Adopting in Florida, Here’s what you need to know:
November is National Adoption Month, an initiative started by the Children’s Bureau under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Their mission is to increase national awareness towards the need for permanent families for children and youth in the United States foster care system. At any given point, there are about 800 children seeking permanent homes in Florida. Adoption in Florida is a process, at Murphy & Berglund we are here to guide you through every step of the way.
The theme for this year’s National Adoption Month is: “Teens Need Families, No Matter What,” is quite special to us. As a family law firm – and as moms ourselves – we support this initiative fully, and we do everything in our power to bring families together through the wonderful gift of adoption. Older children need just as much love as younger, and we are so honored to have already helped several families to adopt an older child over the past decade.
Adoption in Florida involves many steps, and we strongly recommend that you seek assistance from a Florida adoption attorney to help you through this process. Here are some of the steps that you can expect:
Once you know who you want to adopt, contact us to discuss what gathering information for the court pleadings. We will give you a complete list at the consultation, but it will include items such as your history with the child, finances, addresses and job history. This information will best help us make a case to the court as to why you are the right person to adopt this child. We will also need information on the biological parents and will need to search the putative father registry in most instances.
If you are a not a close relative or stepparent to the potential adoptive child, a caseworker from will conduct a home study. The caseworker may interview you and your spouse/partner and will check out your living arrangements. They may contact people who know you, and use them as character references.
Once the adoption case is filed, we will give you a reference number to complete your electronic fingerprints. The clerk will review your background check and follow up with us as your attorneys if necessary.
Adoptions in Florida will require at least one hearing, and may necessitate a mediation, deposition, or additional hearings or a trial depending on whether or not the biological parents have consented or not.
At Murphy & Berglund, PLLC, we will assist you with the adoption process, and will finalize the Florida adoption before a judge. Once finalized, your adopted child will receive a new birth certificate with his or her new last name on it if you choose to change it to yours. It brings us great joy to assist clients in beginning their lives with the newest member of their family!
Contact us to set up an appointment today!