Deciding to adopt your stepchild allows you to become the child’s legal parent, which entitles you to many benefits. The legal process for this type of adoption varies slightly from the normal adoption procedures.

According to the Florida Courts, you must take specific steps to adopt your stepchild, which begins with determining whether or not you need consent from the other parent.

Consent

Florida always requires consent from the birth mother of a child when seeking any form of adoption. However, the consent of the father is not always a requirement in a stepparent adoption.

You may need to get his consent if he was married to the child’s mother when the child was born, he has secured legal paternity, the court made a ruling that he is the father or the father adopted the child.

Documentation

You will also need to file proper documentation with the court, including the proper court forms, which you must fill out in full. Your form must include the intended name of the child after the adoption and signatures from you and your spouse with notarization.

You will need to file consent forms from the other parent, if applicable, and the child if he or she is age 12 or older. You will need to include his or her birth certificate as well.

Next steps

You will file your documentation with the court in the county in which the child lives. Once the court accepts your forms, you will get a hearing date at which time you go before the judge and he or she will make a ruling.

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