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.
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.
If you are a married couple looking to bring a child into your life but cannot conceive yourselves, you may be a candidate for gestational surrogacy.
Gestational surrogacy is a legally recognized process and alternative to traditional child birth. A couple contracts with a woman (also known as a “surrogate”) who will give birth to a child. The couple will use their own sperm and/or egg, with or without donated genetic materials, to create a fertilized egg. The fertilized egg will then be transferred to the surrogate. There is no biological connection between the surrogate and the fertilized egg. This means that the surrogate has no legal rights to the child that is born. The couple quickly become the legal parents to the newborn child.
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.
You can find portions of the Tampa Bay Times story below.
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.
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?
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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: