Vacate Adoption in Florida

by Joy from Massachusetts

My fiancé adopted his now ex-wife's daughter in 2005. They were married for less than a year and then got divorced.

He has been paying child support for the little girl and never sees her (Mom moved back to Florida) and has no verbal contact with her.

We are now getting ready to get married in 2012. We met with the priest and got all the paperwork needed to get married in a church. One of the documents needed was his divorce decree. We noticed that in the divorce decree it says,

4. The parties have agreed that they will work cooperatively with counsel in Florida to vacate the adoption of the minor child previously granted by a Florida Family Court.

My fiancé never new of this agreement since he never received a copy of this form. Is it too late to still vacate the adoption? How does he go about doing so if he still can. He is not looking for any money back, just to vacate the adoption. Thank you.

Answer to Florida Adoption Question

Dear Joy,

As far as I know, adoptions are permanent. In Florida an adoption can be reversed within one year of the Final Order for Adoption.

But, as far as I understand, a reversal even within that one year period must be for good cause. Part of the reasoning is that it is unfair to the child, and not
in the child's best interests.

Imagine how a child might feel, if after six years, her dad decided he didn't want to be her dad anymore. Your fiancé knew or should have known at the time of the adoption that it would be permanent.

It may have been possible for your fiance to reverse that adoption at the time of his divorce from the child's mother. This is because the marriage was short term and the quick divorce may have been good cause for reversal. But now, so many years later, I would be surprised if a court allowed the adoption to be reversed.

Your fiancé can still try, but you may be wasting your time. Don't take my suggestion personally, but it just seems like common sense to me. I think you should get legal advice from an attorney. There may be options for you going forward that only a lawyer can recommend.

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