Are you looking for Florida stepparent adoption forms? We explain the process to file the Joint Petition for Adoption by Stepparent, Form 12.981(b)(1) with links to supporting forms.
Many of our clients have difficulty understanding the instructions on the court approved forms.
There may be confusion on the required forms, questions on procedures, or just the meaning of a particular word or two.
Usually the difficulty comes from the stale legalese language used on the forms, and the assumption that people can just "look it up."
Yes, people can look it up, but this can lead to a wild goose chase, typically taking a lot of time and wasted effort.
That's why we have written these handy pages explaining the family law petitions.
This one is on how to file and follow through on the Joint Petition for Stepparent Adoption, form 12.981(b)(1). Click the thumbnail picture on the left to download the latest version of the form so you can follow along.
The following are instructions for Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form
When should this Stepparent Adoption form be used?
This adoption form should be used when a stepparent is adopting his or her spouse’s child in Florida.
Both the stepparent and his or her spouse must sign this petition.
You must attach all necessary consents or acknowledgments that apply to your case, as listed under the Special Notes stepparent adoption forms section below.
Florida Statutes require that consent to adoption be obtained from:
Determining whether someone’s consent is required may be a complicated issue and you may wish to consult an attorney.Free Lawyer Referral
For more information about consenting to adoption, you should refer to Chapter 63, Florida Statutes, and sections 63.062 - 63.082 in particular.
The name to be given to the children after the adoption should be used in the heading of the adoption petition.
The stepparent is the petitioner, because he or she is the one who is asking the court for legal action.
After completing these stepparent adoption forms, you and your spouse must sign it before a notary public or deputy clerk.
You should then file the original stepparent adoption form and 1 copy with the clerk of the circuit court in the county where the minor resides unless the court changes the venue.
For your Florida stepparent adoption case to proceed, you must have the written consent of the other birth parent and the child, if applicable.
The court may choose not to require consent to an adoption in some circumstances.
For more information about situations where consent may not be required, see section 63.064, Florida Statutes. Section 63.054, Florida Statutes, requires that in each adoption proceeding the Florida Putative Father Registry be searched.
You will need an order from the judge to do this, which you can request
by filing a Motion for Search of the Putative Father Registry, Florida
Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.981(a)(6).
When you have filed all of the required stepparent adoption forms and met the requirements as outlined above, you are ready to set a hearing on your stepparent adoption joint petition.
You should check with the clerk of court, family law intake staff or the judicial assistant to set a final hearing.
If all persons required to consent have consented and the stepparent adoption forms, consents/affidavits of nonpaternity have been filed with the court, the hearing may be held immediately.
If not, notice of the stepparent adoption hearing must be given as provided by the Rules of Civil Procedure.
See Form 1.902, Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. If you know where the other birth parent lives, you should use personal service.
If you absolutely do not know where he or she lives, you may use constructive service.
Before proceeding, you should read General Information for Self-Represented Litigants for more information on stepparent adoption forms.
See Chapter 63, Florida Statutes, and Florida Family Law Rule 12.200(a)(2) for further information.
With these stepparent adoption forms petition you must file the following (see links below):
These family law forms contain a Final Judgment of Stepparent Adoption, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.981(b)(2), which the judge may use.
You should check with the clerk, family law intake staff, or judicial assistant to see if you need to bring a final judgment form with you to the hearing.
If so, you should type or print the heading, including the circuit, county case number, division, and the children’s names, and leave the rest blank for the judge to complete at your hearing.
You should decide how many certified copies of the final judgment you will need and be prepared to obtain them after the hearing. There is a charge for certified copies, and the clerk can tell you how much.
The file will be sealed after the final hearing, and then it will take an order from a judge to open the file and obtain a copy of the final judgment.
AN ADOPTIVE STEPPARENT WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE PARENTAL RIGHTS, INCLUDING VISITATION AND CUSTODY, WHERE APPROPRIATE, IN THE EVENT OF A LATER DIVORCE, AND MAY BE LIABLE FOR CHILD SUPPORT IN THE EVENT OF A LATER DIVORCE. YOU COULD BE LIABLE IN LITIGATION FOR THE ACTIONS OF THE ADOPTEE(S). THIS ADOPTION MAY ALSO AFFECT THE ADOPTEE’S INHERITANCE.
The Self Help Guides' Florida Family Adoptions includes updated information, new custom forms, and the processes & procedures you will need to adopt an extended family member in Florida.
Grandparents, Stepparents, Aunts & Uncles, and Cousins who would
like to adopt a child or children related by blood.
This self help guide includes interactive forms, sample adoption petitions, and instructions on how to successfully complete a Family Adoption in Florida.
Our Petition Preparer Paralegal Service can have all your documents professionally prepared after a brief interview with our trained Florida Legal Document Specialists.
Your court papers will be in your hands and ready to file at the courthouse in as little as three days! We guarantee our work. Just ask us for a quote.