Adoptions

Relative Adoptions

Relative adoptions in Florida are typically very straightforward. In Florida, relatives within the third degree of relation, can adopt without a home study. Unlike a typical adoption proceeding, the adopting relative can directly file for adoption without first terminating parental rights. This results in one proceeding thus reducing attorney time and legal costs. Many birth parents are willing to consent to a relative adoption and eliminate their child support obligation. When a parent consents, the cost of the Florida adoption is significantly reduced. As with any legal proceeding, there can be issues that increase the cost but generally relative adoptions are straight forward.

Relative adoptions in Florida can qualify for the Federal Adoption Tax Credit which can greatly reduce the expense of adopting a relative in Florida. For more information visit our Resource Page or http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc607.html.

Private Adoptions

Domestic Adoptions

Adoptive families match with birth parents through several different means: they can match via an agency; they can match via a matching website or social media; they can match through friends or family; or they can match through our office. We are happy to assist with any of these types of adoptions. Florida Statutes require that adoptive families utilize the services of an adoption attorney when finalizing a domestic private adoption. It is crucial that the adoptive family retain an attorney as early as possible in the process to ensure everything is handled properly.

Adoptive families are required to complete a home study, which includes an extensive review of their home and background. There are various state and federal laws which must be followed and the process can be overwhelming and time consuming. We are happy to walk the family through each stage of the process and make the process as free of complications as possible.
Domestic adoptions qualify for the Federal Adoption Tax Credit. For more information visit our Resource Page or http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc607.html.

Birth Parents

We love working closely with birth parents! We have an incredible amount of admiration for the bravery and selflessness it requires to place a child for adoption. Typically in Florida adoptions, birth parents do not need separate counsel. We are happy to explain the legal process, explain available support and service, and help birth parents find a matching family. If birth parents select one of our adoptive families, our families are prepared to provide financial support and counseling both during the pregnancy and after the birth. Birth parents can decide if they wish for the adoption to be closed, open or semi-open.

Our goal is to assist the birth parents in a manner that enables them to feel confident about their decision to place the best interest of the child above their own. We seek to make the process as smooth and uncomplicated as possible. We are available to meet with birth parents at a time and place most convenient for them.

Step-Parent Adoptions

Step-Parent Adoptions vary widely in complexity. We’ve finalized Step-Parent Adoptions with extremely complicated family dynamics that require a large amount of attorney time and legal expense and also very simple Step-Parent Adoptions where the birth parent is deceased or consents to the Adoption. The degree of difficulty and legal complexity can also be affected by whether or not the location of the birth parent is known.

A Step-Parent Adoption is a significant legal commitment and we will help adopting Step-Parents understand the rights and responsibilities they are assuming when they finalize a Step-Parent Adoption.

Dependency/Foster Care Adoptions

Children adopted from foster care or while under the supervision of Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) must have their adoption finalized by a Florida court. We understand that many families adopting through the DCF system have been waiting an extremely long time for their adoption to finalize. The goal of our firm is to expedite this process and assist these families in pushing their adoption through the system as quickly as possible. The Law Office of Mary K Wimsett has extensive experience in the dependency arena which makes for highly effective adoption advice and consultation in this pursuit.

Typically, there are no legal fees for the adoptive families adopting through the Florida State system as these fees are covered by the adoption subsidy. The adoption subsidy can also include a monthly maintenance subsidy, Medicaid until the child is 18 and a college tuition voucher (fours years of higher education—college, community college, trade school—at any public school in Florida). We often help families secure subsidy if for some reason this is not offered to them by the placing agency.

These Florida dependency adoptions can also qualify for the Federal Adoption Tax Credit. For more information visit our Resource Page or http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc607.html.

Adult Adoptions

Florida law allows adults to be adopted. There is not only the emotional reward of making that adult an official family member, but it also makes the relationship legally permanent and binding. Unlike adoptions involving children, adult adoptions require only the consent of the adopting parent and the adult adoptee. The birth parent must be noticed of the proceeding but their consent is not typically required.

International Adoptions

Typically an international adoption is finalize in the country of origin however the adoption must be domesticated in order to obtain a Florida Birth Certificate. We are happy to help the family domesticate the adoption, which results in a certificate of Foreign Birth from the Florida Department of Vital Records. This process is very straightforward but there can be a significant amount of paperwork involved and varying legal requirements depending on the country of origin.

Gift of Adoption Fund

This nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation provides grants to adoptive parents in order to alleviate the financial burden of the adoption process. Its singular mission is to support adoption by providing funding to build bridges of hope for children and their families. Visit their website at www.giftofadoption.org for more information or call 877-905-2367 or E-mail: [email protected]org.

Let us help your family through this process.

Contact Us for a Consultation