Pensacola Lawyer Aiding People with Adoptions

Family members often play key roles in raising children, and in some instances, offer the care and support their parents are unable to provide. In such cases, relatives are often the best option for providing children with a safe and stable environment. Family members typically do not have parental rights, however, unless they go through the process of adopting the children in their care. It is important, therefore, for anyone who cares for a minor relative and wishes to legally define their parental status to take the steps necessary to complete a relative adoption. If you have questions regarding relative adoption, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Clay H. Whittaker of Gulf Coast Adoptions is a capable Pensacola adoption lawyer with the skills and resources needed to help people complete kinship adoptions, and he can aid you in pursuing your desired result.

Relative Adoption Explained

The Florida law regarding adoption is relatively broad in that it merely states that any person can be adopted. In most instances, however, the party being adopted is a child. The law also dictates that an unmarried adult and a husband and wife acting jointly can adopt. A married person can adopt without their spouse joining in the adoption in certain situations as well.

Relative adoption is similar to other adoptions in Florida in that it creates a parent-child relationship where none previously existed and grants both the parent and child the rights that come along with that affiliation. The act of adopting a relative is typically more streamlined than the process of completing other adoptions, though. For example, relative adoptions usually do not require a home study where the court evaluates whether the petitioner’s home is an appropriate environment to raise a child. Additionally, while usually a party cannot file a petition for adoption until a court has entered a judgment or decree terminating the parental rights of the child’s parents, there is an exception for relative adoptions.

Only certain parties qualify for a relative adoption. Specifically, the law defines a relative as an individual related by blood to the third degree to the child they are adopting. Under this definition, relatives include great-grandparents, grandparents, great aunts and uncles, aunts and uncles, and siblings.

Adopting a Minor Relative

Parties who wish to complete a relative adoption must file a petition for adoption of a minor relative in the appropriate court, which is typically the court in the jurisdiction in which they and the child reside. The petitioner must also obtain the written consent of the child’s parents or legal guardian, and if the child is twelve years old or older, the child’s consent. The court may decline to require consent to an adoption in some situations. For example, if the parent has abandoned the child, had been deemed mentally incompetent, or the courts have legally severed their rights.

The petitioner must also define their relationship to the child, state their reasons for wishing to adopt the child, and state they can adequately provide for the child’s material needs and their emotional and mental well-being. In some instances, the child’s grandparents may need to be provided notice before the adoption can proceed. After the petition is filed, a hearing will be conducted. If no one objects to the adoption, the court will usually grant the adoption.

Speak to an Experienced Pensacola Lawyer

Relatives often fill in for parents who lack the capacity to care for their children properly, and in some cases, it makes sense for them to solidify their rights via a relative adoption. If you are interested in adopting a minor relative, it is prudent to speak to a lawyer regarding your options. Attorney Clay H. Whittaker of Gulf Coast Adoptions is an experienced Pensacola adoption law attorney who understands the life-changing impact adoption can have on both children and their parents, and if you hire him, he will advocate zealously on your behalf. We have an office in Pensacola, Pace, and Miramar Beach and we routinely assist people with a variety of adoptions, including relative adoptions, throughout Florida. You can contact Attorney Clay Whittaker by calling 850-999-7977.

The answers to all your questions are just a phone call away. Contact Gulf Coast Adoptions today.

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