Tampa Adoption Lawyer | Hillsborough County Adoption Attorney

If you are looking to adopt a child, a compassionate Tampa family lawyer can help you. Call one of the Tampa, GA family law attorneys on this site today!

Adopting in Tampa

For many Tampa residents, adoption is an alternate path to the joys of parenthood. While the reasons people adopt vary, there is one thing they will all have in common: the adoption process will be long and complicated.

In any adoption, there are many factors to consider, including whether the adoption will be open or closed. In open adoption, the birth mother, and in some cases the birth father, learn some information about the adoptive parents. They might even meet. In closed adoption, the birth mother and adoptive parents do not have contact with each other or know each others' names.

If you are currently planning to adopt, or to put a child up for adoption, you should contact a Tampa adoption lawyer to help guide you through the state and federal legal requirements. Many Tampa and Hillsborough County adoption lawyers excel not only in the legal aspects of adoption, but also in supporting the parents through the emotional changes that invariably come along with any adoption.

Every state in the United States abides by the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) and the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (ICAMA). The ICPC makes it possible to have uniform legal and administrative procedures governing placement of children in all states. The ICAMA is an agreement among the states to enable them to coordinate medical benefits and services for special needs children who are adopted by a family from another state, or whose adoptive family moves to another state.


The following are some common adoption terms you might encounter:

Adoption Agency

Open Adoption

Closed Adoption

Guardian Ad Litem

Foster Care

Adoptive Parents

Birth Parents

Who can adopt?

In Florida, “adoption” means "the act of creating the legal relationship between parent and child where it did not exist, thereby declaring the child to be legally the child of the adoptive parents and their heir at law and entitled to all the rights and privileges and subject to all the obligations of a child born to such adoptive parents in lawful wedlock".  These people can adopt in Florida:

1.  A husband and wife jointly;
2.  An unmarried adult; or
3.  A married person without the other spouse joining the petition if the person to be adopted is not his or her spouse, and if the other spouse is a parent of the person to be adopted and consents to the adoption; or the failure of the other spouse to join in the petition or to consent to the adoption is excused by the court for good cause or because it is in the best interest of the child.

In Florida, a person who is a homosexual may not adopt. The Florida Bar has put together a consumer pamphlet about adoption that contains more information. Adoption is legally complicated, and the adoption attorneys on this page would be happy to help you.

What children are eligible for adoption in Hillsborough County?

Children eligible for adoption are those whose living parents' and any legal guardian’s legal relationship has been terminated either by order of a court or by voluntary surrender. Children eligible for adoption without surrender or termination of rights include children who are adopted by a stepparent or relative. 

How does a parent surrender his or her rights to a child?

In Florida, a parent may voluntarily give up his or parental rights to a child by signing under oath a surrender of rights that is witnessed by two people and notarized, and consenting to the entry of an order giving custody of the child to a department for adoption and the department is willing to accept custody of the child. By doing so the parent waives the right to be notified of any court actions about the child’s adoption, custody, or guardianship. However, the biological parent’s responsibilities to the child are not permanently ended until the court enters a final order of adoption. The parent may withdraw the surrender and consent after acceptance by the department only after a finding by the court that the surrender and consent were obtained by fraud or under duress.

A parent who abandons, neglects, or abuses the child;  who is a felon or incarcerated;  who threatens the physical, mental, or emotional health of the child or a sibling; or who fails to follow a court ordered case plan may have his or her parental rights terminated involuntarily by the court. In a hearing on a petition for involuntary termination of parental rights, the court will consider these factors and most importantly, the best interests of the child.

If you want to add to your family through adoption, contact a qualified Tampa adoption attorney today.

Stepparent Adoption

A stepparent may adopt the stepchild with the parent’s consent and when the other parent or any guardian of the child has surrendered voluntarily in writing his or her parental rights to the stepparent for the purpose of adoption. The Florida courts provide a special stepparent consent and waiver form for this purpose.

Adoption by a Relative

In the close relative adoption, the adoptive parents are eligible to immediately finalize their adoption. The adopting parent(s) may take advantage of finalizing the adoption and simultaneously terminating the parental rights in the same court hearing.

In Tampa what inheritance rights will my adopted child have?

In Florida, an adopted child is automatically entitled to inherit from his or her adoptive parents, just like a biological child.

Can children from foreign countries be adopted in Hillsborough County?

A valid adoption from another country will be enforced unless the adoption law or process of the foreign country violates fundamental principles of human rights or the laws and public policy of Florida. Federal and state laws are very specific when it comes to adoption, and there are steps that must be followed carefully. It is important to have a skilled Tampa adoption attorney to represent you in this process to avoid any complications.

Finding Day Care

If you need day care for your adopted child, here a few places near Tampa that you might check out.

A Brighter Community Inc.
1613 North Marion Street
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 223-6830
 AAA Nannies Who Care
1005 W Busch Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 931-1333
A Kid Konnection Academy
9653 Wilsky Boulevard
Tampa, FL 33615
(813) 249-6602
Cogic Day Care Center
6414 North 30th Street
Tampa, FL 33610
(813) 231-0504
Creative World School
13315 Orange Grove Drive
Tampa, FL 33618  
 (813) 628-4847
Country Side Village 
8810 West Norfolk Street
Tampa, FL 33615
(813) 884-0878
Downtown Pre School & Day Care Center 
1415 North Ashley Drive
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 224-9048
East Bay Christian School
10102 Old Big Bend Road
Tampa, FL 33602
 (813) 672-0808
Learning Space
5202 David Lane
Tampa, FL 33617
(813) 988-5595
Lincoln Avenue Day Nursery & Preschool
3808 North Lincoln Avenue
Tampa, FL 33607
(813) 877-1811
Robin's Nest Early Learning Center
6503 North Himes Avenue
Tampa, FL 33614
(813) 879-5046
Montessori Children's House 
4001 Skipper Road
Tampa, FL 33613
(813) 979-4926
Precious Star Academy
10302 Nebraska Avenue N.
Tampa, FL 33612
(813) 558-0106 
Primavera Preschool
13601 W. Hillsborough Avenue
Tampa, FL 33635
Rainbow Family Learning Centers
3108 West Azeele Street
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 673-4646
Reeves Family Child Care
6502 North 34 Street
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 234-4119
Linda's Day Care Center 
3402 East 32nd Avenue
Tampa, FL 33610
(813) 248-3073
Rocking Horse Academy Inc.
5810 North Hale Avenue
Tampa, FL 33614
(813) 884-1893


Contact an experienced Tampa adoption lawyer to help your family grow!   

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