The Florida Bar
American Bar Association
Weston Florida Chamber of Commerce

Step-Parent Adoptions

Step-Parent AdoptionsIn my practice, I have performed many adoptions. The most common form of adoption is a step-parent adoption. With divorces happening more frequently, people who get re-married often consider the possibility of a step-parent adoption. In order for a step-parent adoption to occur it is necessary for the mother or father of a child to remarry and for the step-parent to decide that they wish to become the legal parent of the child and to step into the shows of the biological parent.

It is necessary for the rights of the biological parent with whom the parent no longer resides to have their parental rights terminated or they agree to consent to the adoption of their biological child who now lives with the step-parent. A consent will simplify an adoption and will allow the petition for step-parent adoption to be scheduled as an uncontested matter and the step parent adoption can be scheduled very quickly for Final Hearing. This process should not take an extended period of time.

Many times the biological parent will not consent to the adoption because either he or she cannot be found and they have abandoned the minor child. These parents typically have not maintained a relationship with the child, but their consent cannot be obtained. In these instances a publication of the adoption is necessary and should be published in a local legal publication for four to six weeks, and a default submitted to the Court. This matter can then be scheduled as an uncontested matter for a Final hearing.

If neither of the first two scenarios apply, and the biological parent can be located, then it is necessary for the parent to be served with the Adoption Petition. If the parent fails to respond, then a default can be enforced and the matter scheduled for an uncontested Final hearing. If the biological parent does respond and refuses to consent to the Adoption, then this matter is contested and the Petitioner must establish why the parental rights of the biological parent should be terminated. This is the most difficult scenario, and should be discussed at the time of the commencement of the case.

Following the step-parent adoption, the step-parent becomes the legal parent of the minor child as if he or she was the biological parent. The minor child’s birth certificate is amended and the minor child may have their last name changed if the parties desire. The minor child as is treated the same as a biological child of the person adopting them and is entitled to all right such as the included in the probate court they have the right to inherit and can be included in benefits as if they were a biological child.

Client Reviews
If you ever need a compassionate, hardworking attorney who believes in doing the right thing for families going through a divorce, but being fair and honest, go with Mr Kaplan, Esq. He is one attorney has always been patient, up front and defending your rights with integrity. Can’t ask for any better, especially one who works so hard as Mr.Kaplan!!! Thank you for taking care of our Service members and Veterans like me!! Charles
I would like to recommend my attorney's, Mr. Kenneth Kaplan, excellent services to anyone looking to represented for a child support or divorce matter. He can definitely be counted on. Very trustworthy and knowledgeable. He finds solutions to problems that seem can't be solved. Ileana
9/1/17 was one of the best days of my life! Mr. Kenneth Kaplan did an awesome job on my case.I would recommend him to anyone who needs a family law attorney. He's always there when I had a question, concern or needed reassurance. I was able to call, email or text him and he promptly responded. I told him my financial situation and he still worked with me. He cares more about his clients than the money. Evelyn, Nancy & Virginia, his assistants were awesome. I'm extremely satisfied with his professionalism and knowledge to help me get what I wanted for this case. Anonymous