The new family is responsible for providing the care and guidance that will determine the kind of adult that child will become.To the birth parents, adoption usually means relinquishing the child forever without the privilege of seeing the child or being otherwise involved in the child’s life.However, in some types of adoptions, called open adoption, birth parents retain the right to communicate or visit the child.

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Lawyers and judges receive many inquiries from people who wish to adopt a child.

This pamphlet has been prepared to help you understand adoption laws and procedures and complete an adoption in a safe way.

Adoption laws and procedures in Florida reflect the interests of the state and the community in protecting the child, the birth parent, and the adoptive parents in adoption proceedings.

Adoption is the legal procedure by which a child becomes, through court action, part of a family other than that of his or her birth parents. It determines the future of the child, because it permanently severs ties with birth parents and relatives and transfers the child into a new family where the child will remain permanently.

To the adoptive parents, adoption means providing for and undertaking the care of a child to whom they will have the same obligations as to a child naturally born to them. Adults who live and work in the state, are of good character, and have the ability to nurture and provide for a child may adopt.

Any minor (a person under 18 years) present within the state when the petition for adoption is filed may be adopted. Single adults, as well as married couples, may adopt. It is no longer illegal for gay couples or individuals to adopt a child.

A person may not be prohibited from adopting solely because of a physical disability unless it is determined that the disability renders the person incapable of being an effective parent.

An adoption establishes a legal parent-child relationship between the adoptee and the adoptive parents.

This legal relationship is identical to the legal biological parent-child relationship.