Pensacola Lawyer Aiding People with Adoptions
Parents generally want what is best for their children. Unfortunately, though, some parents lack the desire or ability to care for their children properly, and the state makes the decision to remove their children from their custody. In some instances, even if a child has been placed in the state’s care, their biological parents can have a say in who adopts them through the process of DCF intervention. Few things are as fulfilling as adopting a child from the child welfare system, but adoption through DCF intervention is a complicated process that should not be attempted without the assistance of an attorney. Clay H. Whittaker of Gulf Coast Adoptions is an experienced Pensacola adoption lawyer who understands the significance of the decision to adopt a child in need, and if you engage his services, he will work hard to help you seek a successful result.
What is DCF Intervention?
Florida is unique in that it allows parents whose children are sheltered by the state to make decisions regarding the children’s adoption. In other words, DCF intervention, as the process is known, permits parties whose children have been taken into custody by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) to work with adoption agencies to remove the children from the care of the state and place them in safe and caring homes.
Typically, DCF removes children from the custody of their parents due to allegations of neglect and abuse. Children who are sheltered by DCF are usually placed with foster families until the courts can make final decisions about what is in their best interest. If a biological parent’s parental rights are intact, they can sign a consent for adoption, allowing other parties to adopt the child through private adoption. The biological parents can choose who will adopt the child. In most instances, the prospective parents will be relatives of the child’s biological parents. Notably, if a parent’s parental rights have been terminated, they no longer are the legal parents of the child and do not have the right to consent to their adoption, select their adoptive parents, or make any other decisions regarding their care.
If a parent whose child is sheltered by DCF complies with the requirements for completing a consent form, the consent will be deemed binding, valid, and enforceable by the courts. After the form is completed, the adoption attorney can intervene in the child’s dependency case as a party in interest. The attorney must provide the court with the prospective parent’s home study, and any other information that demonstrates the child’s placement with the intended parents is appropriate. The court will then conduct a hearing to determine whether the child’s placement with the prospective adoptive parents is in the child’s best interest. Regardless of whether the child’s biological parents chose the intended parents, the court will only allow the adoption to proceed if it determines that the intended adoptive parents are qualified to care for the child. Unless the parties agree otherwise or can demonstrate good cause for a deviation, a final hearing on the motion to intervene will be conducted within thirty days of when the motion is filed, and a final order on the motion will be issued within fifteen days after the hearing.
Meet with a Trusted Pensacola Lawyer
All children deserve to grow up in a safe environment with parents who can adequately care for and nurture them. Sadly, however, some children are born to parents who are unable to provide for their basic needs, and the courts must intervene and allow other parties to adopt them. If you have questions regarding adoption via DCF intervention, it is in your best interest to meet with a lawyer as soon as possible. Attorney Clay H. Whittaker of Gulf Coast Adoptions is a trusted Pensacola adoption attorney who regularly handles complicated adoption issues, and he possesses the knowledge and resources required to help you pursue your intended outcome. Our office is located in Pensacola, and we regularly help people with DCF interventions and other kinds of adoptions in cities throughout Florida. You can reach Attorney Clay Whittaker through by calling 850-999-7977 to set up a confidential and free consultation.