Dispelling Adoption Myths

Adoption can be a wonderful way for individuals and couples to start or grow a family. At times, the myths surrounding adoption can make it seem impossible for some who want to be adoptive parents. It’s important to know the facts about the legal requirements and process of adopting.

If you are considering adoption in Tallahassee, North Florida, the Big Bend region, or anywhere in Florida, you probably have many questions. Fournier Law, PLLC can provide the answers you need to make what may be the biggest decision of your life. We are dedicated to helping clients who want to open their homes and hearts to those who need them most.

Adoption in Florida

There are several basic types of adoption in Florida: state adoption, private adoption, or international adoption. There are also step-parent adoptions of stepchildren, adoptions of a close relative, and adult adoptions.

Whatever the type of adoption, prospective parents undergo training, background and other checks, home studies, home visits once the child is placed, and court hearings upon filing the petition for adoption. 

Common Adoption Myths

Hiring an experienced family law attorney who represents clients seeking to adopt provides tremendous benefits. Your adoption attorney will guide you through the process and dispel common myths along the way.

Here are some common adoption myths and why they’re false.

Myth #1: You must be married to adopt.

An adoptive parent need not be married. Single adults often find that adoption offers them a way to become a parent without the need to have a spouse or partner. In a world where divorce is common and children are often raised in single-parent households, single adults seeking to adopt and open their homes to children who need them are welcome.

Myth #2: Only people with certain sexual orientations can adopt.

Diversity is embraced in adoption. The most important goal is to have children who might otherwise remain in the foster care system find loving homes. Those homes may be those of LGBTQ+ individuals who want to become parents through adoption. Adults of all sexual orientations and identities are welcome to adopt as couples or as single parents.

Myth #3: You need to own a home to adopt.

Homeownership is not a criterion for adoption. Many loving homes are rented by those who want to be parents. Homeownership is often a difficult goal to reach for many adults, especially those who would rather devote their income to raising a child rather than owning a house.

Myth #4: You need to have some wealth to adopt.

There are no income guidelines for adoption other than adoptive parents must be able to provide the financial stability necessary to meet the basic needs of the child. The exact dollar amount varies widely, depending on the parent and child. During the home study, social workers will assess a prospective parent’s ability to provide sufficient financial support for a child.

Myth #5: There is no financial assistance available for adoption.

There are federal and state subsidies available to prospective parents who want to adopt children with special needs. Because these children will require greater financial resources, the federal and Florida governments provide opportunities for adoptive parents to apply for adoption assistance. 

“Special needs” is not limited to children with developmental, physical, and emotional disabilities. Florida also includes in its definition of a child with special needs as one that was permanently committed to an adoption agency or the Department of Children and Families and who has at least one of the following: significant ties to his or her foster parent, eight years of age or older, African-American or racially-mixed parentage, and siblings being placed for adoption as a unit.

Myth #6: Only infants and children are adopted.

Children of all ages and even adults can be adopted in Florida. Adult adoptees are usually those with special needs who cannot support themselves or those whom the adopted parent wants to provide all the benefits of heirship to their estates as biological children enjoy.

Adoption Attorneys in Tallahassee, Florida

Adoption can bring such joy to adoptive parents and children alike. In a world where families come in all shapes, sizes, and characteristics, the opportunity is one that is and should be open to everyone. 

For those interested in adopting in Tallahassee or in communities throughout Florida, Fournier Law, PLLC is dedicated to providing compassionate legal guidance in a process that can sometimes be challenging. As family law attorneys, we deal with clients for many different reasons. Adoption is one that brings us a special sense of joy.

Let us help you begin to build your family. Call us to schedule an appointment today.

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