Frequently Asked Questions About Adoption in the State of Florida?
In the state of Florida, adoption is governed by Florida statute Chapter 63.
Who Can Adopt Pursuant to Florida Statute?
Who may adopt a child in Florida is controlled by Florida statute 63.042.
This includes the following people:
- An unmarried adult;
- A husband and wife together; or
- A married person without the other spouse if:
- The other spouse is already a parent of the person to be adopted; or
- The court finds good cause or that it is in the child’s best interest.
Age is not considered a factor, nor is home ownership or income level. Income will be considered as part of the home study. The home study will determine whether the potential parent or parents have sufficiently stable income to support the adoptive child.
Can I Be Prevented From Adopting Because of a Disability or Handicap?
A person of good character is allowed to adopt in the state in Florida. Florida law does not allow you to be prevented from adopting because of a physical handicap if that handicap does not prevent you from being an effective parent.
Can I Decide How to Educate My Adopted Child?
Yes. Florida law allows you to decide whether to home school your child, or choose to send your child to public or private school. Your education choices are not a factor in determining your eligibility for adoption. Children adopted in Florida may also be eligible for free tuition to Florida state universities. Some private universities also provide this benefit.
What are the Limitations on Out of State Adoptions?
Out of state adoptions in the state of Florida are governed by Florida statute 63.207. An adoption organization may not place a child outside of the state of Florida without an affidavit from a parent explaining why the placement is in the best interests of the child or the child is a special needs child, or the placement is with a step parent or other relative. An adopting agency may not send a child out of state for purposes of adoption. An adopting agency may also not place a minor child with a family that primarily lives out of state. Finally, an agency may also not suggest a mother leave the state to give birth for the purpose of avoiding Florida law.
What is a Final Home Investigation?
The final home investigation is governed by Florida statute 63.125. It is required before an adoption becomes final. This law requires an assessment by the appropriate authority or experts.
It will include:
- The social history of the child;
- The medical history of the child;
- Information from any preliminary home study;
- After placement, there shall be two visits with the new family to determine suitability of the placement, including at least one to the family home;
- Anything else relevant to the placement of the child; and
- Any other information relevant to the adoption in general.
If You Are Considering an Adoption
If you are considering an adoption, contact Fort Lauderdale attorney Sandra Bonfiglio. Sandra Bonfiglio has significant experience in adoption and family law.