How to adopt a relative in Florida

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“Florida has some simple and straightforward procedures for adopting a relative. In most cases, adoption of a relative is treated in the same manner as adoption of a stepchild. Adoption is possible with or without the consent of the child’s biological parents. However, a petition needs to be filed and the court needs to be notified in order for lawful adoption.

To start the adoption process, prospective parents need to file Form 12.981 (b) (1), while including the following information:
– Names of the adoptive parents
– Names of the children being adopted
– Date and place of birth of the children being adopted
– Home address of the adoptive parents
– Statement of consent from the biological parents

In case the biological parents do not offer their consent, the court will still allow adoption if it is in the best interests of the child. Additional information including a UCCJEA affidavit, a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate and consent of the adoptee must be provided with the petition form. The consent of the adoptee is only required if the child being adopted is between 12-18 years of age.

Relative adoption is smooth in most cases in Florida and it typically takes 1-2 months for the procedure. Furthermore, home study and background checks are not a very strict requirement with relative adoptions. The process is quite economical as well, with many adoptive parents being eligible for tax reliefs. For many families, this tax relief makes adoption completely free.”

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