Step-Parent Adoption and Child Last Name Change in Florida
by Jessica from Orlando, Florida, Orange County
Hello I have a 8yr old daughter whose biological father left us when she was 6 months old. He has never been there financially and I don't even know where he is or lives.
She has his last name but I would like to remove it because he is not in her life.
My current husband who I married 3yrs ago has been the one raising my daughter and wants to adopt her. My daughter doesn't know that her step father is not her real father.
Can you please help in telling me what are the legal forms and procedures I need to proceed with this type of case?
Answer to Florida Adoption Question
You will need to petition the court using the Stepparent Adoption: Consent and Waiver by Parent form
, along with the related adoption forms. All the forms are available on the Florida Supreme Court's website.
Since you don't know the whereabouts of your child's father, you first must complete a Diligent Search and Inquiry form
, which is a list of places to look for him. The list is long and includes, inquiring at places like, hospitals, his relatives, the military, prisons, utility companies, his last address, etc.
Once you have completed searching for him you then file the Affidavit of Diligent Search form
with the clerk of court, and then you are allowed to advertise for his whereabouts; and of your intention.
The court clerks have specific information as to the wording for the advertisement, and for the places and way you may advertise. This is called constructive service of process
. A mechanism for name change is included on the forms.Notice:
We provide these answers
to the general public and our website visitors as a means to further their online legal research. These answers are merely suggestions and should not be regarded as legal advice.
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