Types of Adoption in Florida

You can become a parent in many ways, and adoption is one of them. The moment you consider adoption, many questions may cross your mind. One of the most important questions to ask yourself when considering adoption is which type of adoption is most suitable for you.

There are many types of adoption in Florida, and this article discusses the following types.

  • Stepparent adoption
  • Agency adoption
  • Private adoption
  • Relative adoption

Stepparent Adoption

This type of adoption is the most common. In this type of adoption, one spouse enters a marriage with a child from a previous relationship, and the other decides to adopt the child. Before stepparent adoption can occur, the other biological parent’s parental rights must be terminated.

Both biological parents can agree that the arrangement is in the best interest of the child. If the two cannot agree, a court can terminate the non-consenting parent’s parental rights and grant the adoption if a judge finds that doing so is in the child’s best interest.  

Agency Adoption

Both public and private agencies in Florida can help parents with the adoption process. Adoption agencies must receive licensing to operate legally in Florida. When considering this type of adoption, it is vital to note that the legal requirements involved are extensive. It is not only about ensuring that a child’s biological parents no longer have parental rights over their child. For instance, with agency adoption, you might need to undergo intense training.

Private Adoption

This type of adoption is also known as an independent adoption. In private/independent adoption, you do not deal with an agency. Although it is not a requirement, it would be best to work with an adoption attorney throughout the private adoption process. In this type of adoption, birth and adoptive parents agree without the state or government getting involved.

Relative Adoption

This is the adoption of a child by a close family member. Under F.S 63.032(16), a relative is an individual related by blood to the adoptee. The relationship must be within the third degree of blood kinship. Siblings, uncles, aunts, and grandparents all qualify as relatives under Florida law.

Before adopting a child, a relative must ensure that the child’s biological parents no longer have parental rights over the child. Biological parents can permit a relative to adopt their child. If not, a court can terminate parental rights. After the termination of parental rights or after the biological parent/s voluntarily allow a relative to proceed with the adoption, a court may grant the adoption.  

Do You Need Help Choosing the Type of Adoption Suitable for Your Situation?

Selecting the best type of adoption is not as easy as you may think, and the process of adoption, depending on the type you settle for, can frustrate you. It would be best to work with a qualified adoption attorney who can help you avoid frustration. After all, becoming a parent should be a happy period for you. Contact the adoption law practitioners at Tampa Bay Legal Center, P.A.


At Tampa Bay Legal Center, P.A., we care about our clients and about helping them resolve the legal issues they face in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Our law firm is led by attorney Carl J. Ohall who, for more than 25 years, has helped people throughout the Tampa area overcome legal challenges that affect their families, finances & health.

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