Every state has its own set of adoption laws. Understanding those laws and how they might impact your adoption can be confusing but, doing so is important! The last thing you want to do is pursue an illegal and unethical adoption process.
Adoption Choices of Florida will provide you with an adoption attorney and adoption specialist. Both of these professionals will be well-versed with the ins and outs of Florida adoption law. Thus, you will have help navigating Florida adoption laws during your adoption journey. You won’t have to learn about these laws all on your own! With our help, you can proceed with a safe and legal adoption journey.
Still, it’s helpful if you understand the basic laws about adoption before getting started. This will give you a sense of direction and understanding. To help you start your research, we’ve addressed some of the biggest subjects of Florida adoption laws below. However, please keep in mind that this information is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.
Who Can Adopt in Florida?
In the Sunshine State, single adults or married couples may jointly adopt, according to Florida adoption laws. A married person may adopt individually without their spouse with the court’s approval; typically if it’s considered to be in the best interest of the child or if the spouse is already the legal parent of the adoptee (meaning it’s a stepparent adoption).
All potential adoptive parents must be approved with a Florida adoption home study, which includes background checks, interviews, home inspections and more. As a fully-licensed adoption agency, Adoption Choices of Florida can provide all the services you need to complete your home study.
Prospective adoptive parents must also meet the individual requirements to adopt established by their adoption professional, as well as the requirements necessary for the type of adoption they wish to pursue.
Who Can Be Adopted in Florida?
Anyone may be adopted in Florida. Children aged 12 or older must give their consent to the adoption unless the court decides that waiving the child’s consent is in their best interest.
Florida Adoption Laws for Advertising
Only licensed Florida adoption agencies may advertise for adoption within the state. It’s illegal for anyone other than professional adoption agencies or adoption attorneys to advertise in any way that a child is available to be adopted or to advertise that someone is seeking a child to adopt.
Florida Adoption Laws for Prospective Birth Parent Expenses
The state of Florida maintains restrictions on allowable expenses that are permitted to prospective birth parents in adoption. Adoption laws in Florida regulate what types of funds and what amount adoptive parents and/or adoption agencies are allowed to assist with.
Allowable adoption expenses in Florida include:
- Prospective birth parent expenses incurred during pregnancy and up to six weeks postpartum, such as reasonable living expenses and necessary medical expenses
- Court filing fees, court costs and any other court administrative fees
- Advertising costs incurred by the adoption professional
- The cost of the birth certificate and medical records
- Reasonable fees for professional services involved in the pregnancy or adoption process, such as legal representation, counseling services, or home study fees
If an adoption professional or the Florida Department of Children and Family Service are used in an adoption, the adoptive family is responsible for paying that party for any services rendered. All prospective parents must file a signed affidavit with an itemized list of services of value that have been exchanged. The affidavit should include all payments involved throughout the adoption.
According to adoption laws in Florida, court approval is need for expenses deemed excessive, such as:
- Court costs of $800 or more
- Legal costs of $5,000 or more
- Medical costs or living expenses of $5,000 or more
The following costs are prohibited by Florida adoption laws:
- Expenses that are not itemized within an affidavit filed by the adoptive parents with the court
- Expenses listed in the affidavit that don’t specify the type of service provided, the date it was provided on, who provided the service, the hourly fee charged, or the time required to provide the service
- Expenses that constitute as payment for locating a child for adoption
Again, which Florida adoption laws will be applicable in your situation will depend upon your circumstances. Your specialist will always be there to answer your questions and refer you to a trusted attorney when you work with our agency.
In the meantime, if you are ready to pursue adoption, give us a call at 800-985-8108 or email us from www.adoptionchoicesofflorida.com