Families come in all different shapes and sizes. It’s not uncommon to see grandparents stepping into the role of the traditional parent and caring for their grandchildren. As more and more grandparents take on the role of primary caregivers for their grandchildren, many are looking into the option of grandparent adoption and thereby legalizing the parent/child relationship that already exists between themselves and their grandchildren.
Florida grandparent adoption is a relatively straightforward process. Where, in most cases, a home study is required for an adoption, grandparents do not generally need a home study to adopt their grandchildren in a private adoption. Additionally, adoption is generally a two-step process, where parental rights are terminated in an initial hearing and the adoption is completed in a second hearing. However, for grandparent adoptions, Florida adoption law allows the case to move forward to completion with one hearing in which both termination of parental rights and finalization of adoption occurs.
The easiest way to proceed with a grandparent adoption is for the child’s legal parents to sign consents for adoption. If the child is under 6 months of age at the time of the consent, the consent is valid and irrevocable upon signature. However, if the child is over 6 months at the time of consent, a three-day revocation period applies. Once consents are signed and any applicable revocation period passes, a joint petition for termination of parental rights and grandparent adoption can be filed and the hearing can be set. If the child’s biological parents are unwilling to sign a consent for adoption, the grandparent(s) adopting the child(ren) will have to show that the biological parents abused, abandoned or neglected the child(ren) such that termination of parental rights can proceed and the adoption can finalize.
If the children want to change their names, or the grandparents wish to change the children’s names, the name change can also be taken care of as part of the adoption proceeding.
If you would like to look further into grandparent adoption, The Adoption Law Offices of Madonna M. Finney would be happy to help. Madonna is the only board-certified Adoption Lawyer in the Florida Panhandle, and one of just 27 attorneys in the state considered to be an expert in Florida Adoption law. She, along with the rest of our staff, would love to assist you as you walk this path of adoption.
Call or Text us Monday – Friday 9a – 5p at (850) 308-1836. You can also message us via Facebook.