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Whose consent do you need to adopt a child in Florida?

On Behalf of | Jan 30, 2023 | Adoption

When you choose adoption as the next step for your family, it can permanently change your household for the better. However, the first step in any adoption in Florida involves obtaining the proper consent.

Biological mothers

According to Florida law, adoptive parents must obtain the consent of the biological mother. Florida does make exceptions if the state terminates the biological mother’s parental rights.

Biological fathers

Although Florida law requires the consent of the biological mother, the laws for a father’s consent involve greater variables. The child’s father’s consent is required under these circumstances:

  • The child’s conception occurred during a marriage.
  • A court made a positive ruling on his paternity.
  • The birth certificate includes the father’s name.
  • The father files a paternity affidavit.
  • The father provides a written statement of paternity signed by credible witnesses.

If one of these circumstances exist, the father must provide his consent to any pending adoption.

Additional consent needed

Any child over the age of 12 must provide consent to their adoption. If grandparents have provided a home for at least six months, they may claim a priority right to the child.

Withdrawal of consent

One of the greatest fears that prospective adoptive families express is the belief that the biological parents will withdraw their consent. Florida offers the following guidelines for withdrawal of consent:

  • Parents of a child under six months must wait at least 48 hours after giving birth to give adoption consent.
  • For children over six months, consent requires a three-day period in which the biological parents may revoke consent.
  • Parents must consent in a signed statement in front of two witnesses.
  • If the parents follow these guidelines, consent can only be revoked if they can demonstrate that their consent was obtained due to duress or fraud.

Adoption laws in Florida may seem complex. But the consent laws exist to protect your new family, the child’s well-being and the biological family.