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Florida Takes Steps to Facilitate International Adoptions

Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Florida just took huge steps in helping facilitate international adoptions by jump starting a program to help provide families with medical care before and after they adopt a child, with a focus on providing very specific care for children who are adopted from outside the United States. This will be extremely beneficial to families in Florida, as the Sunshine State is one of a handful of states that is the top destination for international adoptions (alongside Texas, California, New York, and Georgia).

International adoptions have dropped significantly over the last 15 years, likely in part due to how difficult the international adoption process is on everyone. However, the special needs adoption program tends to move more quickly. So while some Florida families have been told that they need to wait seven years to adopt a “healthy” child from another country, families can sometimes adopt babies more quickly through the special needs program, whereby you receive the child’s medical records prior to the adoption, take those records to the doctor, and then have seven days to decide if you will be adopting the child. This way, the many legal hurdles that typically leave families and the attorneys assisting them with obtaining parental rights face as they wait for the system to finalize the adoption are at least somewhat tempered.

Medical & Legal Needs

However, these children sometimes come with very specific medical needs: some of the complex conditions suffered by the special needs children have included congenital heart disease, spina bifida, infectious diseases, malnutrition, and cleft palate. Although there are very few pediatricians who specialize in adoption medicine in the state, the top specialists are located in Boca Raton, close to our law offices. By Nemours starting this program, they allow families to take care of their medical needs for the child in one place, thereby allowing families the time, energy, and finances to also address the legal side of officially obtaining parental rights.

Your Right to Adopt

In Florida, there are four types of adoptions:

  • Agency or intermediary-facilitated;
  • Stepparent;
  • Close relative; and
  • Adult.

While there are requirements (such as residency) in order to adopt in the state of Florida, no one can be turned down for adoption simple because they are not married, or they are a stepparent, LGBT, or suffer from a physical disability. And while each type of adoption carries its own specific legal application/procedure, all require that a court overseeing the adoption has the evidence needed to terminate the relationship between the child and his or her biological parents (whether that is an official consent, evidence of abuse, etc.).

Contact Us about Adoption in Florida

Adoption provides one or more individuals with the legal rights to provide a family and other needs for a child in need. At the office of Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A., we pride ourselves on serving families in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale with the legal needs associated with adoption. Contact us today to set up a consultation.

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