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More Questions and Answers - Family Adoption

Father wants to give up parentals to me but courts said no way
(Daytona Beach, FL - Volusia County)

The father of my daughter wants to sign up his parental rights for our daughter, beacause he can no longer pay for child support for our child. He has only spent thirty minutes with her in seven years. He has gotten remarried for the second time and his wife has children of her own, so therefore he can't support both families, He lives in another state and said if I have to keep paying child support then I want visitation with her to save himself money for the month he has her. We both argee with him signing away his parental rights and did go to court for it, but the courts are telling us the only way to do this is to have another person adopt our child (like my family member). My brother is willing to adopt my daughter. Is this the only way to handle things?

Answer: Termination of Parental Rights OR Adoption 

I know, at first, it does not seem to make sense, but this is the policy of the state of Florida. People are not allowed to voluntarily terminate their parental rights, unless there is an adoption pending. Sad to say, people would be terminating their parental rights right and left if they were allowed to. And from the state of Florida's point of view - what if the father who has no relationship with the child and no interests suddenly wins the lottery? The state of Florida wants the child to be first in line for the money.

I want to adopt my granddaughter.


I hope you can help. I want to adopt my granddaughter. She has been living with us since she was born, and she is now almost twelve. No one is against us adopting her, the mother is our daughter, and the father is long gone. We looked for the forms but all we found is the stepparent adoption forms, can we use those? We talked to two attorneys, one attorney wanted $4000. and the other wanted $7000. Can we do this ourselves?

Answer: Grandparent Adoption 

Grandparent adoption is similar to stepparent adoption, except there are two consent forms (one from each parent); in stepparent adoption there is only one parent consenting to the adoption. The forms are slightly different to conform to this difference as well. Grandparent adoptions, and all family adoptions within three steps of blood relation are governed by Florida Statute 63. 

Granddaughter Adoption

I am trying to adopt my wonderful granddaughter. I am her grandfather. She has been living with me since she was 8 years old and now she is 15. What forms are needed for me to be able to file for her adoption?

Answer: Family Adoption 

There are no Supreme Court approved forms for a grandparent adoption. However, like stepparent adoptions, grandparent adoptions fall under Florida Statute Chapter 63. The only real difference between a stepparent adoption and a grandparent adoption is that the latter usually requires two consents from the parents.

Grandparent Adoption.

(Baker County)

My husband and I want to adopt our two granddaughters. They have lived with us pretty much their whole lives. Our daughter (the mother) and her ex are willing to consent. My problem is that I can't find any do it yourself forms. I talked to an attorney, who wanted $5000. I can't see paying that much when everyone is in agreement. The only forms I can find on the state site are for stepparent adoption. Can I use those?

Answer: Grandparent Adoption 

by: FALDP Staff 

We sell a self-help family adoption guide on this site. 

The laws governing grandparent adoption are the same as a stepparent adoption. But you cannot use the stepparent adoption forms that you found on the Florida Supreme Court site. Some of our FALDP members can help you with the documents for a grandparent adoption, please scroll through the Member Directory. I don't believe we have anyone in Baker County, but many of our members work virtually -- over the phone and over the internet.

I want to adopt my granddaughter.


I hope you can help. I want to adopt my 8 year old granddaughter. She has lived with us since she was 2. The father, my son, is fine with us adopting her, and I'm not so sure about the mother. She's been in some trouble from time to time, she's an alright mom, but she doesn't always pay attention to our granddaughter like I think she should.

Answer: Grandparent Adoption 

If the mother doesn't agree to the adoption then it isn't going to be an easy thing to accomplish. It sounds like the mother is still in the girls' lives, so it isn't as if the mother abandoned them. It may be that you would have to prove that she is unfit in order to adopt your granddaughters. From what you said, I doubt that there is reason enough to do that. Please consult with an attorney for legal advice.

Adult Adoption

(Hillsborough County) Hello,
I'm trying to find the forms for an adult adoption. I've been all over the Florida Supreme Court's site, but the only form they have there for adult adoption is for a stepparent. My aunt and uncle said they would adopt me, I'm 19. I have lived with my aunt and uncle for the past four years. Thank you.

Answer: Adult Adoption 

Hi there,
I've also looked for forms for adult adoption. And there aren't any on the Supreme Court's site, so I suppose that means there are no Supreme Court approved forms for adult adoptions except for adult stepparent adoptions. The instructions for the adult stepparent adoption form state:

"See Chapter 63, Florida Statutes, and Florida Family Law Rule 12.200(a)(2) for further information."


(Hernando County, FL)

What are the forms needed for family adoptions in Florida? Do I need special forms because there are multiple children? Is each child a separate filing fee? My sister passed away and my husband and I are trying to adopt her three children. Is there any assistance for this? I don't want my nieces and nephew to go to foster care.

Answer: Adopting your sister's children 

First, I want to applaud you for doing the right thing by your sister's children. I am always happy to hear of family members who are able and willing to step up.

If the children are all of the same parents you can adopt them all together in one action. It is one petition for adoption, naming all three children; and one filing fee.

Family adoptions are governed by Florida Statutes Chapter 63. This site also offers a Family Adoption Self-Help Guide ebook or printed book. Please call the Florida Association of Legal Document Preparers - 800-515-0496 - if you need further assistance.


by Grandma 
(Vero Beach, FL)

What forms are needed to file for an adoption in Florida? What are the laws for an adoption in Florida?

Answer: Grandparent Adoption 

Dear Grandma,
There are Florida Supreme Court approved forms for stepparent adoption, but there are none for grandparent adoption. You may be able to use the stepparent forms as a guide, and create your own petition form. The only real difference between a grandparent and a stepparent adoption is that the grand parent adoption may require consent from bot the biological mother and the biological father. Both stepparent adoption and grandparent adoption are governed by Florida Statute Chapter 63. The Florida Supreme court approved forms for stepparent adoption are on the Supreme Court's site - . FALDP also publishes a book about family adoptions, grandparent adoptions are included. Look on this site in the online bookstore.

Stepparent Adoption

My ex-husband and I divorced shortly after our son was born. He did not show for Court, so the judge stated he had no visitation rights until he completed a Parenting Course and Petitioned the Court. To this date, he still has not complied, I have also never received any child support. My son is 6 years old now and my ex-husband,his biological father, has not spoken to or seen him since before he was two years old. My current husband and I started dating soon after that and now we are married. We were trying to do this adoption for the last year or two, but we have run into red tape everywhere because we are unable to find my ex-husband. Is there any way we can proceed with the adoption process even though we can't find my ex?

Answer: You have to search for him. 

I'm not an attorney, but I believe this works like a divorce, when someone is missing. If you go to the Florida Supreme Court's site, you'll find a form called a Affidavit of Diligent Search, form 12.913(a). There is one form for the search in a divorce; and a different form for an adoption. The form lists places that you need to search for him. And if you can't find him then you can publish your intention of adoption. 

Then if you publish/ advertise that you intend to adopt and he still does not surface, then you file that Notice of Action. You will need to ask the clerk of court where you can publish.

Stepparent Adoption

My daughter is five years old and has never met her birth father. He has been in prison since her birth. He has two different children that he has given up rights to as well. I have never received any kind of child support from him for her. How do I go about getting him to sign his rights over? I am remarried and my husband wants to adopt her. He is the only father she has ever known.

Answer: The process in Florida for stepparent adoption is simple and straight forward. There is a form for the birth father's consent to the stepparent adoption, which he may sign voluntarily. That paper also terminates his parental rights voluntarily; because there is an adoption pending. My suggestion is to send him the consent form and ask him to sign it. It must be notarized and witnessed by two people. Correctional facilities allow inmates to have papers notarized.

If he will not voluntarily sign, you may still be able to continue without his consent. If after sending him the consent form, he does not return it within a reasonable time, go ahead and file the joint petition for stepparent adoption. Have the birth father served with that joint petition.

There are other forms that must be filed along with the petition. Read the form instructions carefully, and serve to him everything that must be filed with the clerk of court. Once he has been properly served, he has 30 days to respond with a written answer. He is supposed to file his answer with the clerk of court and also send it to you. If he does not answer, and the 30 days have passed, contact the clerk of court and find out what you must do to to request a hearing. When you go to the hearing explain to the judge that he was properly served, and did not respond.

Bring your proof of service to the court hearing with you. Also explain to the judge that your daughter does not know him and that he has been incarcerated for most of her life. Forms for stepparent adoption are available on the Florida Supreme Court's website, .

Adult Adoption

I believe I've found all the forms I need for an adult adoption. I'd like for my stepfather to adopt me. I just want to make sure I have all the correct forms and the correct process.

These are the forms I've found:

Are there any forms I'm missing for the adult adoption process? Also, once all the appropriate forms are completed do I just file them at the courthouse? Thank you for all your help!

Answer - Adult Adoption 
by: FALDP Staff 

Here is what you've found:
12.981(c)1 - Petition for Adult Adoption by Stepparent;
12.981(a)2 - Stepparent Adoption Consent of Adoptee;
12.982(c)2 - Consent of Adult Adoptee's Spouse
12.981(a)1 - Stepparent Adoption - Consent and Waiver by Parent.

First - I think that the second one, the Stepparent Adoption Consent of Adoptee is unnecessary, because if you read the form and instructions, that form seems to be used when an child is over 12 (but is not yet an adult).

Second - I think that the Consent and Waiver by Parent is not necessary either. If you read the instructions for the Petition for Adult Adoption by Stepparent, you will find that the birth parent must be notified and or served with the adoption papers, but does not have to consent.

I want to adopt my granddaughter, but I can't find the forms.

(Orange Park, FL)
My husband and I want to adopt my eight year old granddaughter. Her mother, my daughter, is in agreement. We don't know where the father is. I found the forms for stepparent adoption, but those are the only ones I found. Do I just use those forms? Am I missing something? Thank you!

Answer - Grandparent Adoption 
by: Staff, FALDP 

There aren't any Florida Supreme Court approved forms for grandparent adoption, or for any type of family adoption, except for stepparent adoption. The process is nearly identical, except that in a grandparent adoption there may be two consent forms, one for the mother and one for the father, instead of the one for the noncustodial parent. Family adoptions are governed by Florida Statute Chapter 63.

FALDP publishes a Self-Help Guide which is available both as a download and as a print edition. Please visit our online bookstore.


(cape coral,fl)

Grandparent adoption in Lee County, Florida. How do I go about adopting my grandchild? I've found the forms online for a stepparent adoption, but I can't find any forms for a grandparent adoption. Everyone agrees that this is the best thing for my grandson.

Answer - Grandparent Adoption 
by: Staff 

The process for Grandparent adoption is nearly identical to stepparent adoption except that there are two birth parents that must provide their consent. In these difficult economic times, it is common for grandparents to be raising their grandchildren. 

We are not attorneys and please do not consider this as legal advice. We offer general information that may help you find answers. Please check our online bookstore, we offer a Family Adoption Guide.

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