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