Do Step Parents Have Adoption Options?

Whether married parents divorce or unmarried parents separate, chances are that at least one parent will enter into a new marriage. Oftentimes, the new stepparent wishes to adopt the child(ren) of his or her spouse.

Adoption OptionsAdoption of stepchildren is one of the joyful occasions that happens in family court and can bring a newly-formed family closer together.

Florida legislature and the courts take adoption of stepchildren very seriously. The rights of a child’s biological parents are primary and will not be terminated unless a good reason exists to do so. When deciding whether to grant an adoption, the court’s utmost consideration is the best interests of the child. The court also considers the interests of both the biological parent and the adoptive parent. read more

Governor Scott Signs Bill to Improve Florida’s Child Welfare Program

On June 23, 2014, Governor Rick Scott signed a bill from the state legislature that would dramatically change Florida’s child welfare system.

The bill, which was unanimously approved by the legislature in May 2014, as discussed in a previous post, contains significant changes for nearly every portion of the state’s child welfare system.

Improve Florida’s Child Welfare ProgramThe new law is designed to replace a policy created a decade ago that was designed to reunite or keep families together.

While a laudable goal on its face, it had the very negative effect of reuniting children with troubled parents who in some cases were not fit to raise them. read more

Does A Sperm Donor Equal a Dad?

Does-A-Sperm-Donor-Equal-a-DadAn emerging issue in reproductive law in Florida and throughout the United States is managing the parental rights of sperm donors.

Many sperm donors are no longer anonymous and this triggers the potential for parental rights if the sperm donor, or the mother, wants such rights to exist.

There are approximately 30,000 births every year from donated sperm. The vast majority of sperm donors remain anonymous, but there is a small number of donors who are not anonymous.

And the number of prospective parents are choosing a non-anonymous path. This could partly be due to changing social perceptions about sperm donation and concerns about the health of unknown and anonymous sperm donors. read more