Estate Planning Law Office of Attorney Joseph F. Pippen, Jr. & Associates
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Q.  Who can petition to adopt a child in Florida?

A.  A married couple, an unmarried adult, or either the husband or wife if the other spouse is a natural parent of the minor child may petition the circuit court of the county in which they reside to adopt the child.

Q.  Who gives consent for an adoption to take place in Florida?

A.  Consent may be executed by the court, but normally consent has to be executed by the following:

1.      The mother of the minor.

2.      The father of the minor, if . . .

a.      The minor was conceived or born while the father was married to the mother;

b.      The minor is his child by adoption;

c.      The minor has been established by court proceedings to be his child.

d.      He has acknowledged in writing, signed in the presence of a competent witness, that he is the father of the minor child and has filed such acknowledgment with the Vital Statistics Office of the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services.

3.      The minor, if more than 12 years of age, unless the court, in the best interest of the minor, disregards the minorís consent.

Q.  What are some of the procedures for a Florida adoption?

A.  Before a petition can be filed, the child must have lived in the home of the petitioner, except where . . .

1.      One of the petitioners is related to the child by blood, or

2.      The petitioners are related to the child as stepparents.

Notice of the final hearing on the adoption must be sent to the agency investigating the adoption and the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services when its recommendation is required.  Stepparent adoptions no longer require such notices.


Q.  Is citizenship affected by adoption?

A.  No.  Citizenship of an adopted child is not affected by his or her adoption, but naturalization of an adopted child is possible.

Q.  Are court records protected in an adoption proceeding?

A.  Yes.  All records pertaining to the adoption are closed and kept in separate locked files.  No person shall have access to these reports or records except under court order.


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