Filing your Florida stepparent adoption doesn’t have to be difficult.

We understand that filing for a stepparent adoption is an extremely important time in your life. It can be stressful and the process can seem overwhelming. We guarantee that your Florida stepparent adoption documents will be accurate and that the court clerks will accept them for filing as meeting or exceeding their standards, or you get your money back – 100%. We can make this guarantee because we make it our mission to make sure our documents are complete and up-to-date with the newest court regulations. If we don’t make it right, we’ll refund your money – 100%.

 

Florida Adoption – Information you should know.

We know how important is it for you to do the research on filing your Florida adoption online. Our highly experienced staff will help you through the process. Please review the information below to educate yourself on filing a stepparent adoption in Florida, and then our staff will help you with any questions.

 

In Florida, the person filing for the stepparent adoption is referred to as the “Petitioner” and the absent parent is referred to as the “Defendant”. The petitioning stepparent will file the legal adoption documents that we prepare for you with the court. This will start the adoption process. An uncontested adoption means that the other parent is not going to file additional documents with the court objecting to the adoption.

 

Most of the stepparent adoptions we do for customers have one of the following circumstances:

 

  • The absent natural parent is deceased.
  • The absent parent has abandoned the child or children, by failing to maintain a meaningful relationship with the child(ren), and failing to provide financial support for the child(ren). In many situations, the absent parent’s whereabouts are unknown.
  • The absent parent believes that the adoption is in the child’s best interest, and agrees to sign a consent to the adoption.

 

Please note that if the other parent has regular contact with the child and pays child support, you will not be able to complete a stepparent adoption in Florida unless the other parent is willing to sign a consent to the adoption.

 

 

Where will you file your stepparent adoption documents?

The adoption documents are filed in the Circuit Court in the county where you reside. When the stepparent is finalized by the Court, your adopted child will receive a new birth certificate, showing the new parent listed on the birth certificate, and also showing the child’s new name.

 

Prior to filing your Petition for Adoption with the Circuit Court in your county, you must have been a bona fide resident of the state of Florida for six months prior to the filing of the petition, which residency must be stated in the petition and proved at the final hearing (Drivers License, etc.). If both parties currently reside in the state, then there is no time period required.

 

 

Grounds for the termination of parental rights.

The grounds which typically justify the termination of parental rights in a stepparent adoption involve abandonment, failure to support the child, imprisonment, certain abuse, and other grounds. The grounds for the termination of parental rights are different for each state, but all states accept the grounds of abandonment and lack of support, and some states include other grounds.

 

In every adoption, you will want to make a diligent effort to get the absent parent to sign a consent to the adoption. If the other parent will not sign a consent because their whereabouts are unknown, or because of their disinterest in the child, then you can file for the adoption and have the parental rights of the other parent terminated on the grounds listed below. In Florida, the consent is not required, pursuant to § 63.064, as long as one of the following grounds has been met:

 

  • The absent parent has deserted the child without means of identification or has abandoned the child.
  • The absent parent has been declared incompetent and restoration of competency is medically improbable.

In most adoptions, abandonment is used as grounds for the termination of the parental rights.

 

It is not required to terminate parental rights of a parent who is deceased.

 

 

Visitation by grandparents or the absent parent.

Most states do not have any provisions for the visitation rights of the parent losing parental rights, or the grandparents associated with that parent. The State of Florida will recognize agreements for visitation by the parent losing their parental rights, but this is typically up to the discretion of the adopting parents.

 

 

FLORIDA CIRCUIT COURT: Address of some Florida courts.

Our documents are for the entire State of Florida. If your county court is not listed below, then we will provided the court information when we send your documents to you.

 

You must file the adoption documents in the Circuit Court in the county in which you are filing. Some court addresses for larger counties are as follows:

 

Miami-Dade County Courthouse: T73 West Flagler Street, Suite # 242 | Miami, Florida 33130 Telephone: (305) 275-1155

 

Hillsborough County: George E. Edgecomb Courthouse 800 East Twiggs Street Tampa, Florida 33601 (813) 276-8100 Ext. 4358 Fax: (813) 272-6792

 

Duval County Courthouse:330 East Bay Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32202 Tel: (904) 630-2230

 

Leon County Courthouse:301 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL. 32302 Tel: (850) 577-4000 Fax: (850) 577-4013

 

Orange County County Courthouse:425 N. Orange Avenue, P.O. Box 4994, Orlando, FL 32801 Phone: (407) 836-2000 Fax: (407) 836-2269

 

Sarasota County Circuit Court:Sarasota County Courthouse 2000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34236 Phone: (941) 861-7400

 

Pinellas County Circuit Court:Clearwater Courthouse, 315 Court Street, Clearwater, FL 33756 Phone: (727) 464-3341; Civil: 727-464-3267

 

Escambia County Circuit Court:M.C. Blanchard Judicial Building, 190 Governmental Center, Pensacola, FL 32502 Phone: 850-595-4130 (civil)

 

Alachua County Circuit Court:Alachua County Family / Civil Justice Center, 201 East University Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32602-0600 Phone: (352) 374-3636

 

Volusia County Circuit Court:Volusia County Courthouse, 101 N. Alabama, DeLand, FL 32724 Phone: (386)736-5915 (general) (386) 736-5907 (civil)

 

Broward County Circuit Court:Broward County Judicial Complex, 201 SE 6th Street, Ft Lauderdale, Fl. 33301 Phone: (954) 831-6565 (civil)

 

Collier County Circuit Court:3301 E. Tamiami Trail, Bldg. L / 5th Floor, Naples, FL. 34112 Phone: (239) 252-2745 Fax: 239-252-2755

 

Court filing fees.

The court filing fees for an adoption in Florida are approximately $300.

 

Serving the absent parent.

In many stepparent adoptions, the absent parent may be willing to sign a consent form which consents to the termination of their parental rights and consents to the adoption. If the absent parent is willing to sign a consent, this will make the process a little easier because the court will know from the beginning that all parties agree to the stepparent adoption. Many of our adoption customers don’t know the whereabouts of the other parent, or the other parent has such a disinterest that he/she just won’t sign any documents. In this situation, you will file the adoption documents and then serve the absent parent by one of the following options:

 

1. Whereabouts of the other parent are UNKNOWN: If you are unable to locate the absent parent after a diligent search, then you can serve the parent by publication. This means that a notice is published in a local legal publication. Typically publication is once a week for 4 weeks. The publication fee for the newspaper averages around $85, but varies depending on where you live. Upon the filing of the Affidavit, the clerk shall direct that service of notice be made by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the complaint is filed. We provide all the required documents for service by publication.

 

2.The parent just won’t sign, but grounds exist for the adoption: If you know the whereabouts of the other parent, but that parent won’t sign due to disinterest, you can have that parent served by the Sheriff’s department or a private process server. This can be done even if the other parent is incarcerated in jail or a federal prison.

 

Start your Florida Stepparent Adoption Today!

 


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