Parents were Married

If your spouse/partner and the other biological parent were married when the child was born, consent is required by both parents unless the court is able to proceed in the event that the other parent is deceased, missing or has been incarcerated for a long period of time.

Scenario 2 – Child’s Biological Parents were not Married

If the biological parents were not married when the child was born, the other parent may have to be present in the child’s life physically and/or financially to maintain his or her parental rights. This could be met through participating in routine visits, paying child support or providing other financial benefits to the child. If the parent has not met the criteria, consent may not be required in terminating his or her rights and granting parental rights to you, the stepparent. Biological parents who fail to stay a part of their child’s life may be considered “notice parents,” and will be notified of the upcoming adoption, but their consent may not be required in certain situations.

Why Do I Need an Attorney for a Stepparent Adoption in Florida?

There are very few legal proceedings that are more important that those dealing with the legal status of a family. Bryan McLachlan takes each stepparent adoption case very seriously, ensuring every step of the law is considered and filed appropriately, and that the appropriate steps are taken to gain consent from each biological parent, and in some scenarios, to terminate the parents rights of the appropriate parent.

By working with Bryan McLachlan, you can be 100 percent sure your stepchild will be your permanent and legal child forever. To learn more, please click the following to learn more about how Bryan can help you with a Florida stepparent adoption.