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The Law Office of Laura A. Olson, P.A. Proudly Serving The Tampa Community
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Tampa Stepparent Adoption Attorney

When stepparents play an important role in the lives of their stepchildren, they often want to consider the possibility of adoption. Depending upon the family circumstances, it may be possible for a stepparent to adopt their stepchild in situations where the legal parent of the child has given consent, where one of the child’s parents has died, where the child has no biological or legal father (i.e., paternity was never established), or where one of the child’s parents has had their parental rights terminated. It will be important to determine the specific process for your stepparent adoption care by speaking with a lawyer. Contact our experienced Tampa stepparent adoption attorney to find out more about moving forward with a stepparent adoption in Florida.

Understanding Stepparent Adoption in Tampa

A stepparent adoption refers to the process through which a stepparent, who is not the child’s biological parent, adopts the child. When a stepparent adopts a stepchild, that stepparent takes on all rights and responsibilities of a legal parent, and the stepparent adoption process is permanent. In addition to being joined in the adoption petition by the child’s parent to whom the stepparent is married, a stepparent adoption is typically only possible under a few circumstances:

  • Child does not have a biological or legal parent who must give consent;
  • Biological or legal parent (who will be giving up parental rights) has given consent;
  • Other biological or legal parent of the child has died; or
  • Parental rights of the other biological or legal parent (who will no longer have parental rights) have been terminated.

There are not many specific upfront requirements for a stepparent to be eligible to become an adoptive parent in Tampa. For example, there are no requirements concerning a particular income, or working in a particular industry or living in a specific area. The Florida Statutes also make clear that a stepparent cannot be denied the ability to adopt a stepchild “solely because such person possesses a physical disability or handicap, unless it is determined by the court or adoption entity that such disability or handicap renders such person incapable of serving as an effective parent.”

Process for Stepparent Adoption in Tampa

The process for a stepparent adoption in Tampa will depend in part on the specific circumstances of the family and whether there is a need to obtain consent from the other biological or legal parent, or whether there is a need to move forward with the termination of parental rights. In general, the stepparent seeking to adopt will file a petition for adoption that will need to include the following:

  • Consent and Waiver By Parent form, or Affidavit of Nonpaternity, or death certificate of the deceased parent;
  • Consent form signed by the adoptee (if they are over the age of 12);
  • Child’s birth certificate;
  • Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) Affidavit; and
  • Motion for Search of the Putative Father Registry if relevant to the case.

Contact The Law Office of Laura A. Olson, P.A. Today

If you are considering a stepparent adoption or need assistance moving forward with a stepparent adoption, you should get in touch with a lawyer who can help you. Contact our experienced Tampa stepparent adoption attorney today to learn more about stepparent adoptions in Florida.

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