ADOPTION FLORIDA

The decision to adopt can be overwhelming without the right advocate by your side. At Family Diplomacy we take the time to answer your questions about the adoption process and determine the best course of action for you and your family. We can help whether you are beginning the adoption process from scratch or seeking to adopt a stepchild, close relative, or adult.

STEPCHILD/STEPPARENT, CLOSE RELATIVE, AND ADULT ADOPTION

If you are seeking to adopt a stepchild, close relative, or adult, Florida law has established an accelerated process to help families like yours. At Family Diplomacy we will walk you through the steps that you can take to ensure that your stepchild, close relative, or adult adoption progresses in a smooth and expedited manner.

SAME-SEX ADOPTIONS AND ADOPTION OPTIONS FOR THE LGBT COMMUNITY

Florida now has adoption options for the LGBT community. You may have questions regarding same-sex adoptions or the possibility to become a second parent to your partner’s children. Family Diplomacy will provide you with an overview of your family rights and tailor a plan for your specific situation.

COLLABORATIVE ADOPTION

If you are considering an open adoption, where a biological parent will continue to have contact with the child even after the adoption is finalize, then Family Diplomacy strongly recommends you consider the Collaborative Adoption Process. In the Collaborative Process, each party is represented by an attorney who is there solely to help the parties reach an agreement on finalizing the adoption and developing a post-adoption visitation plan. A neutral social worker or other professional is retained to help foster a relationship and facilitate communication between all parties.

Nonprofit in Florida Offers Grants for Adoption Costs

The Tampa Bay Times recently ran a story about the Gift of Adoption Fund.  Gift of Adoption Fund is a 501(c)(3) organization with a chapter in Florida that helps prospective adoptive parents in need defray some of the costs of adoption.

Adoption Grants | Gift of Adoption Fund

You can find portions of the Tampa Bay Times story below.

Read more

Adoption Client Review: Very Professional and Precise

An adoption client recently reviewed Family Diplomacy: A Collaborative Law Firm on Avvo.com.

FLORIDA BAR DISCLAIMER: Please note that every case is different, and you may not receive the same or similar results.  You can find the review after the jump.

Read more

Can 2 Men or 2 Women Appear on a Florida Birth Certificate?

Florida has not had the best history when it comes to the rights of same-sex couples.  For the longest time, the state had a law on the books that gay men and women were forbidden from adopting a child.  Florida not only enacted a so-called Defense of Marriage Act statute but enshrined its opposition to same-sex marriage in the state’s constitution.  Further, even once Florida courts ruled that the state must recognize marriage between people of the same sex, it was unclear whether the state would permit same-sex divorce.

Fortunately, the state has come a long way.  The “gay adoption ban” is no longer on the books.  The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a ban on the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples is unconstitutional, as is a refusal of one state to recognize a same-sex marriage solemnized in another state.  And it has become clear that circuit courts in Tampa Bay and around the state must give same-sex spouses the opportunity to dissolve their marriage.

So, at this point, can two parents of the same sex appear on a Florida birth certificate?

Read more

Adoption Client Review: Outstanding Lawyer

An adoption client recently left a review of Family Diplomacy: A Collaborative Law Firm on Avvo.com.

As required by the Florida Bar, we note that each case is different, and you may not receive the same or similar results.

The review is reproduced below:

Read more

Client Review: Stepparent Adoption & Name Change

Whether we are handling a divorce, paternity, name change, or adoption matter, we treat our clients with care and respect to help them meet their goals.

I was recently reviewed on Avvo.com by a client in a stepparent adoption matter who discussed her experience.

 

As I am required to note by the Florida Bar, please understand that every case is different, and you may not receive the same or similar results.  You can find the review after the jump:

Read more

US Supreme Court: Second Parent Adoptions Protected by Full Faith and Credit

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a state must give full faith and credit to a judgment granting a second parent adoption issued by a court of competent jurisdiction of another state.

A second parent adoption is similar to a stepparent adoption, where one spouse adopts the other spouse’s child, except that the petitioner in a second parent adoption is not married to the child’s legal parent.  Second parent adoptions were most closely associated with same-sex partners as, until recently, same-sex marriages were not permitted or recognized in Florida and around the country.

Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svgSecond parent adoption was the only method available (where it was permitted) for many LGBT individuals to gain legal recognition as a second parent to a child.

In the case, V.L. v. E.L., 577 U.S. ___ (2016), two women, E.L. and V.L.  were in a relationship from 1995 until 2011.  About seven years into the relationship, E.L. became pregnant via assisted reproductive technology and gave birth to a child (and a couple of years later, to twins).  The women raised the children as co-parents.

Read more

Pasco Adoption Judge Retires

Sixth Circuit Unified Family Court Judge William R. Webb enjoyed his last day on the bench granting adoptions.  From the Tampa Tribune:

NEW PORT RICHEY – He just as easily could have spent the day romping with his 2½-year-old grandson or reading the novel he never had time to open while serving as a circuit court judge for the Sixth Judicial Circuit.

Instead, Judge William Webb, 67, spent New Year’s Eve, the first day of his retirement, at the Pasco County Courthouse — officiating at the adoption of a group of children he had shepherded through the court system.

Read more

Client Review: Adult Adoption in Florida

Floridians know about child adoption, but many do not realize that adults may be adopted as well.  Whether you have an adult step child, adult foster child, adult relative, or other person, Florida courts generally will grant adult adoptions so long the adoptee is younger than the prospective adoptive parent.  Florida courts have even granted adult adoptions that were explicitly for tax planning and estate planning purposes.

A former client of mine whom I recently helped in an adult adoption wrote a review of her experience on Avvo.com.  FLORIDA BAR DISCLAIMER: Please note that every case is different, and you may not receive the same or similar results.

You can see the review after the jump:

Read more

Florida Same-Sex Marriage – Will I Be On My Child’s Birth Certificate?

It has long been the law in Florida that when a child is born during an intact marriage between a man and a woman, the husband shall be placed on the birth certificate.  Generally, this is the case even if the husband is not the biological father of the child; the right of the child to be considered “legitimate” is so strong that it does not matter whether there is an actual genetic connection between the child and the father.

Now that Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage has been declared unconstitutional by a federal judge and marriage licenses are being provided to same-sex couples, will a hospital put a woman on a birth certificate if her wife gives birth?

Read more

Is Florida’s Gay Adoption Ban Still On The Books?

Most people know that, for a long time, Florida did not permit gay individuals to adopt children.

Florida’s adoption laws were and are mainly based on the best interests of the child.  Even if a prospective adoptive parent were a convicted violent felon, the felony likely would not automatically prevent an adoption from happening; the judge would need to entertain evidence and make a determination about whether, despite the felony, the adoption was in the best interests of the adoptee.

But if a prospective adoptive parent were gay, and the judge knew this fact, there would be no analysis.  A gay person was not permitted under Florida law to adopt a child, regardless of whether it was in the child’s best interest.

However, that all changed in 2010, when Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals published its decision in In re the Adoption of XXG and NRG.

Read more