Margate, FL asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for Florida

Q: Husband wants to adopt my child whose biological father is no where to be found. What can I do?

Living in Florida. I have a child that is not my ex husband's, but the child has his name by default ( as he did not physically sign the birth certificate) been divorced since the child's birth...and we've been out of communication ever since. Fast foward 10yrs, my now husband wants to adopt my child, what should we do?

1 Lawyer Answer
Pamela J. Fero
Pamela J. Fero
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Florida’s adoption law requires that the consent of both parents be given before a court can make an adoption final.

If one parent does not consent to the adoption, the court will only make the adoption final if it finds that:

✅ The non-consenting parent is unfit

There are many reasons why one birth parent may be unfit. These include neglect, abuse, recklessness, addiction to a substance, or being incarcerated. The consenting parent can request a hearing with a judge to prove how unfit the non-consenting parent is. The court may strip the non-consenting parent of their parental rights and let the other parent make important decisions.

✅ The non-consenting parent abandoned the child

If the non-consenting parent fails to pay child support or contact the child for at least a year, the consenting parent may petition for the child's abandonment and then proceed with the step-parent adoption without consent.

✅ The non-consenting parent is proven not to be the child's biological father.

File a joint petition for adoption to start the process. You may state in the petition why the biological father's consent is not required so you can proceed with the process.

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