Can a Family Member Adopt My Baby in Florida? 2023

Florida residents can choose a close relative when opting for adoption. Placing a child in the care of a family member can help make the process simpler and lead to a smoother transition to a new home. When making an adoption plan, consider trying a relative adoption if you have family who would be interested in having a child.

Can a Family Member Adopt a Baby in Florida?

Some family members can choose to adopt a child in Florida. These are known as relative or kinship adoptions. Such adoptions have less hassle and red tape for both parties in the adoption process, as Florida wants to help family members quickly finalize their adoptions.

Relative adoptions fall under the purview of Chapter 63 of Florida law. You can typically avoid a lawyer for these types of adoptions, though finding support is still critical for all parties.

Kinship adoptions are faster and more economical than open adoption plans. If everyone consents during the process, it may only last two months.

Can A Family Member Adopt My Baby in Florida?

What Family Members Are Eligible for a Relative Adoption?

Birth mothers often have many questions during the adoption process, and one of them is who qualifies for a relative adoption. The answer can be found in Florida Statutes Section 63.032(16), which states that a person must be within the third degree of consanguinity to qualify for a kinship adoption.

Simply put, you’re eligible for relative adoption if you’re a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or adult sibling of the child in question. Anyone not falling into that category will have to go through the traditional adoption process.

What Is the Relative Adoption Process Like?

Unfortunately, you can’t handle a relative adoption online, so you’ll need to obtain a petition from your local circuit court. The birth parents and other family members will need to fill out the petition and have it properly notarized. Then, you will need to gather any required documents, like the birth certificate or an Indian Child Welfare Act Affidavit.

With all the proper forms filled and documents collected, you’ll need to schedule a hearing with a judge. You can do this by contacting the county court and speaking with a judicial assistant.

Finally, you must attend a hearing. The judge will review your documents and make their decision on if they want to allow the adoption.

A relative adoption skips a few steps that are normally found in a traditional adoption. The most notable step is the home study. Florida cuts out the home study to help expedite the process and encourage relative adoptions. Most traditional adoptions will have a home study to determine if the child is comfortable in the new environment and if it is acceptable for them to live in.

Benefits of Relative Adoption

Kinship adoptions come with numerous benefits for parents and children. While relative adoptions may not be perfect for all people, it is worth considering for those who believe it could work for their situation.

  • Continuity: Many cases see the child already living with the future parents, so going through a kinship adoption allows the child to remain with someone who already has a familiarity with caring for them.
  • Closeness: Placing a child in the care of a close relative will allow the child to stay within similar social circles. The child will have a chance to see many of the same people they already know and maintain relationships with family. The birth family will know the people adopting the child and can vouch for their ability to handle a child.
  • Easier Transition: The transition for a child to a new home is always difficult. A kinship adoption allows the child to go with people they already know and have a relationship with. They won’t have to adapt to a new household with people they have no relationship with.
  • Faster Process: Adoptions have a knack for dragging on, but kinship adoptions move quickly. This makes the experience much easier and less stressful for all involved.
  • Permanency: Most kinship adoptions end up as permanent options for the child rather than subjecting them to frequent moving around.

FAQs

Q: How Do I Adopt a Child From a Family Member in Florida?

A: You must be either the child’s grandparent, adult sibling, aunt, or uncle to file for a relative

adoption in Florida. If you qualify, you’ll need to acquire the proper forms from your local court and fill them out. You also must provide the appropriate documents the court requires, such as a birth certificate.

Once everything is in order, you must schedule an appointment with a judge, who reviews the documents and rules on your request.

Q: Can I Adopt My Friend’s Baby in Florida?

A: With a private adoption plan, as opposed to an open variety, birth parents can have a friend adopt a baby. Both parties will want to be in contact with an adoption professional to help with the necessary paperwork and any legal matters that need to be taken care of. Having an adoption plan involving a close friend allows you to be at ease, knowing that the child is going to a safe environment.

Q: Who Is Eligible for Adoption in Florida?

A: While it may seem daunting, most Floridians are eligible to adopt a child. Florida law does not specify that a person needs to be married or have a specific income to qualify for adoption. The only real barrier to adoption is a felony charge, as Florida judges may use any felony as a reason to deny an adoption petition.

Q: Can My Husband Adopt My Child Without the Birth Father’s Consent in Florida?

A: Stepparents will need to acquire consent from a birth parent before they can finalize any adoption. Birth parents must consent to ending their parenting rights. The court may waive this consent in a few instances, such as if the birth parent is missing or is otherwise unable to be contacted.

Family Ever After: Help With Adoption

Adoption is an exciting and scary process for everyone involved. Birth mothers often want help to make sure that everything is above board and that their child finds the right prospective parents. At Family Ever After, we aim to support you every step of the way. Contact us today for more information and to see how we help you.