Understanding Florida adoption laws can help families make an informed decision about adoption. These are the answers to some of the most common questions asked about becoming parents to adopted children.
Review this information if you are at the beginning of a possible adoptive journey in the Sunshine State.
Who may adopt a child?
The state allows any unmarried adult to adopt a child, provided they meet other requirements such as an income check and home study. Married adults must have spousal consent to adopt except in certain circumstances. Adopting a child age 12 or older also requires his or her consent.
What are the possible routes for adoption?
Families can adopt a child through the Florida Department of Children and Families. Children available for DCF adoption do not require a waiting period for termination of parental rights as the state has already completed this process. Families who choose this route can access support groups and other resources, including a 24-hour helpline.
Families can also pursue private adoption through an agency. Each agency may have distinct requirements for potential adoptive parents, so carefully review policies and procedures before proceeding.
Does Florida recognize family adoption?
Stepparents can adopt stepchildren in Florida when the biological parent has died or agrees to terminate his or her parental rights. A close relative of the child, such as an aunt or grandparent, can also pursue adoption when the state has terminated the rights of both parents.
These answers provide the basic information about considering adoption in Florida. Every family has a unique situation they must consider before moving forward with this process.