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Florida Adoption Lawyers

When it comes to step parent/stepchild adoptions, lawyer Matthew P. Irwin have the experience you need. He is one of the few stepchild adoption attorneys in South Florida, and is very familiar with the requirements of adopting a stepchild, which are different from other types of adoption and can be confusing. In the Florida counties of Lee, Collier and Charlotte, our attorneys have the experience to help you navigate the complicated legal landscape of adopting a stepchild.

You can schedule a free consultation regarding stepparent adoption with our lawyers.

Getting Consent to Adopt Your Stepchild

While other types of adoption must deal with issues like stability of the adopting parents and their home, or health of the child, stepchild adoption is primarily concerned with consent by the birth parents. In order to adopt your stepchild, the court must have record that your spouse and the non-custodial parent consent to your adoption of the child. Obviously, getting consent from the adopting parent’s spouse is usually not a problem. But getting consent from the non-custodial parent can be challenging sometimes. Parents who are non-communicative or difficult to reach, or who like to make things difficult for their former spouse, present problems in the adoption process. Mr. Irwin is experienced in obtaining consent from non-custodial parents in these kinds of circumstances.

If the child you are adopting is 12 years old or older, you’ll also need the child’s consent. You and your spouse should discuss the adoption with your child prior to beginning the paperwork to make sure he or she is amenable to the idea. Usually, the court will not permit the adoption of a non-consenting child age 12 or older unless there is clear and convincing evidence that the adoption is in the child’s best interests. If you’re trying to adopt a non-consenting older child, an adoption lawyer like Mr. Irwin can help you assemble and present evidence and arguments to show why the adoption is in the child’s best interest.

When consent is not needed

In a few circumstances consent of the non-custodial parent or guardian is not required. If the non-custodial parent is not known or their parental rights have been terminated by court order, then consent is not needed. Consent is also not needed if the non-custodial parent has been declared incompetent and restoration of competency is medically improbable. Failure to pay child support or follow the court-ordered parenting plan is usually not sufficient for the court to override the consent requirement. If you think your circumstances may not require consent of the non-custodial child, it’s best to schedule a free consultation with our adoption lawyers who can help ascertain whether this is the case for sure.

Discuss Your Stepchild Adoption Questions for Free

You can talk about your legal needs regarding stepchild adoption with our lawyers for free — there’s no cost or obligation. Find out what your rights are and why adoption attorneys are needed by anyone considering adoption of their stepchild. If you live in the Florida counties of Lee, Collier and Charlotte, family law attorney Matthew P. Irwin has the experience you need to understand the adoption process and ensure that your adoption needs are met. Or Call us toll-free today at 866-995-0166.

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You can find more information about adoption and other family law issues in our Free Resources.