Boca Raton and Boynton Beach Adoption Attorney
The Law Offices of Brian M. Moskowitz – Family Lawyer Serving South Florida
At the Law Offices of Brian M. Moskowitz, nothing gives us more joy than helping a Florida family grow through adoption. For anyone considering adoption, the legal process may appear daunting. However, the rewards are well worth the time and investment required to complete an adoption in Florida. As an adopted child himself, family lawyer Brian Moskowitz understands firsthand the joys and complexities of the adoption process. He finds it especially rewarding to unite loving parents with children through adoption.
From our offices in Boynton Beach, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach, the Florida adoption attorneys at the Law Offices of Brian M. Moskowitz provide family law services to individuals throughout Florida. Contact us today by calling 561-369-4481 or by filling out our online contact form to discuss your adoption questions and concerns.
About Adoption in Florida
Florida recognizes four basic types of adoptions: the entity adoption (where an agency or intermediary is used to facilitate the adoption); the stepparent adoption; the close relative adoption; and the adult adoption. Each of these types of adoption requires slightly different procedures to complete.
Once any adoption is finalized, the adoptive parents assume all legal rights and responsibilities for the child. They will be issued a new birth certificate for the child and must apply for a new Social Security card. From that point forward, the child becomes a permanent member of the adoptive parents’ family.
Florida laws concerning adoption are quite complicated. To ensure that the process is properly carried out, it is important to have the assistance of a knowledgeable adoption attorney. With over a decade of experience, the Law Offices of Brian M. Moskowitz takes pride in efficiently representing clients throughout South Florida who wish to build their family through adoption.
We handle a variety of adoptions including:
- Private adoption
- Stepparent adoption
- Foster parent adoption
- International adoption
- Grandparent adoption
- Single parent adoption.
The Adoption Process in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach and Throughout Florida
In an adoption case, the court's primary concern is that the child's best interests are served. The adoptive parent must therefore undergo a home study and the rights of the biological parents must be terminated before an adoption can be finalized.
Some of the legal matters that we handle include:
- Termination of parental rights - With the exception of an adult adoption, the adoption process starts by terminating the parental rights of the biological parents. Termination of parental rights may be accomplished voluntarily by execution of a consent form or by a court termination. If a court is required to intervene, the court must determine that the parent has abused, abandoned or neglected the child, or has otherwise failed to protect his or her parental rights under Florida law. In some cases, the termination of parental rights has already taken place before a prospective parent even meets the potential adoptee. For example, children who have been removed from the home of the biological parents by the Florida Department of Children & Families may already have gone through the court process to terminate parental rights. These children are then considered to be wards of the court until they are placed for adoption.
- Consent to adoption - For stepparent adoptions or entity adoptions, consent of the biological parents is more common than termination of parental rights through the court. Although this method is easier, there are very specific laws and procedures that apply when a parent consents to adoption. A birth mother, for example, must wait a statutory period of time after the birth before she can consent to adoption. Birth parents also have a short revocation period during which they can change their mind after executing a consent form. An attempt must also be made to locate and notify a birth father before an adoption may proceed. If the child you wish to adopt is over the age of 12, the child is also required to consent to the adoption in most cases. Failing to follow these procedures to the letter can cause your Boynton Beach or Boca Raton adoption to fall through, something that all prospective adoptive parents fear. The adoption attorneys at the Law Offices of Brian M. Moskowitz understand the laws and procedures required to ensure that your adoption proceeds as smoothly as possible.
- Home study - In most cases, an in-depth home study must be done by a social worker as part of the adoption process. In order to determine if the proposed adoption is in the best interest of the child, the court will want to read the findings of a social worker who is qualified to conduct adoption home studies. Having a Boca Raton adoption attorney on your side throughout the home study process will help you prepare for the visits and will ensure you that you have someone to turn to in the event there is an issue as a result of the home study.
- The adoption hearing - Before your child can legally become part of your family, a final hearing is required before an adoption judge. The timeframe to get to the final hearing will depend on a number of factors. Entity adoptions typically take longer than stepparent or close relative adoptions. Adult adoptions take the least amount of time as a general rule. When a biological parent’s rights must be terminated through a court order, the process will take longer still. Inter-country adoptions often take the most amount of time to complete because of the inherent complexities involved. At the hearing, our Boynton Beach adoption attorney can represent you and express to the court your eagerness to adopt the child, your qualifications as a parent and your willingness to accept the responsibilities that go along with adopting the child.
- Name change - Once you have an official court order approving the adoption, you will want to apply for a new birth certificate, Social Security card, passport and any other documents that will reflect your child’s new name. Our south Florida adoption attorney can also assist you with this final aspect of the adoption process.
Contact Our Boca Raton and Boynton Beach Adoption Lawyer Today
The decision to make a child part of your family is not one you have made lightly. Along with the joy and anticipation that goes along with the decision to adopt, you may also be feeling intimidated and overwhelmed by the legal steps required to make your decision a reality. Let our experienced, dedicated and compassionate adoption attorney guide you through the process so that it will be as stress-free as possible.
Contact us today at 561-369-4481 or by filling out our online form to discuss your adoption questions. We do our very best to return your phone call the same day, but at a minimum we promise to return your call within 24 hours.