Recently in Adoption Category

January 3, 2013

Russian Ban on Adoptions Will Hurt Families Seeking To Adopt

hp.12.19.12.Russiachild.jpgOn December 28, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law Russian Federal Law No. 186614-6, which prohibits the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens. This law went into effect on January 1, 2013.

Prior to traveling to Russia, The United States State Department strongly encourages families, in cooperation with their adoption service providers, to confirm that Russian authorities will process their adoptions to conclusion and provide all required documents.

It remains unclear whether Russian immigration authorities will allow adoptees to depart the country and whether families in this situation will encounter legal complications with Russian authorities. Because of the Russian Christmas Holidays, which are celebrated later than in the United States, Russian Government offices will remain closed until January 8th.

Last year, nearly 1,000 Orphaned Russian Children found moms and dads in the United States.

If you need legal representation with an overseas adoption, or have a question about the situation in Russia please give us a call at 904-685-1200.

July 28, 2011

Can I Be Adopted In Florida As An Adult?

adult adoption.jpgIn my role as a family law adoption attorney in Jacksonville, Florida, I find that people often think adoption in Florida is only for families seeking an infant or other small child incapable of taking care of him or herself. Adoptions are confidential in many states and as such, hard numbers are difficult to come by, but experts say the number of adult adoptions in Florida is on the rise. Many orphaned adults eventually find a sort of family, whether through coworkers or other friends, with whom they bond. Making that bond legal makes both emotional and financial sense. Not only does it provide a feeling of family and belonging, legally being able to refer to someone as family has numerous advantages in courtrooms, hospitals, and other avenues in life. While adult adoptions are restricted in some states, adult adoptions in Florida are not restricted. If you are considering an adult adoption in Florida, contact a Florida Family Law Lawyer to see how this process can work for you.

June 21, 2011

Adoption Options

adoption.jpegAs a Jacksonville Adoption Attorney, I am often asked whether a spouse's new husband can adopt a child from a previous marriage. The answer is yes (in most cases). It is important to note that this will alter any prior child support obligations. Florida law stipulates that upon the adoption of a child, for whom support has been previously ordered, by someone other than the father, the liability of the father for the support of the child is terminated. In other words, a father who previously paid child support is no longer required to do so.

If you are interested in adopting a child, contact a Jacksonville Adoption Attorney today to begin the process today!

June 10, 2011

Gay Couples Adopting in Florida

gayadoption.jpgLate last year, a Florida appeals court declared unconstitutional a 33-year-old state law that prevented gay people from adopting children. Since that decision, gay couples in Florida have quietly begun adopting children.

Prior to the ruling, social workers often did not ask about the sexual orientation of an adopting parent, which meant some gay Floridians were adopting children under the radar. However, even with this option gay couples could not obtain the same legal rights as straight couples in the same situation, such as custodial rights in the event the adoptive parent died. The court's ruling, however, means gay couples can legally adopt and have many of the same custodial rights as straight parents.

There are many things a gay couple should consider prior to adopting a child of their own. For example, the current court ruling is relatively young and will likely be challenged in other courts or the Florida legislature. Additionally, the media may be interested in your adoption and you may find yourself with unwanted attention. If you are interested in growing your family, contact a Florida LGBT Lawyer or a Jacksonville Family Law Lawyer to discuss your options.

May 27, 2011

Adoption In Florida

compassion_child.jpgAs a Jacksonville, Florida adoption attorney, people often ask me how they can adopt or take legal custody in Florida of a relative such as a grandchild, niece or nephew or sibling. There are several ways you can adopt or gain legal custody in Florida of your loved one. Some, such as a guardianship, require annual accountings to the court. There are less invasive ways to take custody of your loved one. Please contact a Florida adoption lawyer or Jacksonville child custody attorney for expert information on how to adopt your loved one.

April 13, 2011

Another Adoption Victory for Same-Sex Couples in Arkansas

love my rainbow family.jpg
Florida same-sex couples that want to adopt, the movement is on. The Arkansas Supreme Court recently ruled that the state's ban on adoption and foster parenting by any person cohabiting with a sexual partner outside of marriage is a violation of the Arkansas Constitution.

As in Florida, the best interest of the child criteria was the focus. The Plaintiffs in the
Arkansas case involved:• a lesbian couple adopting a special-needs child;

• a lesbian grandmother wanting to adopt a grandchild, currently in state care;

• three teenagers in the foster care system awaiting placement;

• several heterosexual couples prevented from designating certain gay or lesbian friends or relatives to adopt their children in the case of the parent's death.

Equality for Florida gay and lesbian individuals wanting the right to adopt has happened, hopefully, the Florida and Arkansas rulings will permeate to all states who currently do not allow a gay or lesbian person from adopting. 

Speak with a Jacksonville Adoption Attorney about your desire to adopt.

April 7, 2011

Adoption In Florida: Know What Or Who You're Getting!

system_failure.jpgAs a Florida Adoption Lawyer, I can tell you that adoption is one of the most rewarding areas of law in which Jacksonville family law attorneys practice. It is the one area where everyone is happy and people feel as though something very good is being done. However, there are some horror stories regarding adoption in Florida. In my role as a Jacksonville adoption lawyer, I have seen some cases where the adoption agency has not fully revealed the child's abuse background and as such, the parents are adopting children with far more issues than relayed to them. Many times, these parents are not equipped to give these children the proper psychological counseling or medical care that the children need. As such, the children can and have ended up back in the foster care system with a failed adoption in Florida. It is imperative to utilize a Florida adoption attorney when choosing the adopt a child or children in Florida.

March 28, 2011

Adoption And Termination Of Parental Rights In Florida: You Now Have A Say!

dilema.jpgAs a Florida adoption attorney, I represent parents who are in the process of having their parental rights terminated by the Florida Department of Children and Families. Many times, these parents do not have a say in where their child ends up or with whom. Often these children are left in the foster care system. Florida now has a new adoption statute that a Jacksonville adoption lawyer can review with you if you are a parent whose parental rights are being terminated. Under the new statute, parents facing termination of their parental rights are allowed to designate that their children be adopted into a permanent home rather than being placed in State Foster Care. Contact a Jacksonville adoption lawyer or Jacksonville dependency lawyer today for immediate assistance.

February 8, 2011

Adoption And Custody In Florida: Termination Of Parental Rights In Florida

compassion_child.jpgAs a Jacksonville, Florida child custody lawyer, I often see cases where one parent desires to terminate the parental rights of another to allow a step-parent to adopt. This type of case requires the expertise of a qualified Florida custody attorney as it is quite a detailed task. There are many essential elements that must be fulfilled to qualify to be able to terminate a parent's parental rights. The process is a two-part process. The first part is to terminate the parental rights, and the second part is the Florida adoption.

November 3, 2010

Gay and Lesbian Adoption Now a Reality for LGBT Community

images-2 dads.jpgJacksonville Florida gay and lesbian couples are ready to adopt. Now that the Florida law banning gay and lesbian individuals from adopting has been lifted, many same-sex Florida couples are making their dreams of a family, a reality.

Florida "second-parent" adoption procedures allow the biological parent's same-sex partner to adopt a child without terminating the rights of the biological or adoptive parent.

Children being raised in Jacksonville by same-sex parents are at a disadvantage if they only have a legal relationship with one of those parents. The legal parent may not have benefits or health insurance coverage for their child, but the non-legal parent does. Social security death benefits will not be provided to a child that does not have a legal relationship with the parent who dies.

There are many questions that must be considered when deciding whether second parent adoption is the right course for you. Florida Gay Adoption is still a new and evolving legal area and it is important to discuss the issues with an attorney. To learn more, call a Jacksonville Florida Adoption Attorney today.

October 1, 2010

Florida Law Banning Gay Adoptions Ruled Unconstitutional

A recent Florida ruling has made it possible for St. Augustine lesbian and gay men to finally become legally recognized parents. A Florida Court of Appeals has ruled that the Florida law banning gay men and lesbians from adopting in the state of Florida is unconstitutional. According to recent data, a quarter million American children are living with same-sex parents. The Florida court of appeals relied on mainstream health and child welfare organizations that have issued policies opposing restrictions on parenting by lesbians and gay men.

The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) eloquently stated that:

"Based on more than three decades of social science research and our 85 years of service to millions of families, CWLA believes that any attempt to preclude or prevent gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals or couples from parenting, based solely on their sexual orientation, is not in the best interest of children."

If you would like to adopt for either the first time or if you want to seek legal recognition of a child you are already raising, and would like to discuss your options before proceeding, contact a St. Augustine Florida Gay and Lesbian Rights Adoption Attorney.

February 5, 2010

How do I win custody in Florida?

Ask any Jacksonville Family Law Lawyer or Jacksonville Custody Lawyer how to win custody of your children and you could get a different answer with each divorce/family lawyer. One thing is for certain. If you are in the midst of a custody battle, no matter what your religious affiliation, you must live as though you are at the foot of the cross. Anything and everything is fair game when your soon to be ex is fighting you for your kids. Watch what you post on facebook, twitter, and myspace. This gives Jacksonville custody attorneys a lot of information on your real activities. Of course everyone acts like an angel in front of a Florida family court judge, but the evidence can sometimes be the proof in the pudding. If you have a custody or divorce case, please call a Florida family lawyer for expert help. Our firm has almost 20 years experience in handling divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, adoption, modification and visitation among other areas of practice. Please contact us at 904-685-1200 to arrange a consultation to help you.