In stepparent adoption, when must consent come from the father?

On behalf of Furr & Cohen, P.A. posted in Family Law on Wednesday, August 3, 2016.

There are many reasons why a stepparent may desire to adopt the minor child of his or her spouse. When one of a child’s biological parents has not established or forfeits the relationship with the child and the remaining involved parent marries another person, stepparent adoption can be a wonderful thing for the child. It can signify the desire of someone to fulfill the role of father or mother.

So when you are petitioning the court to become the adoptive parent of a child, you must have the biological mother’s consent. In some cases, you must also obtain the father’s consent. Here are some circumstances in which a father’s consent is required:

Another man is already the adoptive father.
The father was married to the mother at the time of conception or birth of the child.
A court proceeding has designated another man as the father.
Another man is the biological father but was not married to the mother at the time of birth or conception and has signed with competent witnesses, completed timely filing of applicable paperwork and met requirements establishing parentage, or
Another man completed a legally correct affidavit of paternity and filed it.

In any of those situations, the father’s approval must be given before another man can obtain the status of an adoptive parent of a minor child.

If you are considering adopting your stepson or stepdaughter, you are likely making a positive difference in the life of a child. Obviously, in the eyes of the courts, it is not a decision to be entered into lightly and legal footwork must be done to ensure all the details are well-covered. A Family Law attorney in Florida may prove to be an invaluable asset in ensuring the adoption goes smoothly.