Semmes, AL asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for Mississippi

Q: How do I adopt a child I’ve had custody of for 2 years?

I have had custody for 2 years. My sister is a drug user who was in a dangerous position and we got my Neice. My husband and I want to adopt her but do not know where to start? Do we need an attorney? She’s in agreement (at the moment). She’s had no physical contact with her in months. She goes months at a time with no physical contact and only calls once every now and again. She throws my baby into a tailspin when she does contact, with false information and empty promises.

1 Lawyer Answer
Pamela J. Fero Esq.
Pamela J. Fero Esq.
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL

A: Here's what you need to do:

1. Fill out the petition and send it to the Circuit County Court in the county where you live.

2. Obtain the mother's permission. If the parent is emotionally or financially unfit, or if the parent has abandoned the child, Florida law may allow the adoption even if the parent refuses to sign a consent form.

3. Prepare all necessary documents to be attached to the petition. (This may include UCCJEA, the child's birth certificate, and copies of custody or support court orders).

4. Your attorney will schedule a hearing with the judge's office.

5. Allow for a judicial review. The judge may grant the adoption if everything is in order.

After the court hearing, you can change the child's birth certificate to show that you are the legal parent.

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