Protecting your rights, Protecting your family

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5425 Village Drive
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Melbourne, Florida 32955

Melbourne, FL Adoption Attorneys Help Your Family

Experienced counsel legally safeguards parent-child relationships

Adding a child to your family can be one of the greatest experiences of your life. But the process can be enormously frustrating when you’re uncertain about the legality at one stage or another. You’re willing to make a lifelong commitment to a child; you should insist that the adoption process meets with every legal requirement, so you face no unexpected challenges in the future. Tucker Mitnik, P.A. has the family law experience to counsel you on a number of adoption scenarios, including:

  • Open adoption
  • Private adoption
  • Foster child adoption
  • International adoption
  • Stepparent adoption
  • Grandparent adoption

Since we are a full-service firm, we can move seamlessly from legal advice to litigation when court action becomes necessary.

When is it necessary to litigate the termination of parental rights?

In Florida, a child may only have one legally recognized mother and father. Therefore, an individual hoping to adopt a child must take steps to ensure that the adoption is permissible. Tucker Mitnik helps prospective parents perform the due diligence necessary to identify a child’s parents and either negotiates a termination of parental rights or litigates the issue in court. An adoptive parent may have grounds to petition the court for a termination if:

  • Contact with the birth parents would be detrimental to the child.
  • A custodial birth parent wants to free the child for adoption, but a noncustodial birth parent refuses, and the noncustodial parent either has made no effort to be a positive presence or is a negative force in the child’s life.

An unwed mother who wants to give her child up for adoption may have to go through a paternity proceeding to identify the father for the purpose of getting a termination of his parental rights.

Termination of parental rights is sometimes necessary when grandparents have been the primary caregivers for their grandchildren due to the parents’ incapacity. To formally adopt, the grandparents have to petition the court for a termination of the parental rights of the parents.

Divorced parents who remarry may wish for their new spouse to adopt their children from their first marriage. This is not permissible while the birth parent is meeting parental responsibilities, but the couple may petition the court if that parent has failed to participate in the time-sharing agreement or to pay child support. Often, when an obligated parent has not been willing or able to pay child support, the new couple can negotiate a termination of parental rights that would free the delinquent payor from any future obligations.

Does Florida prohibit homosexuals and same-sex couples from adopting?

Florida law does specifically prohibit gay individuals and same-sex couples from adopting individually or jointly. However, a 2010 Appeals Court decision held that the state statute violates the equal protection clause of Florida’s state constitution. As acceptance of same-sex partnership and marriage gains judicial, legislative and popular support, the Florida legislature may feel the need to revisit this prohibition.

Contact Tucker Mitnik, P.A. for comprehensive adoption law services in Melbourne, FL

Prospective parents receive excellent legal representation from concerned family law attorneys at Tucker Mitnik, P.A. To schedule a consultation, call 321.392.5239 or contact our Melbourne office online

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