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The Legal Process of Adopting a Child in Florida

Parents are kissing their sonAdoption can be a momentous occasion in the life of the parent(s) and child.

Adoption is a legal process where a child becomes part of a family other than their birth parents through a court decision. It’s a serious legal matter in Florida where courts will take an in-depth look at potential parents.

Any adult married or unmarried and who works and lives in Florida can seek the adoption of a child within the State.

The adoption process can vary from one situation to another due to many individuals involved (birth mothers, biological fathers, prospective parents, etc.). Additionally, the process can vary when using a community-based care agency or a private agency.

The general process as described by the Florida Department of Children and Families looks like the following:

  • Orientation: Attending a 1-to-2-hour presentation and opportunity to meet counselors.
  • Preparation Course: Mandatory for all potential parents, these are an opportunity to assess yourself and your family as well as explore adoption issues.
  • Home Study: Visits will be made to your home to determine if it’s safe and secure. Additionally, local, state, and federal background checks will be conducted.
  • Approval: An adoption specialist will review documents and information gathered during the process to determine approval for your adoption request.
  • Seeking the Right Match: When your home study is completed, you may actively seek for a child to adopt with the assistance of an adoptive worker.
  • Matched: If a suitable child is located, official placement in your home will occur when the potential parents, the child, and adoption worker determine if the child is ready.
  • Placement Supervision: The adoption worker will make monthly visits to assess the child’s adjustment to the new home and family.
  • Finalization: After six months with the adoptive family, the adoption will be finalized. Your attorney will schedule a hearing before a judge to legalize the adoption.

Below, we’ll share more on the process and requirements of adopting a child in Florida.

If you are considering adopting a child, an experienced Family Law Attorney can help guide you smoothly through the process.

Fusco Law Group is available to provide you with reliable and knowledgeable legal representation. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Fusco Law Group at (904) 567-3113 for a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Adoption Process in Florida

Who is eligible to adopt a child in Florida?

Any adult married or unmarried and who works and lives in Florida can seek the adoption of a child within the State. If married, both spouses must agree to the adoption. During the adoption process, the prospective parent(s) will have to meet requirements such as income verification to show they can provide for the child and home study visits to help ensure their home would be suitable for the adopted child.

What steps are taken to determine if you’re eligible to adopt a child in Florida?

After completing an adoption application, potential parent(s) must undergo physical and health screenings, background checks of every household member (age 12 and up), criminal record check, employment and income verification, reference checks, and home study visits.

What questions are asked to determine if you’re eligible to adopt a child in Florida?

Typical questions asked during an adoption interview in Florida are intended to discover potential parent(s) parenting techniques, personal values, interests/hobbies, relationships, upbringings, and careers.

What is the Home Study Process to adopt a child in Florida?

To adopt a child in Florida, potential parent(s) must complete a home study process. For the home study, a representative will seek to confirm if the home will be a proper place to raise a child. Items typically looked at include stairway safety, child-proofed electrical outlets and cabinets, tall furniture secured to walls, weapons safely locked away, and secure locks on doors and windows.

How much does it cost to adopt a child in Florida?

When adopting a child from a community-based care agency, there is no fee for adoption or related pre-adoptive training, home study, or placement. Adoptions through a private adoption agency can cost up to $50,000. Adoptions may incur other expenses such as attorneys and court costs.

How long does it take to adopt a child in Florida?

The length of time to adopt a child in Florida varies based on the circumstances and situation of all parties involved in the adoption. In Florida, adoption wait times may range from 6 to 18 months.

Get the Legal Help You Need

An adoption can be a tedious and emotional process. An experienced Family Law Attorney can help guide you through the process and can save time by helping move the process along more quickly and smoothly.

Contact the Fusco Law Group: (904) 567-3113 for a free consultation.