Legal Requirements for a Consent to Adoption

When a birth parent chooses to place his/her child for adoption they must ultimately sign a Consent to Adoption.  Florida law sets forth very strict guidelines for what must be contained in a Consent to Adoption and a failure to abide by these guidelines could jeopardize the adoption – all the more reason to hire competent legal counsel.

These guidelines are set forth in Section 63.082 of the Florida Statutes.  Most notably, a Consent to Adoption cannot be executed by the birth mother until 48 hours after birth OR the day the birth mother is discharged (by written order) from the hospital.  Additionally, for a child who is 6 months of age or younger, there is NO revocation period.  Once executed, the Consent to Adoption is valid and binding and may be withdrawn only if the court finds that it was obtained by fraud or duress.  For a child older than 6 months of age, there is a 3-day revocation period.

Please note, however, there are many other important requirements and the Consent to Adoption is only one of many documents needed to properly effectuate an adoption.

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Forever Family for “Jacob”

We are trying to help a boy named “Jacob” find a forever family (see description below).  If you or anyone you know is interested, please contact Heart of Adoptions at 813.258.6505 and ask for Jessica.

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Hi my name is “Jacob”.  I am five years old and I am looking for a forever family.  People say that I am handsome, and that I have a million dollar smile.  I like sports and playing outside.  I have a very creative imagination.  Sometimes I like to pretend that I’m in a jungle and I’m hunting dinosaurs.  I am friendly and smart and do well in school.  Sometimes people think I’m a little older than I am because I have a vocabulary beyond my age.  I like animals but I have some asthma-like issues that make it hard for me to be around pets.  I like to color and my favorite t.v. shows are Blues Clues and Transformers.

I have a teenage sister that I don’t live with, but I like to see regularly.  I need a family that will understand how important it is for me to continue to have contact with my sister since she’s the only person I know from my biological family.

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Adult Adoptee Searches for Biological Parents

The Miami Herald recently ran a story about the process of finding an adoptee’s biological parents (http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/06/18/2273409/clues-often-few-to-finding-birth.html).  Below is a letter to the editor from Jeanne expounding & clarifying the law as it relates to those searches:

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It was with great interest that I read your June 18, 2011, article “Clues often few to finding birth parents.”

As a Florida Bar board-certified adoption attorney, with nearly thirty (30) years  of experience and practice statewide in Florida,  and as a long-standing member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, I feel duty bound to expand, and positively so, on your article.

Florida law, ss. 63.162, is much more hopeful for the adult adoptee searching for her/his birth parent than your article suggests; indeed, the provision of the law most widely utilized by the Courts is one which appoints an entity to reach out almost as a liaison, or go between, to the birth parent on behalf of the adult adoptee.  In most instances, it has been my experience that the birth parent is thrilled to connect with her/his birth child.

Regrettably, the tenure of your article seems to infer that the Judge at first blush makes an arbitrary decision to open or not birth records without any further investigation.  The reality, in fact, is quite to the contrary. The Court normally leaves the outcome to whatever response the liaison receives as a result of its efforts to contact any birth parent(s).

Florida law, frankly, is quite balanced and fair in its approach.  An adult adoptee should be ENCOURAGED to avail herself/himself of what the law allows.

Thank you.

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