Many relative adoptions are completed in "dependency court," otherwise known as the foster care system. (For more information on relative adoptions completed outside the foster care system, see Independent Adoption or Stepparent Adoption.)
When you adopt a relative, you provide a stable, loving home to a child who likely already knows you. As both a former foster parent and a former attorney for the Department of Children and Families, Katie understands the importance of relative adoption, how impactful the commitment is, and special considerations for all parties in a dependency proceeding.
Katie Jay, P.A. finalizes relative adoptions at the standard rate as reimbursed by the State of Florida. We also advocate for prospective adoptive parents in interventions, subsidy negotiations and competing adoptive placements in dependency court.
Adoption subsidies are monthly payments to adoptive families, from the time of finalization until the child turns 18. These monthly payments subsidize the costs of raising a child adopted from the foster care system. Having an advocate to help you negotiate adoption subsidy may be beneficial to ensure you are fully prepared to provide for your child’s future needs. For example, medical insurance may cover a medically complex child’s medical costs, but not time off work for the parent. A child from a hard place may have behavioral challenges that require special therapies and lifestyle changes as the child grows.
Florida recognizes that even after losing custody of a child, biological parents retain some rights to direct the upbringing of their child. One of these rights concerns the right to select an adoptive family and this is described in Florida law as an “Intervention.” Katie Jay, P.A. may be retained to advocate for or oppose an Intervention.
An Intervention is best done early in a dependency proceeding (soon after a child has been taken into state custody). The greater the delay, the more difficult it will be for the child to move to a new family. This is especially important in cases where the child is placed with “pre-adoptive” caregivers—that is, caregivers who are willing to adopt the child if parental rights to the child are terminated.
A private, voluntary surrender is better for biological parents, not only because it is not punitive in nature like a state surrender, but because allowing biological parents to select the adoptive family is more empowering. Raising a child within their biological family may give the adoptee child more access to his or her heritage, including culture, religion and family connections.
For a consultation, call 786.753.9287.