Can I Adopt My Grandchild in Florida?

Do you have a grandchild or other close relative living with you? Do you want to ensure that you have the legal ability to make healthcare, education, and other major decisions for the child? Do you want to legally establish the close relationship that already exists between you and the child?

You may be eligible to adopt your grandchild or other close relative, and fortunately, Florida has expedited procedures in place to facilitate such adoptions.

To take advantage of these procedures, you need to make sure to have the consent of the child’s parents. If the parents refuse to consent, you may still be able to go through with the adoption if the parents have neglected or abandoned the child (keep in mind that Florida has a strong policy that parents have a right to raise their children, and proving neglect or abandonment is often prohibitively difficult).

Another thing to note is that a father is not required to provide consent if he(i) was not married to the mother at the time the child was born and conceived, (ii) is not on the child’s birth certificate, and (iii) has not been declared the child’s father in a legal proceeding. However, the father is still entitled to notice of the proceedings.

[Related:  In Which County Should I File My Florida Adoption Case?]

In most non-relative adoptions, you are required to have a licensed professional conduct a study of you and your living environment and file the report with the Court. You are also required to have separate hearings for (i) termination of the parents’ rights (“TPR”) and (ii) adoption.

However, if you are adopting a close relative, once you have obtained the required parents’ consents and filed a petition for close relative adoption and associated paperwork, you can schedule one hearing in which the judge decides the issues of TPR and adoption. Further, the judge usually waives the requirement of the home study.

You should note that these expedited procedures also apply stepparent/stepchild adoptions and adult adoptions.

If you are interested in adopting your close relative in Florida, or you want to learn about alternatives such as temporary custody or concurrent custody, schedule a consultation with a Tampa Bay Adoption and Family Law Attorney by calling The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813) 443-0615 or filling out our contact form.

About Adam B. Cordover, Attorney-at-Law

Family Diplomacy is dedicated to helping clients restructure their families privately and respectfully. We practice exclusively in out-of-court dispute resolution, with a focus on collaborative divorce and family law, mediation, direct negotiations, and unbundled legal services. We maintain this out-of-court practice because we strongly believe that family disputes should be resolved in a private conference room, not in a hostile and public courtroom environment. This unique perspective on family law stems back to Adam B. Cordover’s experience studying International Affairs in Washington, D.C., and abroad. Adam had the rare opportunity to work closely with ambassadors and diplomats from war-torn regions around the world. He traveled around the globe, learning from diplomatic leaders as they applied dispute resolution techniques to tackle seemingly impossible conflicts. It dawned on him: If these techniques can work in the complex world of International Relations, why not Domestic Relations and Family Law? This realization lead Adam to create an exclusively out-of-court practice and to bring a more peacemaking approach to family law. In his previous role as a litigation attorney, Adam witnessed parties experience the negative emotional and financial effects that long, drawn out divorce battles can have on families. As a result, Adam has become a strong proponent of the Collaborative Process, where a structure is put in place so that life’s hardest moments do not have to be any more difficult than necessary. A thought leader in the international collaborative law community, Adam successfully spearheaded an effort of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit to draft an administrative order safeguarding the principles of collaborative family law (just the fourth such administrative order in Florida). Adam has been featured in or interviewed about collaborative practice by the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Business Journal, Florida Bar News, NBC, Fox 13, Bay News 9, ABC Action News, The World of Collaborative Practice Magazine, and Spirit FM 90.5. Adam regularly speaks at professional and civic organizations locally and internationally regarding the collaborative process. Adam B. Cordover is president of Next Generation Divorce, a 501(c)(3) and Florida’s largest interdisciplinary collaborative practice group with member attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties. Adam is also on the Executive Board and co-chair of the Research Committee of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Florida. Further, Adam is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Leadership Academy of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. You can learn more about us and our services at www.FamilyDiplomacy.com. Attorney Adam B. Cordover is admitted to the Florida Bar and the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida. His office is located at 412 East Madison Street, Suite 824, Tampa, Florida 33602.
This entry was posted in Adoption, Family Law Explanation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Can I Adopt My Grandchild in Florida?

  1. linda sobin says:

    In paragraph #3; the first parenthetical should use the word “mind” instead of “my”

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