Often the parent of a minor child remarries and is considering whether the step parent can legally adopt the child.
In Florida a step parent adoption is available provided the Child’s biological parent executes a proper Consent to the child’s adoption and a clear waiver of the parental rights over the child. For the Consent to be valid it must meet the statutory requirements, must be willingly signed, and must not be revoked within the statutory period. Once these requirements are met the consent is valid and the Step Parent adoption can proceed.
Since the biological parent has consented to the adoption and has waived his parental rights over the child there is no need for a hearing on the termination of parental rights and only the hearing on the adoption is required. Moreover, step parent adoption does not require a home study, significantly reducing the length of the process.
The step parent will need to appear in court to present evidence of the relationship with the child, the ability to continue to support the child and the understanding that the adoption process is irrevocable.
It is important to remember that if the child is older than (12) years of age the child must consent to the adoption.
Our office has represented numerous step parent adoptions in Florida and will be able to answer any questions you may have about the adoption process.
Maria T. Sallato
Board Certified Attorney in Family Law