Adoption finalization is the final step in the Florida adoption process. This is an exciting time — receiving the final decree of adoption makes your child a permanent and legally-recognized member of your family forever.
Before an adoption finalization in Florida can take place, you’ll need to meet a few requirements first:
Birth parents will need to give their consent to the adoption to terminate their parental rights (Note: although birth fathers may be able to offer consent prior to the birth, birth mothers must wait at least 48 hours after the birth of their child before offering their consent to adoption in Florida)
Adoptive parents must comply with the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and/or the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) when applicable
A Florida adoption finalization hearing will be scheduled several months after your child is placed with you. Your American Adoptions adoption specialist and your Florida adoption attorney will contact you to let you know when the hearing is scheduled. In Florida, adoptions are placed under the jurisdiction of your local circuit court, which is where your adoption finalization hearing will take place.
At the adoption finalization hearing, the judge will review all the information that your home study professional has collected since your child’s placement, and then issue the final decree of adoption.
This event is often a celebration, with family and friends in attendance. Some families even choose to throw a party or take photos together for the first time as a legal family.
Adoption finalization hearings usually only take half an hour or so. During that time, you’ll:
Be sworn in with your adoption attorney and social worker
Answer a few questions asked by the judge about your adoption journey, providing for your child and more
Witness the signing of the final decree of adoption by the judge
Snap a photo — your child’s Florida adoption is finalized! This completes the Florida adoption process.
Once you’ve received the final decree of adoption for your child’s Florida adoption finalization, you can file for the amended birth certificate and their social security card. If you need any help continuing communication with birth family, have questions, or need anything, you can always call American Adoptions.
Learn more about how to finalize an adoption in Florida by calling 1-800-ADOPTION now.
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