Considering Adopting as a Stepparent?

Proven Jacksonville Adoption Attorneys Can Guide You Through the Process

We at Owenby Law, P.A. recognize what a significant step it is when the husband or wife of a parent decides to share in the legal responsibility of raising a child or children. Our team of Jacksonville family law attorneys represents spouses who wish to legally adopt their stepchildren. While stepparent adoptions are common in Duval, Clay, Nassau and St. Johns counties, they require the services of a lawyer who is familiar with the legislative and filing requirements involved in the process. If you are married to the parent of a minor child, you are probably already helping to raise your spouse's son or daughter.

Call (904) 770-3141 to discuss your legal options during a Free Initial Consultation.

The Parental Adoption Process in Florida

In Florida adoptions, the spouse who is attempting to adopt is referred to as the "petitioner" and the absent parent is called the "defendant."

In Florida, in order for a petitioner to legally adopt a child or children, one of the following conditions must exist:

  • The defendant is deceased.
  • The defendant has failed to maintain a relationship with the child or children and/or has failed to financially support the child or children. In other words, the defendant has abandoned the child or children.
  • The defendant has abused or neglected the child.
  • The defendant signs a consent form agreeing to the stepparent adoption.

It's important to note that as long as both parents are actively involved in the child's or children's lives, the only way to successfully petition the courts for a stepparent adoption is to have the defendant sign a consent form. Naturally, in all cases, at the husband or wife of the petitioner must agree to the adoption. If the petition for adoption is approved, the court will issue an order granting the adoption. Vital Statistics (in the state the child or children were born in) will issue new birth certificates that list the adoptive parent as the parent.

Jacksonville Family Lawyers with Extensive Adoption Experience

Whether you are a couple trying to adopt a child or a stepparent who is attempting to assume the legal rights and responsibilities of a parent, our lawyers know how stressful adoptions can be for everyone involved. While there is never a guarantee of success, your best chances lie with a family law firm that has extensive experience in Florida stepparent adoptions such as ours.

Retain our firm’s top-notch adoption services as soon as possible.