Pensacola Adoption Lawyer

Pensacola adoption lawyer Clay H. Whittaker and his wife Cheryl welcome you to Gulf Coast Adoptions. We handle all types of adoption cases, with offices in Pensacola and other locations in the Florida Panhandle.

Our team understands that adoptions are complex. We know that the legal steps to finalize an adoption are important. We take care of that.

Adoption Attorney in Pensacola

We focus on outcomes. Everyone involved in an adoption should have confidence in the decision they are making and that it is the best path for the child. That’s why we take the time to talk with you in detail, always answering your questions and treating you with unconditional respect.

We welcome you to meet Clay Whittaker, our Pensacola adoption lawyer, and our entire team. See how an adoption lawyer in Pensacola can assist you. Learn about your options and ask questions. Gulf Coast Adoptions can start helping you today.

How does adoption work?

Adoption is making a parent-child relationship. It is a legal process that ends with the adoptive parent being a legal parent to the child. When an adoption is complete, the adoptive parent has full parental rights.

Types of Adoptions We Handle


A private adoption occurs directly between the adoptive parents and the parents placing the child for adoption. In a private adoption, the expectant mother or birth parent or current parent decides that adoption is right for their child. A common scenario is a birth mother making a loving choice for their child in choosing adoption. At Gulf Coast Adoptions, a lawyer will handle your private adoption with care and compassion.


Sometimes, a birth parent has already identified the couple or person they want to adopt their child such as a friend, coworker or acquaintance. This is called an identified adoption. A lawyer takes care of the paperwork and makes sure everyone involved understands the process.


There are many reasons for relative adoption. Get help from a lawyer with a kinship adoption involving a stepparent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or closely related family member.


A step-parent adoption is where one biological parent’s rights are terminated and the stepparent adopts the child with the remaining biological parent.


A second-parent adoption involves unmarried couples who adopt, and which gives the child important rights, which may include inheritance, health insurance and social security. We handle second-parent adoptions, including for same-sex couples.


Open adoption is where the biological parents and adoptive couples communicate and exchange of information. Openness depends on the desire of the parties to the adoption.

Foster care

Get legal help with foster care adoption finalization or DCF intervention. Lawyer Clay Whittaker can assist you with the legal steps, representing you in this process.

Contested adoptions

Gulf Coast Adoptions handles contested adoptions in the Pensacola area. Get qualified help from a lawyer in this legally and emotionally challenging process.

Adoption Requirements

Adoption requirements in Florida include:

  • Minimum age
  • Home study
  • Background checks
  • Release or termination of parental rights

A home study makes sure that the adoptive parents can provide for a child, financially and emotionally. However, there is no minimum income requirement. A parent may choose to release their rights to the adoptive parents, or the child may be available for adoption through foster care.

When you choose Gulf Coast Adoptions, you have a lawyer to guide you through the process, making sure every step is complete.

Choose our Experienced and Caring Team

Here are some reasons people choose Gulf Coast Adoptions as their Pensacola adoption lawyer:

  • An experienced lawyer who focuses his legal practice on adoption.
  • A caring husband and wife team who are adoptive parents themselves.
  • Respect for people in all situations and walks of life – whether you are growing your family through adoption or making a loving choice to place a child for adoption, we respect you and want to help you achieve your goals.
  • Flat fees allow you to talk with us for hours, without worrying about costs. We truly serve your needs.
  • We know the system, not just the law. We’ll represent your interests throughout your adoption case.

As adoptive parents, we realized how the process could have been more personal. We started Gulf Coast Adoptions to serve people like you with caring and compassionate service.

Free Consultation with a Pensacola Adoption Lawyer

Start with a free consultation with a Pensacola adoption lawyer at Gulf Coast Adoptions. Office and virtual consultations are available.

Contact us to talk about your situation. There is no fee and no obligation for a consultation. Call or message us now.

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