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Kinship Adoption – Key Issues To Consider When Adopting a Grandchild

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Sometimes a kinship or grandparent adoption in Florida may feel like the only thing you can do to help out your grandchild, but you cannot afford an attorney. Thankfully, the State of Florida says you do not need a Florida family adoption attorney to adopt a relative.

As we all know, the world is now different from 20-30 years ago. Research shows that about 2% of children in the U.S. are being raised by a grandparent and adopted through Florida kinship adoptions or also known as Florida family adoptions or Florida relative adoptions.

That is not to say you cannot adopt a niece, nephew, elderly parent, etc. In most cases, parents voluntarily gave up their children’s custody for various reasons. It can be abuse or neglect, mental health problems, incarceration or death, or parents’ inability to raise their children. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins were placed on earth to play an essential role in our children’s lives! For some children, a grandparent or relative can be their lifeline to warmth and appreciation.

We at South Florida Document Assist, as your Florida kinship legal document preparer or Florida family adoption legal document specialist, are ready to partner with you, help you fill out the appropriate family adoption legal forms, and help you through the process.

The Kinship Adoption

Relatives, and especially grandparents, often step forward to help and adopt neglected children. This is called a “relative” or “kinship” adoption. In Florida, such adoption is more accessible than non-relative and is regulated by Chapter 63 of the Florida Statutes. The relative adoption will grant the grandparent(s) full legal parental rights.

What Does it Cost to Adopt in Florida? 

It is possible to qualify for an adoption tax credit when a family member adopts a child.  The amount of the adoption expenses will reduce income tax.  In essence, the adoption process in a grandparent adoption will be free! However, for more information, please get in touch with a tax attorney.

Do I need the Consent of the Current Parent(s) to Adopt?  

The process will, of course, be more straightforward if the parents give consent for the kinship adoption by grandparents.  But, under Florida law, it is possible to adopt even with the current parent(s) challenging the process.

As a grandparent, if you can show that the parents have abandoned the child (emotionally or financially), have abused the child, or are unfit to be parents, you will have your day in family court before the Judge to explain the situation. It is not easy, but a child is always worth fighting for.

How Soon Can I Have the Child in My Custody?

The entire process of a kinship adoption (terminating the current parent’s rights and adoption) can be done in one proceeding in Florida.  With the parent’s consent, the whole process can be finished in less than two months, most of the time taken up by waiting for a hearing with a judge.

Is Someone Going to Come and Check Out My Home and Living Arrangements?

The law makes it easy for grandparents and other family members to adopt relatives in Florida.  Most regular adoptions require a home study, but not relative adoptions.  Your home will not be inspected.

Am I too old to Adopt?

Nobody is too old to adopt. Grandparent adoptions are widespread in Florida.  Every child deserves the right to be loved and protected – and grandparents can fill the gap. A grandparent adoption is a way to secure your grandchildren’s future. It is a permanent type of custody that will give your grandchildren refuge and peace of mind.

Responsibilities in a Kinship Adoption

As legal custodians of a child, the grandparents have to:

  • Look after the well-being of the child or children
  • Be physically present in the child’s life
  • Protect and discipline the child
  • Provide the child with food, a home, education, and medical care

The Procedure of Kinship Adoption

The procedure for adopting a grandchild has several steps.  You first file a petition for adoption in court.  The court requires a lot of information, certificates, and consent forms.

The pro se petitioner will find the process doable in a scenario where all the parties to the adoption agree. The parties include the biological parents, the grandparents who want to adopt, and the minor child over 12.  The process is not simple, but possible to do with the assistance of someone with a legal background and who is familiar with court procedures.

Conclusion

Does it still sound intimidating to you? Procedural and clerical assistance? South Florida Document Assist is here for you.  We can provide you with a checklist of what to do in a relative adoption.  We also know our way around all the forms and the information the court will ask us.

Adopting your grandchildren, niece, nephew, elder parent, or step-child is fantastic.  Let us help and also be a partner in the process.

Contact us today for a free Quote