Jacksonville Adoption Lawyer
Jacksonville Adoption Law Firm Serving, Duval, Clay, Nassau, St. Johns, Flagler And Baker Counties
The adoption of a child is one on the most rewarding acts one can do. It is also complex and full of legal landmines that can turn a joyous and fulfilling experience into heartbreak and tragedy. If you are considering adopting a child into your family, you must have experienced adoption law firm to represent you in this process.
Our Jacksonville adoption lawyers possess the level of experience that you will need. Sharon Copeland was the Executive Director of a local crisis pregnancy center for approximately eight years and counsel thousands of girls and young women on the benefits of adoption over abortion. Sharon has also participated in over sixty successful adoptions as a birth parent advocate. Dan Copeland is experienced in handling the legal requirements of domestic, interstate, and international adoptions. Whether you are considering adopting an infant, young child, teenager or step-parent adoption, our firm provides you with the best representation.
Adoption proceedings in Florida are a two-step process: first, termination of the parental rights if the birth parents and, second, adoption of the child by the adoptive parents. An adoption proceeding both severs the legal relationship between the child and the birth parents and creates a legal relationship between the child and the adoptive parents.
The Florida Adoption Act, §63, Florida Statutes, provides the legal framework for adoptions in Florida. The Act is intended to “protect and preserve the well-being of persons being adopted and their birth and adoptive parents.” Also, our firm has a thorough understanding of §409.166, Florida Statutes dealing with the adoption of special needs children; §409.401, Florida Statutes, et seq., the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children; Fla. Admin. Code Chapter 65C-16, Adoptions; and 25 U.S.C. §§1901 et seq., the Indian Child Welfare Act.
The termination of birth parents’ parental rights and the adoption of a child are deeply emotional experiences for all the parties involved and have long-lasting and far-reaching personal, familial, and economic effects. Everyone at our firm is sensitive to these issues and take the greatest care to ensure that the proceedings are conducted flawlessly and that all of the parties involved are fully informed of the consequences of each step of the process.
A final judgment of adoption terminates the parental relationship between the child and the birth parents and creates a new parental relationship between the child and the adoptive parents. The child is then treated as if he or she had been born to the adoptive parents in lawful wedlock. The rights and obligations of birth parents cease except when the adoptive parent is married to one of the birth parents (i.e. stepparent adoption). Adoption by a stepparent, however relieve the birth parent of the obligation to pay child support arrearages that occurred before the adoption.
It cannot be overstated that adopting a child is one of the most wonderful and rewarding events that can occur in a person’s life. However, it is not a simple process and one that should only be entered into with experienced and competent legal guidance. Our firm has the knowledge, experience and competence to provide the level of legal representation that your case requires.